Study: We Can Smell People With Similar Political Views

Is that eau de Republican you're wearing?

The key to happiness? (Wikimedia Commons)
The key to happiness? (Wikimedia Commons)

Looking for a BF who shares your radical right-wing ideologies? Find somebody whose body odor smells good to you.

Sure, that sounds totally gross, but humans are more attracted to the B.O. of people with similar political views, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Political Science. This subconscious armpit-to-nose communication might be “a modern way of signalling compatibility to potential mates,” the Daily Mail reports.

Researchers surveyed 146 people between the ages of 18 and 40, asking them to rate their political views on a seven-point scale from “strongly liberal” to “strongly conservative.”

From the batch of 146 participants, they picked 10 liberals and 11 conservatives, and asked them to bathe with fragrance-free soap and wear gauze pads under their arms for 24 hours. They also asked them not to smoke, drink, or wear deodorant. Delightful!

Then, the remaining 125 people got together to LITERALLY SMELL THESE PEOPLE’S SWEAT, and judge the attractiveness of each sample. The results? The sweat they found most appealing (but really, is sweat ever actually appealing?) belonged to people who shared their political ideologies. They were less drawn to the sweat belonging to people whose ideologies were different from their own.

“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,” the study’s lead author, Rose McDermott, is quoted as saying. “So I believe smell conveys important information about long-term affinity in political ideology that becomes incorporated into a key component of subconscious attraction.” Study: We Can Smell People With Similar Political Views