'Physically Strong' Men Likely More Conservative, Study Says

Rocky Statue
A statue of fictional Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa stands near the city's art museum. Creative Commons

Physical strength may play a role in a man's political proclivities, according to a Danish and an American psychological scientist. Michael Bang Petersen, a professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, along with Daniel Sznycer from the University of California, conducted a study to determine whether the hypothesis of upper body strength predicting political opinions.

The UK Daily Mail reported the findings, after the pair of researchers studied "bicep size, socio-economic status, and support for economic redistribution of wealth" of hundreds of Danish, American, and Argentinian men.

The three countries, however, could not be farther apart politically. European nations like Denmark tend to have a much wider breadth when it comes to a social welfare state, compared to the Constitutional Republic that is the United States. Argentina differs somewhat from both of the other nations.

"In all three countries, physically-strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution," Petersen said, denoting stronger participants as more fiscally conservative, and "less likely to support redistribution," as Science 2.0 put it.

Calculating that humans' earliest ancestors caused the psychological link they found evolved due to the need for physical strength in their environments, the researchers said politics and physicality have been physiological partners for a long time. "While many think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has...always been with our species," Petersen said.

The Daily Mail featured a photograph of one of the more visible bodybuilder figures on the right, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif, and posited that the Labour party leader in Britain, Edward Miliband, could be considered a physically weaker male. Labour is the more liberal of the two major British political parties.

A look into some other famous strongmen depicts that Petersen's and Sznycer's conclusions may be correct, at least on a Hollywood level. The man behind American terrorist hunter John McClane, actor Bruce Willis, is reportedly a registered Republican.

According to BET, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a famous wrestler and actor, was invited to be a speaker at the 2000 Republican National Convention. Even Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone, endorsed the more fiscally conservative candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., for president in 2012. So is there truly a connection, or is one's personal body politic a product of other aspects of the variances of the human environment?


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