Just As You Thought, Increasing Testosterone Would Make Leftist Men More Right-Wing
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If you believe the ever-popular and amusing right-wing social media memes, conservative men are bearded “chads” swooned over by beautiful blonde-haired women in blue floral dresses. Leftist men are effeminate “Soy Boys” or “Soyjaks” who cry like girls and smile with wide-open mouths—an affectation called “soy face” that Paul Joseph Watson ruthlessly ridiculed in an amusing YouTube video with 1.67 million views.

Thus during the session of the European Parliament to mark Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Labour’s European Parliament member Rory Palmer was in tears.

A woman colleague consoled him [‘The moment got to me’—East Midlands MEP Rory Palmer sheds tears after Brexit vote, by Dan Martin, LeicestershireLive.com, January 30, 2020]. The cure for Soy Boys like Palmer: Studies show that a dose of testosterone will move them to the right politically.

Stereotypes contain at least kernel of truth if not more, and psychologists increasingly accept that even “harmful ” stereotypes tend to be accurate [Stereotype Accuracy: A Displeasing Truth, by Noam Shpancer, Psychology Today, September 20, 2018]. To paraphrase the late Murray Rothbard, all stereotypes are true [Stereotypes Live!, Reason, September 1980].

So what about the “stereotype” that right-wing men are “chads” and left-wing men are “virgins,” meaning effeminate, which suggests that leftist men are lower in testosterone than conservative men? We would expect them to be, because testosterone makes men competitive and confident. Men who are low in testosterone feel insecure and frightened of competition, so leftist ideas of “equality” are more attractive. And giving testosterone to moderately leftist men makes them move to the right politically.

Prof. Paul Zak, Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, recently helped produce an extremely interesting study for the second chapter of a doctoral thesis that showed as much [Testosterone Administration Induces A Red Shift in Democrats, Openicpsr.org, November 24, 2021;  Essays in Behavioral Economics and Neuroeconomics, by Rana Sulaiman Alogaily, Spring 2022].

Zak and colleagues followed 136 men through the 2012 U.S. General Election. The researchers administered synthetic testosterone or a placebo to subjects who had disclosed their political affiliations.

“Before the testosterone treatment, we found that weakly-affiliated Democrats had 19% higher basal testosterone than those who identified strongly with the party,” the study reported.

In other words, the more strongly Democrat a man is, the lower his testosterone is.

Another finding:

When weakly affiliated Democrats received additional testosterone, the strength of their party [support] fell by 12% …  and they reported 45% warmer feelings towards Republican candidates for president.

So, among Democrat-leaning men, dosing with testosterone causes them to lean toward the GOP.

Additionally, giving testosterone to weakly affiliated Democrats improved their moods. Danish researcher Emil Kirkegaard has assembled a number of studies that have found that leftism is associated with anxiety and depression [Mental Illness and the Left, by Emil Kirkegaard, Mankind Quarterly, 2020]. Thus, as a man’s leftism decreases, his mood improves. Indeed, another study concluded that although the causal nature of the relationship between testosterone and depression is unclear, low testosterone seems to be associated with depression [Patients with testosterone deficit syndrome and depression, by Mohit Khera, Archivos Españoles de Urología, 2013].

And men with what the Mayo Clinic calls atypical depression—temporary mood brightening in response to some events, oversleeping, and increased appetite—“showed significantly lower T levels” than men with typical depression [Serum testosterone levels and symptom-based depression subtypes in men, by Stephanie Rodgers et al., Frontiers in Psychiatry, May 4, 2015].  

Depression aside, a peculiar aspect of the Claremont findings was that testosterone administration did not significantly affect either strongly affiliated Democrats or weakly or strongly affiliated Republicans. Weak Democrats experienced the “Red Shift”; strong Democrats did not.

This result doesn’t make sense, if one assumes that testosterone makes someone more right-wing in a linear fashion. But it might be due to an extremely small sample of Republicans versus Democrats (8 percent vs. 44 percent). That would explain why “statistical significance”—more than 95% confidence that a finding is not a fluke based on the effect size and the sample size—was not obtained.

The authors, however, do not seem to agree that a small Republican sample explains the result:

The analysis here showed that weakly-affiliated Democrats were persuadable physiologically while strong Democrats and all Republicans were not...

Among weak Democrats, T [testosterone] also reduced the strength of party affiliation and cooled their feelings toward Democratic presidential candidates. This indicates, consistent with our previous study, that weakly affiliated Democrats are more likely to be swing voters than weakly affiliated Republicans.

In other words, in a Republican or strong Democrat, psychological and/or possibly genetic factors are so robust that testosterone is less influential. However, the psychological make-up in moderate leftists is more environmentally plastic and, thus, testosterone is more influential.

Alternatively, testosterone increases risk-taking, which, the authors say, might cause weakly affiliated Democrats—who are similar in testosterone levels to Republicans—to “risk” a “Red Shift” for which they might normally feel guilty given prevailing societal attitudes.

Republican campaigners should take note of these findings, argue the researchers:

Advertising that induces increases in T, at least among men, can influence voting behavior. For example, advertising for luxury goods can increase T in men and advertising featuring competition is likely to have a similar effect as vicarious experiences of winning raise T. Our findings here suggest political advertising that increases T, when targeted at weak Democrats, could be an effective strategy employed by Republican candidates.

Maybe this is part of the answer to  the (still insufficiently analyzed) Trump phenomenon in 2016—hugely successful man, beautiful model wife, towering luxury buildings, and undeniable, world-defying courage.

Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland.  You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.

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