Razors Edge: The Politics of Facial Hair
31 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 17 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
This paper argues that after women got the right to vote facial hair became a political liability for men. Facial hair makes men appear overly masculine, having strong support for use of violence and little support for compassion issues. This makes men with facial hair less attractive candidates – particularly for women and feminists. Using a unique data set the research finds modest support for the theory. Men with facial hair are seen as more supportive of use of violence and women and feminists are less likely to vote for them. The other aspects of the theory were not supported. Also examination of MCs roll call voting records and interest group ratings indicate that men with facial hair do not differ from other men in their ideology, support for use of violence or compassion issues.
Keywords: facial hair, compassion issues, use of violence, public perceptions, member of Congress
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