IUP Professors Find No Perfect Formula for Political Success

Posted on 2/9/2009 9:37:21 AM

Two Communications Media professors and a Communications Media student presented research on commonalities of female politicians at the 2008 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Women’s Consortium Conference.

Professors Mary Beth Leidman and Sarah Tourtellotte and student Jaclyn Emershaw did research on thirty female governors and thirty-five female senators. They studied physical characteristics, including hairstyle, modes of dress, age, body type, marital status, political affiliation, and method of taking office (appointed, elected, or successor to a seat).

Based on their research, they concluded there was no formula for the perfect female politician, noting that among all the women studied, there was no discernable pattern that the women shared.

The presentation drew a great number of comments and discussion, according to Tourtellotte. “It was supposed to be a thirty-minute presentation, but the participants were so interested in the subject that it turned into an almost two-hour discussion, including much debate over why Hilary was not chosen to run for president.”

(Content written by Zachary Salopek.)