Why Political Attraction Is All in Your Nose
By Renee Fisher
A new study in the American Journal of Political Science reveals that people find the smell of others with similar political opinions to be attractive, suggesting that one of the reasons why so many spouses share similar political views is because they were initially and subconsciously attracted to each other’s body odour. During the study, 146 participants rated the attractiveness of the body odor of unknown strong liberals and strong conservatives, without ever seeing the individuals whose smells they were evaluating….
Blah, blah, blah. Let us stop here and take our hands out of the bag of Hot ‘N Spicy Nachos. Consider what you just read. Unless the researchers of the Journal of Political Science were really bored with their usual research and have decided, instead, to screw with us, the underlying message here is that one’s political beliefs shape one’s body odor — or, even more startling, that one’s body odor determines which political beliefs one will ultimately have. Either way, this news turns on its head everything we have commonly believed about political beliefs and the nature of attraction.
In other words, you think you are with your partner because he/she is warm, loving, honest, generous and/or has a great sense of humour. You can throw all that out the window. You are with that person because he/she smells like a liberal Democrat. Or a supply-side Republican. Or a member of the Independence Party of Minnesota. Or even a Libertarian. And, even more intriguing, if you are that liberal Democrat (or whatever other political affiliation you identify with), you are that simply because your body scent chemistry has propelled you in that direction.
With all due respect to Match.com and eHarmony, if we all accepted this as gospel, we would have no need to fill out tedious questionnaires about our education, hobbies and sexual play preferences. We could cut to the chase. Who cares about being paired with someone who also takes long walks in the woods, spends time languishing in front of a fire, enjoys fine wine, and would consider group sex. Send in an odor strip and be paired with those whose strips match your own. Then you can be matched with a politically compatible partner who you can participate in all those activities with.
The downside of the research is that people could not predict the political ideology of others merely by smelling them. If they could, we’d all be walking around sniffing armpits. For the time being, until new research finds a way to bypass conventional channels, we have to continue wasting our time believing that we have some kind of choice in who we end up with.
Renee Fisher in the Huffington Post
“Or you could just forget politics for now, and try this:
20 questions to create a bond between two people in under one hour!”