Lifestyle & Belief

CNN asks if hormones drive women's votes, then deletes article


The CNN sign is seen outside its headquarters November 12, 2002 in New York City.


Mario Tama

Yesterday published a blog post with the headline, "Do hormone's drive women's votes?" The answer is yes, they certainly do. In fact, hormones control everything. If we're going to get technical about it, there's actually a hormone "command center" in the center of every person's brain, according to Perhaps CNN was having a biology existential crisis.

But no, it turned out that the CNN article was just about periods. "There's something that may raise the chances for both presidential candidates that's totally out of their control: women's ovulation cycles," the article said. Needless to say, the story was mercilessly mocked across the web. CNN subsequently removed the post. 

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In place of gems from the article such as “new research suggests that hormones may influence female voting choices differently, depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship," CNN now just has a dreary explanation for why the story is gone: "After further review it was determined that some elements of the story did not meet the editorial standards of CNN."

The CNN story was about a study to be published in Psychological Science. The study author, an assistant professor in the marketing department at the University of Texas, conducted online surveys of several hundred women and concluded that when women are ovulating, the single ones are more likely to be liberal, The Ticket reported. The study author told The Ticket that there were some "misunderstandings" about her research in the CNN article, but she wouldn't elaborate. 

The CNN reporter who wrote-up the study, Elizabeth Landeau, has defended her article on Twitter, pointing out that she did at least interview people that were critical of the research. "Hi everyone, I included several political scientists saying these conclusions are not valid," she Tweeted. She added later: "For the record, I was reporting on a study to be published in a peer-reviewed journal & included skepticism. I did not conduct the study."

A source from CNN told the Washington Post that the article did not get properly vetted before it was published, and that Meredith Artley, CNN’s vice president and managing editor of digital, decided that the story “should never have been on the site."