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Why Are Action Stars More Likely to Be Republican?

Update Date: Apr 11, 2012 11:21 AM EDT

Why are action stars more likely to be Republican? Among Hollywood actors, those selected for their physical strength, i.e. action stars, are more likely to support the Republican position on foreign policy, believing in the utility of warfare.

Fighting ability, largely determined by upper body strength, continues to rule the minds of modern men, according to a new study by Aaron Sell from Griffith University in Australia and colleagues.  

"Despite the steady decline in physical aggression and violent deaths that have accompanied Western civilization, the human mind is still designed for ancestral environments," researchers said. 

They said, "Fighting ability, although recognized as fundamental to intrasexual competition in many nonhuman species, has received little attention as an explanatory variable in the social sciences."

Data are reviewed showing that better fighters feel entitled to better outcomes, set lower thresholds for anger/aggression, have self-favoring political attitudes, and believe more in the utility of warfare. 

Multiple research disciplines have found evidence that our male ancestors used physical aggression to compete for status. The evidence shows how this competition led to the evolution of numerous physical and psychological sex differences. Sell and team's review highlights the sheer number of physical and mental features that show evidence of special design for physical aggression in men, compared to women. 

These features include abilities to dissipate heat, perceive and respond rapidly to threats, estimate the trajectory of thrown objects, resist blunt-force trauma and accurately intercept objects.

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