Apparently there is a study coming out in a peer-reviewed journal that questions whether women’s hormones play a part in their voting preferences. A journalist at CNN decided to run a story about this. You can read more about it here, here, and here. After causing outrage the story has been retracted.
The gist of it is this:
The article begins: “While the campaigns eagerly pursue female voters, there’s something that may raise the chances for both presidential candidates that’s totally out of their control: women’s ovulation cycles.
“You read that right. New research suggests that hormones may influence female voting choices differently, depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship.”
“The most controversial part of the study is not only that hormonal cycles are linked to women’s preferences for candidates and voting behaviors, but also that single women who are ovulating are more likely to be socially liberal, and relationship-committed women are more likely to be socially conservative, said Paul Kellstedt, associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University.”
(As cited in The Washington Post)
I have three questions about this:
1. Should there be research into something of this nature? Or is it as Muppetgirl puts it in a comment on stuff.co.nz
for research to have any meaning it needs to start from [a] reasonable premise
2. Do researchers have a duty to think about the consequences of their research and subsequent publications, or is any topic researchers’ fodder?
3. Do peer-reviewers and journals have any duties regarding what they publish?