The voting process might be sexist.
This was the result of the study conducted by Vanderbilt Professor Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, who says that our subconscious views female candidates as weak and incapable of leadership.
"In following instructions to sort images rapidly, the mind often balked at accepting a woman as a leader," Mo told Vanderbilt. "The average person found it easier to pair words like 'president' and 'executive' with male names and pictures and words like 'assistant' and 'aide' with female names."
To conduct the study, Mo surveyed 407 participants and used the Implicit Association Test (ITA) to measure their feelings towards female candidates.
The results were eye-opening.
"The more difficulty a person had in classifying a woman as a leader, the less likely the person was to vote for a woman," Mo said to Vanderbilt. "Even when I consider only those who explicitly say that they would support a female candidate, I found that if they have difficulty associating women with leadership attributes, they are less likely to vote for a woman in a noticeable way."
Essentially, the study concluded that female candidates have to be outright more qualified than their male opponents in order to win the election.
But there is a silver lining to this study.
Cover image via iStock