Assortative mating on ideology could operate through olfactory cues

Rose Mcdermott, Dustin Tingley, Peter K. Hatemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mates appear to assort on political attitudes more than any other social, behavioral, or physical trait, besides religion. Yet the process by which ideologically similar mates end up together remains ambiguous. Mates do not appear to consciously select one another based on ideology, nor does similarity result from convergence. Recently, several lines of inquiry have converged on the finding that olfactory processes have an important role in both political ideology and mate selection. Here we integrate extant studies of attraction, ideology, and olfaction and explore the possibility that assortation on political attitudes may result, in part, from greater attraction to the scent of those with shared ideology. We conduct a study in which individuals evaluated the body odor of unknown others, observing that individuals are more attracted to their ideological concomitants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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