I missed this last week, but here it is now. Study: Physically Weak Men More Likely To Be Socialists.
An academic study from researchers at Brunel University London assessed 171 men, looking at their height, weight, overall physical strength and bicep circumference, along with their views on redistribution of wealth and income inequality. The study, published in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, found that weaker men were more likely to favor socialist policies than stronger men.
Brunel University’s Michael Price believes this may be a product of evolutionary psychology. “This is about our Stone Age brains, in a modern society,” said Dr. Price. “Our minds evolved in environments where strength was a big determinant of success. If you find yourself in a body not threatened by other males, if you feel you can win competitions for status, then maybe you start thinking inequality is pretty good.”
So, physical “haves” feel less threatened and enjoy inequality. In other words, they’re dumb jock bullies. That’s one interpretation. But it’s undermined by Brunel’s own evidence:
“When Dr Price factored in time spent in the gym some, but not all, of the link disappeared,” notes The Times, suggesting there may be something to men with capitalistic views hitting the gym.
[ILC stares at his shoelaces, wonders if he should cough] That strikes me as more truthful.
- Those who go to the gym, tend to be stronger.
- And they tend to understand the importance of health and strength in daily life: not only in appearing impressive to people, but in actually having more energy, being able to move more easily, having a reliable daily feeling of accomplishment and positive discipline, etc.
- And they tend to understand accountability for your own results. (Physical training teaches nothing, if not that.)
- From there, and at the risk of over-generalizing, they often drift into common-sense libertarian-conservative views, emphasizing personal responsibility.
- The process can also work in reverse: if you believe in personal responsibility, you may find yourself going “Hey, why don’t I hit the gym / get strong?”
At least that’s been my experience. I know some leftie gym buffs – again, you can’t over-generalize – but I live in a super-lefty area. (And the few who like MSNBC for real are always either women or weak, older men.) The percentage rate of being libertarian-conservative seems, to me, a bit higher among gym buffs than the general population. And the link is: philosophy of personal responsibility.
If you’d like to learn about strength training, a good place to start is www.startingstrength.com. (No affiliation.) They emphasize perfecting your “form” or technique to prevent injury. And that strength training is something for all people, of all ages. The leader, Mark Rippetoe, is sort of a gruff, dogmatic, ex-power-lifter – and I *think* he’s libertarian-minded, or at least anti-Hillary.