Muscular men favour inequality in society
Men with higher physical strength, like well-built muscules, are more likely to favour inequality in society as well as have apathetic political attitudes towards redistribution of resources, according to a study.
"The study shows a stronger correlation between physical strength and political attitudes...(it) supports that raw physical strength is indeed the decisive factor," said Lasse Laustsen, Associate Professor from the Aarhus University in the UK.
According to the researchers, the findings may help explain the paradox of why some men with limited financial resources still favour financial inequality although they would in fact benefit from a greater redistribution of resources.
"Our analysis suggests that these men expects to be able to rise in the hierarchy on their own. And once they reach the top of the hierarchy, an unequal society will increase their chances of maintaining that position," said Laustsen.
The study, published in the journal Political Psychology, takes a cue from the study of animals which explains that physical strength shapes the conflict behaviour of animals.
If animals are larger and stronger than their rivals, they are prone to attempt to assert themselves in the struggle for status and resources.
However, if they are weaker than their rivals, they are likely to withdraw from the conflict.
In the new study, the same logic applies to modern men when they reason about political conflicts about the redistribution of resources in society, the researchers said.
"Today, physical strength is highly unlikely to affect how big a share of society's resources you are able to acquire. However, our data shows that physical strength nonetheless continues to affect men's political attitudes towards redistribution," Laustsen added.
For the study, the team measured and asked about the physical strength of 6,349 participants who belonged to different nationalities.
The results showed that men who trained their upper-bodies for two months became more positive towards inequality.
However, no link between physical strength and political attitudes concerning women was observed.