How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

Generally speaking, people tend to select romantic partners who hold similar political views. For example, consider a recent study in which researchers looked at party registration patterns of heterosexual married couples in 30 U.S. states. What they found was that male and female partners were registered with the same party in 70 percent of households; just 30 percent involved a mismatch of some sort. Of those mismatches, only about one-third involved a Democrat partnered with a Republican—the rest involved people with partisan affiliations partnering with independents.

The fact that only about 1 in 10 current married couples features a Democrat-Republican pair suggests that people with extreme political differences either don’t get together very often or, when they do, their relationships don’t last very long . So why is that? Social psychology can help us to understand why people tend to start relationships with those who are politically like-minded.

Read More

Shifting Standards Of Sex: Whether A Given Behavior “Counts” As Sex Depends On Who Does It

Shifting Standards Of Sex: Whether A Given Behavior “Counts” As Sex Depends On Who Does It

You might think that it would be easy to define a term like sex—but it’s not. It turns out that different people have very different definitions, and they make all kinds of interesting distinctions. For example, some people only think that intercourse “counts” as sex if they have an orgasm. Further complicating matters is the fact that who’s participating in a given behavior influences what counts. Specifically, we seem to hold ourselves to different standards compared to other people.

Read More

Why More Men In Hollywood Aren’t Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment of Women—And How We Can Change That

Why More Men In Hollywood Aren’t Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment of Women—And How We Can Change That

Dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have surfaced in the last two weeks (see here for a complete list). These allegations have prompted several celebrities to speak out about the issue. However, many have noticed that the celebrities who have spoken out so far are disproportionately female, which has led many—including writer and director Lena Dunham in a NYT op-ed—to ask why the men of Hollywood have largely been silent.

Many different explanations have been offered. For example, Dunham suggests (among other things) that perhaps men don’t see it as being their problem. Others have argued that it reflects a broader culture of misogyny in Hollywood. While these factors might very well be playing a role, my training as a social psychologist points to a few other possibilities.

Read More