It’s Obvious, Isn’t It?
- Weaker men more likely to support welfare state and wealth redistribution
- Link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in our ancestors
- Strength was a proxy for ability to defend or acquire resources
- There is no link between women’s physical strength and political views
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.
‘While many people think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has, in a sense, always been with our species.
‘Political views are designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.’
The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science.
Professor Petersen added: ‘Many previous studies have shown that people’s political views cannot be predicted by standard economic models.
‘This is among the first studies to show that political views may be rational in another sense, in that they’re designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.’