Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sexism in American Idol

All right, let me say that I did not see a single episode of American Idol this season. I saw the first season and the end of the second, but to be honest, the show just isn’t my thing. I end up feeling sort of bad for finding the auditions funny and would rather listen to my own taste of music song by professionals.

I do know that the final two contestants ended up being Bo Bice, a 29 year old rock singer, and Carrie Underwood, a 22 year old country singer. While most people I asked told me that this Bo fellow was the more talented contestant, I expected that Carrie would win. Why? Men will always be screwed by gender voting patterns in competitions such as these. Let me show you why…

1. Women are happy to support other women who they like or find talented. They want to vote for their “sisters” to do well.

2.Men will not vote for other men because they do not want to seem “gay” and hate other men doing better than them. They will vote for the hot girl, if they vote at all.

3.Many women will vote for the hot guy, but they are probably less than 50% of the female audience. Chicks before dicks, right?

All things being equal, the default condition is that there will always be more support for the female contestant than the male contestant.

I know that in the second season, it was down to two men and so one obviously won. This was an aberration caused by the two drawing most of those who vote for men, while the women split off the other votes, and it also had a race component to it. Also remember, I said “all things being equal.” When the talent difference is more pronounced, these biases are less likely to come into play.

Now, I know I did not watch this show much, but fans I propose this to seem to agree. Besides, American Idol is not the only popularity contest where this occurs. (Voting for leaders is different as biases leave lasting consequences for the country.)

Anyway, let me know what you think…

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