The piece by two NYU psychology academics, Eric Knowles and Sarah DiMuccio, contends that by looking at the amount of google searches of certain keywords in red or blue states, they can determine whether or not Republican men have issues with their “manhood,” or as they put it, have “fragile masculinity.” They explain (emphasis mine):
We wanted to see whether fragile masculinity was associated with how Americans vote — and specifically whether it was associated with greater support for Trump in the 2016 general election and for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.
Measuring fragile masculinity poses a challenge. We could not simply do a poll of men, who might not honestly answer questions about their deepest insecurities. Instead we relied on Google Trends, which measures the popularity of Google search terms. As Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has argued, people are often at their least guarded when they seek answers from the Internet. Researchers have already used Google search patterns to estimate levels of racial prejudice in different parts of the country. We sought to do the same with fragile masculinity.
The researchers found exactly what they were looking for: in areas of the country that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 and for Republicans in 2018, there was a higher volume of searches for, “erectile dysfunction,” “hair loss,” “how to get girls,” “penis enlargement,” “penis size,” “steroids,” “testosterone” and “Viagra.”- READ MORE