This study aims to measure the extent to which personal styling and gender presentation has on public perceptions of candidates. The hypotheses in this study were that masculine styling leads to more positive trait evaluations which in turn leads to a higher number of votes and more conservative rankings—this all, however, was assumed to be conditional on the sex of candidate. This is due to gendered expectations that derive from the gender binary. The overall findings of this study cannot reject the null hypothesis. This study found that: as masculine styling increases perceptions of competence and compassion significantly decrease, as ratings of traits increase so does likelihood to vote for the candidate, male candidates in masculine styling are significantly rated more negatively on traits than female candidates in masculine styling, and finally as ratings of compassionate and cooperative increase the likelihood to be ranked as conservative decreases.


Leiby, Michele


Political Science


American Politics


gender stereotypes, personal styling, perceptions of candidates, voter decision

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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