Biology, Beauty, and Political Ideology

We found the ideal topic for a weekend when there’s no real news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism. This should unleash some of the latent tensions that all of you have been suppressing.

At the terribly-named but otherwise excellent website, PhysOrg, we read Rightwing candidates are better looking, study shows. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Rightwing candidates are better looking than their leftwing counterparts, something they benefit from during elections, according to a study conducted by Swedish and Finnish economists.

This is an outrage! Dennis Kucinich is a fine-looking man. Let’s read on:

One possible explanation is that people who are seen or consider themselves beautiful tend to be more anti-egalitarian and rightwing,” Niclas Berggren, one of the three co-authors of the study, told AFP Wednesday.

Well now, there’s an unbiased remark. We continue:

The study compared election results from parliamentary and municipal elections held in Finland in 2003 and 2004 respectively with an online poll of non-Finns to determine how the 1,357 participating Finnish candidates ranked in terms of beauty.

Beautiful Finns? Harrumph! Here’s more:

“We establish two main results. First, we find that the candidates on the right look better than the candidates on the left. Second, we find a greater effect of good looks, in terms of more votes for candidates on the right,” the report states.

Berggren pointed out that “several studies have shown that good looks bring more votes, but we believe we’re the first to analyse this in terms of political sides.”

So this is what social scientists do with their time. We Googled around for the guy and found what seems to be his home page: Niclas Berggren. Moving along:

Explaining the findings, he said that globally, “the left perhaps traditionally has used a more rational approach.”

Yeah, okay, Niclas. Whatever you say. Another excerpt:

The right meanwhile, “has been more conscious of the importance of looks,” he said, pointing to the examples of Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin in the United States.

There’s a bit more to the PhysOrg article, but you get the general idea. Now go ahead, dear reader, and tell us what you make of this “research.” Your Curmudgeon will be indulgent of those who may not agree with with his own superbly correct principles, but you still have to be well behaved.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Biology, Beauty, and Political Ideology

  1. This applies equally well to news-readers and commentators, at least based on my infrequent exposure to Fox “news”.

  2. This applies equally well to news-readers and commentators, at least based on infrequent exposure to Fox “news”.

  3. It’s a sad, sad thing when scientific organizations become political and partisan. I hate the idea that my APS dues are used for political purposes, especially ones with which I have strong disagreement.

  4. Oh, it’s not just Fox that puts out “news”. The last day I watched CNN was the day Paula Zahn covered Saddam Hussein’s last “election” as “Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office.”

    Of course it didn’t come out until much later, why CNN was covering for him. But I had an inkling. It was to preserve access. In order to get that Baghdad dateline, CNN played ball.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/the-news-we-kept-to-ourselves.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm

  5. PBS has an excellent evening newscast, M-F. Notable for a welcome lack of celebrity coverage.

  6. I seem to recall a camera-friendly JFK beating out that old hag Nixon at some point. Perhaps it was an anomaly?

    Of course, if you’re voting for someone cuz they’re cute, then perhaps you deserve the idiots you elect.

  7. Maybe it’s true. But liberals and atheists are SUPPOSEDLY more intelligent than conservatives:

    http://bit.ly/aCzfoC

    Seem like the same type of “research”.

  8. But these are European right-wingers they are talking about. I doubt many of them are Creationists.