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In our recent of nearly 3,000 online dating profiles, we looked at 27 different interests that daters could mention on their pages, from music to hobbies, and found that political preferences ranked 23rd, with just 14 percent of the profiles stating a clear political preference along the conservative-liberal spectrum—a smaller portion than those who admitted they were fat!(After all, by withholding what you believe about politics, you can potentially double your chances of finding a date.) It’s also that couples become more politically similar over time, as if their beliefs are converging.
That leaves another explanation for political similarities between spouses: inheritance.
The prevailing belief used to be that political attitudes are passed from parents to children purely through socialization—in our families and our schools.
But overwhelming scientific —from studies of twins, brain imaging, genotyping, measuring nervous system activity and hormonal analysis—now shows that parents pass on values through a much more complex combination of socialization and biology.
It’s not that your genes automatically make you select one type of mate over another, but that complex interactions among genetic and neurobiological factors, in concert with environmental inputs, all help form our political beliefs and values, which we then pass on, at least to a degree, through reproduction and childrearing.
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5.1/10 Watch full episodes of EX-treme Dating and get the latest breaking news, exclusive videos and pictures, episode recaps and much more at Sexy Single Vietnamese Women Seeking Love. Some have argued our deep political divide results from the gerrymandering of districts, raising the number of “safe seats” where the primary election is the only one that matters; others think it reflects changing demographics, with like-minded groups increasingly sequestering themselves in terms of where they live, the media they consume and, in turn, the politicians they elect.
But there may be another reason political polarization appears to be worsening: mating habits.
Decades of scholarship have found that children tend to share their parents’ political beliefs; now, for both biological and social reasons, more and more people are also picking mates who share their political ideologies.
If this process continues over time, as people increasingly choose like-minded partners and have children with them, the logic goes that the population will polarize further between two political extremes. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that people are more likely to end up in relationships with partners who share their political and social values.
In fact, has shown that spouses and long-term mates are more similar in terms of political ideology than a range of other characteristics—from education level to preferred body type—with religion as the only exception.
But while you might expect this is the result of the way we pursue significant others—liberals consciously seeking to date liberals, and conservatives seeking conservatives—our has found that in general people don’t actively look for partners who share their political beliefs, at least when they first meet.