The compatibility of political ideas helps us to find a partner … through the smell

Everything in politics does not respond to rational principles. Interestingly, in ideology there is also an aspect that is hormonal and affects our most personal relationships.

Smell, political ideology and sexual attraction … an impossible cocktail?

At the very least, that seems to conclude research published in the American Journal of Political Science, which suggests that people are more attracted to the smell of people political ideology is similar to theirs. In other words, not only are we able to distinguish between “conservative” and “progressive” odors, but we also use this criterion, to a greater or lesser extent, to find a stable mate.


To reach this conclusion, the researchers used a sample of 146 people between the ages of 18 and 40 who indicated their political position on a numbered scale ranging from “strongly progressive” to “strongly conservative”. From this data, 21 people with extreme odors one way or the other were chosen. After bathing in odorless soaps and shampoos, these people spent 24 hours with gauze stuck to their armpits. During this time, they were not allowed to smoke, drink, use deodorants, have sex, or sleep with another person or animal in bed.

The resulting samples were frozen and stored until a week later, when 125 people began to smell each of the samples in random order. In each case, they marked on five points the attraction of these smells. In addition, these people and those who spent 24 hours with gauze could never see.


The results are amazing: has a clear pattern of recognition and a better appreciation of the scent of those whose political stance is similar to his, In front of these people with an opposite position.

Once the data is exposed, it is the turn of the interpretation. One hypothesis studied from evolutionary psychology is that stable couples with similar ideologies tend to create a more stable family background which favors the reproduction of offspring, etc. Therefore, the researchers point out, it is not uncommon for political leanings to be one of the traits that stable couples have the most in common. Under the seemingly simple idea of ​​political compatibility, there can be a number of processes that affect not only our social sphere, but even the realm of sexual and reproductive matters.

The similarity of ideology and values ​​within a family can be very helpful (Or avoid many problems) when it comes to effectively nurturing and educating boys and girls until they become adults. Perception of other people’s smells would therefore not only be one of the mechanisms that reinforce this coping mechanism, but also a process that has the target in our most emotional and subjective plane.

The smell communicates

It would be more proof of the extent to which the smell can provide data about the sender and be a method of social communication, At a rather subconscious level. Perhaps choosing a mate is an even less rational experience than you think.

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