Upper Body Strength in Men a Predictor of Political Leanings

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Ben Cohen
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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Muscle size directly related to his political leanings

An interesting study from Denmark has shown that upper body strength in men is a pretty good indicator of their political leanings. Stronger men are apparently more likely to be right wing, while weaker men tend to lean left. From the Daily Mail:

Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim.

Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and their political views.

Scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status and support for economic redistribution from hundreds in America, Argentina and Denmark.

The figures revealed that men with higher upper-body strength were less likely to support left-wing policies on the redistribution of wealth. 

Men with less upper body strength are more likely to support the welfare state - like Labour leader Ed Miliband

But men with low upper-body strength were more likely to put their own self-interest aside and support a welfare state.

The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.

Professor Michael Petersen said: ‘In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursued the self-interested position on redistribution.

‘However physically weak males were more reluctant to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation between individuals.'

It's a good reminder that political beliefs are as much a product of human evolution as anything else, and not some abstract concept based on anything that transcends nature. It makes sense that those most able to provide for themselves in early human societies would believe that individuality trumps all, and those least able would believe in a more mutualistic approach. Both are selfish in the long run they are about long term survival - it just boils down to whether you think you can make it better alone or in a group.

Given strength doesn't effect women's political leanings, perhaps it's a good idea to let them make the decisions. After all, an ability to do pull ups isn't exactly the best predictor of good decision making.