The science is settled and skepticism will not be tolerated. No, we’re not talking about “global warming” — the latest scientific declaration is something you have probably long suspected: Conservatives are just more attractive than liberals.
That’s what a study from two professors has concluded, essentially confirming what anybody who has ever seen Dana Loesch or Joanne Nosuchinsky already knew.
But don’t quit your job to become an Instagram model just yet: The study’s approach is deeply flawed, and makes negative assumptions about conservatives while giving them a backhanded compliment.
“More attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican,” explained Dr. Rolfe Daus Peterson and Dr. Carl Palmar in the Cambridge University Press.
Here’s the problem: The researchers also made the bizarre claim that the only reason attractive people tend to be conservatives is because they overlook the less fortunate and have easier lives.
“The researchers claim that there is ‘good reason to believe that individuals’ physical attractiveness may alter their political values and worldviews,’” The Daily Mail reported.
“The scientists said in their study that attractive people have better social skills and are more popular, competent and intelligent due to something known as the ‘halo effect’ – where an individual’s view of other people is altered by bias and stereotypes,” the newspaper continued.
“But their beauty also makes them less empathetic towards those who find life a struggle, making them more likely to be conservative.”
Yes, it turns out that the study may be a thinly-veiled attempt to repeat the tired cliche of “mean conservatives” who step on others and don’t care about anyone else.
There’s a major issue with that assumption, however. Other studies actually show that conservatives tend to be more charitable, and donate significantly more to the less fortunate than their liberal counterparts.
“Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, ‘Who Really Cares,’ cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof admitted in 2008.
“A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals,” the Times piece continued.
So which is it? Conservatives are both “less empathetic” and more charitable? Maybe researchers should actually compare notes before making sweeping claims.
The most recent study — which concluded conservatives are more attractive because their lives are so easy — has other problems, as well.
“According to past research, attractive people have an ‘easier’ life and face less obstacles than other, less-attractive individuals,” summarized the Mail. “This can often lead to a ‘blind-spot’ for attractive people where they do not understand or see the need for social policies to help the less fortunate.”
Again, this stereotypical view of the right is disproved by just taking a look at reality. Consider, for example, famous conservatives like Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio.
How “easy” did they have it? Condi Rice grew up as a poor girl in segregated Alabama and can trace her lineage to pre-Civil War black slaves.
Ben Carson had a rough childhood growing up in the projects of Detroit. Rubio, of course, was the son of poor Cuban immigrants who fled a dictatorship to start over in America.
They’re all good-looking conservatives, but it’s a bit of a stretch to pretend that they had easy lives and don’t understand what it’s like to be less than fortunate.
Here’s a more realistic possibility: Maybe being a bitter, constantly offended leftist is actually bad for your health and appearance, and being confident, ambitious and proud of your country — like, say, a conservative — has health and attractiveness benefits. Who’d have thunk it?
Finally, there’s a deeply flawed methodology behind the study’s conclusions about conservatism and attractiveness.
“To come to this finding, the scientists took figures from the 1972, 1974 and 1976 American National Studies surveys that asked those taking part to evaluate the appearance of others,” the Daily Mail reported.
Yes, it turns out that the research wasn’t done about modern “attractiveness” at all, but the professors actually used nearly fifty-year-old surveys from the Nixon administration to reach their results!
Once again, a scientific “consensus” has turned out to be based on half-truths and skewed data. If you cherry-pick and adjust any information enough, you can make it say almost anything.
Don’t worry, though: The part about conservatives being attractive is still undeniably accurate. Just take a look in the mirror.
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