A new study 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 odor.
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.
"People could not predict the political ideology of others by smell if you asked them, but they differentially found the smell of those who aligned with them more attractive. So I believe smell conveys important information about long-term affinity in political ideology that becomes incorporated into a key component of subconscious attraction," said Dr. Rose McDermott, lead author of the American Journal of Political Science study.
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McDermott, R., Tingley, D. and Hatemi, P. K. (2014), Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133