The researchers collected data on bicep size, socioeconomic status, and support for economic redistribution from hundreds of people in the United States, Argentina, and Denmark.
In line with their hypotheses, the data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.
"Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that -- at the psychological level -- individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way," says Petersen. "In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution."
Men with low upper-body strength, on the other hand, were less likely to support their own self-interest. Wealthy men of this group showed less resistance to redistribution, while poor men showed less support.
"Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest -- just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions," says Petersen.
Based on my own life, I would guess that I fit into their model - I have greater than average upper body strength, middle class income, and I tend to support a more equitable distribution of wealth. But is that based on my upper body strength, or is it based on my moral and ethical beliefs?
There are also articles on feminist men and why men should align with feminists against sexism.
- From Lip, we know what Plato thought about feminist men, but that was some 2000 years ago — how should we think about it today?
- Men's upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to new research.
- A huge study involving over 12,000 participants across 51 cultures from Argentina to Uganda has concluded that men tend to have more varied personalities than women.
- When men experience sexism: There are some practices and policies that are unfair to men — but this fact should unite men with feminists, not drive them apart.
- How society’s notion of manhood leads to murder: Diane Anderson-Minshall interviews David McConnell, author of American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men.
- Joan Williams on how class anxiety and masculinity fears push men to work longer hours: A work culture in which long hours signal value and status is bad for everyone.
- If men need a 21st-century role model, how about Jesus Christ?