Sometimes a story just sounds too good to be true. A study published in Psychological Science has found that girly–men are more likely to support a cradle–to–grave welfare state and “share–the–wealth” economic policy than more robust male specimens. This sounds reasonable to me and the fact it appears the research wasn’t paid for by tax dollars is a bonus.
“Psychological scientists” Michael Bang Peterson, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California, found that conservative or right wing beliefs are strongly correlated with physical strength.
The researchers studied bicep size, socio–economic status and political views from participants in the U.S., Argentina and Denmark. Selecting participants from the U.S. and Denmark is not surprising, since that’s where the researchers are based, but why Argentina? Juan Perón was a famous Argentine strongman, but his appellation had nothing to do with muscularity and everything to do with being authoritarian socialist.
One wonders how specific participants were selected and the interviews conducted. Possibly they visited gyms and offered to spot the weightlifters if they could ask questions between sets. It would have been interesting to eavesdrop on some of the conversations researchers had after removing the calipers from the bicep.
You certainly wouldn’t want to ask a politically sensitive question of someone who was benching 300 lbs.
According to the hypothesis established before the testing began, Dirty Harry should be a reliable Republican voter, while Napoleon Dynamite will be supporting Barack Obama until he can afford to hire a personal trainer and release his inner Tarzan.
But the data according to what the Mail Online reported didn’t support the hypothesis. “The data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.” Had the hypothesis been accurate personal wealth should not have affected support for socialism as long their pecs were equally ripped.
Once the scientists stopped collecting data and started pumping up the results, they proved they know more about the motivation for feeling the burn than they do about the desire to “share the wealth.”
Professor Petersen concluded, “‘Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions.”
That conclusion gets it exactly backwards and leads me to believe the Peterson and Snzycer need more work in the gym. When “weak males” support “share–the–wealth” politicians the weaklings realize they are too feeble to make it on their own. So instead they support policies that encourage the government — which hires those buff IRS collectors — to do the strong-arm stuff for them. Force those who have made it on their own to, in the words of our socialist–in–chief, “spread the wealth around.”
This goes a long way to explain why male art history majors are such strong Democrat supporters.
The only disappointing information contained in the study applied to women. There was no link between upper body strength and conservative views among the fairer sex.
They only question left unanswered is: Do women, regardless of their own strength, who prefer strong men also prefer conservative economics?
Michael R. Shannon