With the US presidential elections just weeks away, the whole world is watching on as the most powerful country on earth struggles to redefine itself. For many, in fact, it has gotten so that watching the news in the United States is almost as worrisome as watching the news in a developing country.
If that last sentence sounds like hyperbole to you, it’s only because we couldn’t have gotten away with it just a few years ago. That’s no longer the case today.
Eurasia Group, the world’s largest geopolitical risk consultancy firm, says the 2020 US presidential elections now poses the biggest threat to global stability. One look at current events in America should be enough to explain that assessment.
As if a full-blown pandemic isn’t enough, America’s decidedly loopy political campaign season has added all-out culture wars to an already polarized national life.
News from the US political front on any given evening might contain kidnapping plots, riots, shootings, and an incumbent president threatening to throw political rivals in jail. The world hasn’t seen news cycles like this from America in decades.
Sex and Politics in Trump’s America
Indeed, from healthcare to gun control, economic policy to immigration, there does not seem to be an issue on which Republicans and Democrats can find common ground.
For the rest of the spectating world, the divisions seem startlingly raw and pervasive – at times even vulgar. So much so that inquiring minds have begun to wonder, in the midst of vitriol, confusion, and madcap antics, how deeply the rift runs.
Could it be that the partisan divide is drawn in the bedroom, too? Researchers who surveyed heterosexual couples in 30 U.S. states in 2016 says yes.
The researchers discovered that party politics are a big influence on how American voters choose their partners. Some 70 percent of the twosomes in the surveyed states belonged to the same political party.
Independents seem to enjoy the best of both worlds in this instance. Only one in 10 of the ‘bipartisan’ couples involved a Democrat and Republican pairing.
The remaining 20 percent involved Democrats or Republicans marrying independents.
Who is Having More Sex, Republicans or Democrats?
That birds of the same feather flock together should come as no surprise. There is an entire canon of scientific research dating back to the 1960s that says people tend to be attracted to those who are similar to them.
But that’s not all – far from it, in fact. We don’t just go for people who are like us, we also choose mates who enjoy the same activities as we do.
This standard extends to bedroom activities, too, apparently, and here it seems Republicans usually find more in common with their partners than Democrats. That is, in terms of frequency.
Yes, folks, Republicans are right now having more sex than Democrats. That’s according to the 2018 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey.
The survey says that 77 percent of Republicans do it at least once a week. In comparison, only 68 percent of Democrats could match that frequency.
That was two years ago. The past few months have made it clear that a global pandemic is isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac. So, recently, scientists from the Kinsey Institute set out to learn whether the COVID-19 epidemic has changed anything in the state of the partisan bedroom.
The results of their survey – published last in April in the journal Leisure Sciences– show that Republicans have been more sexually active during lockdown periods than Democrats.
Interestingly, the same study suggests Democrats are more likely to follows social distancing guidelines than their Republican counterparts.
A Reversal of Roles
The findings of the Kinsey Institute study are intriguing in light of a number of previous studies indicating a greater concern for pathogen avoidance among conservatives.
Based on these previous studies, one might expect that Republicans would be less inclined to engage in sexual behavior during a pandemic.
While the researchers can’t offer a definitive explanation as to the apparent reversal of roles, they assume it has to do with disparate political messaging.
In general, liberals have reported more concern about their own health and safety in light of the coronavirus than conservatives.
Research lead Justin Lehmiller attributes this to the Democratic party’s generally more cautious approach to the virus that US President Donald Trump admits to downplaying.
Confidence in their respective parties’ messaging encompasses the partisan psyche, too, it seems, as Democrats and Republicans differ in this area, as well.
Once again, party leadership appears to be the thing that sets the two parties apart.
Trump is nothing if not self-confident about his sexual attractiveness and prerogatives. “What’s the secret of my popularity? Honestly, it’s my looks,” he said in 2015. “I’m very handsome.”
While Democrats like to assert that the US commander-in-chief’s self-confidence is entirely unwarranted, many female Trump supporters seem to believe otherwise, say psychologists.
Modesty, Variety, and the Outdoors
If Trump’s brash self-confidence isn’t a precedent, it’s at least an indication of an attitude that pervades much of the Republican party. Seventy-three percent of the young Republicans who participated in the 2018 SKYN Condoms survey said they are “amazing” or “very good” in the sack – words that Trump has used to describe himself in general.
Democrats and independents were only slightly more modest, though. Some 67 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and 65 percent of libertarians believed themselves to be amazing sexual partners.
The boldness of Republicans is apparently not limited to matters of measuring their sexual performance. They are also quite literally more adventurous when it comes to where they might choose to exercise their vaunted sexual skills.
According to a 2016 analysis conducted by the dating app Clover, conservatives are 50 percent more into doing the dirty in the actual dirt of the outdoors than liberals. So, for every one time a Joe Biden fan gets down in the dirt, five more Trump supporters are doing the deed in the great outdoors.
Not to be outdone, however, liberals are inclined to a different sort of sexual adventure. A separate study conducted the same year says liberals are more likely to try a wider variety of positions and partners, including group sex.
Gender Equality and Sexual Misconduct
But perhaps among the most striking – and most consequential – variance between Republicans and Democrats just might be in their ostensible attitudes toward gender equality.
Over the past few years, congressional Republicans appear to have veered closer and closer toward becoming an all-male conference. If recent polls are accurate, this tendency goes well beyond the number of male Republican lawmakers currently occupying seats in US congress.
Some 38 percent of Republican men think women’s social gains have come at the expense of men, according to a July 2020 Pew Research poll. Only 19 percent of male Democrats are willing to say the same.
Republicans and Democrats have likewise differed in the way they’ve dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct among lawmakers.
In 2017, Al Franken, a Democrat, was run out of the US Senate by members of his own party after several allegations of sexual misconduct went public.
But Franken’s behavior – while stupid and offensive – was strictly minor league when compared to the accusations against then Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
However, far from turning against Moore, who’d been accused of molesting teenage girls, the Republican establishment smeared his accusers and went on to fund his campaign.
The Republican party’s support for Moore, and its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh, another conservative accused of sexual misconduct, has alienated many women voters in the US.
Again, if we are to believe recent polls, that’s bad news indeed for Trump and the Republicans.
In each of the last two presidential contests in the US, women outvoted men by about 10 million ballots. That’s equal to the total number of votes cast in the state of Texas in 2016.
“Women aren’t copying men’s ballots, either,” says author and podcast personality Derek Thompson in an article for The Atlantic. “Even as men have migrated toward the Republican Party, women have become a dependable force for Democrats.”
Whether any of this will actually matter when it’s time to count the votes from the on-going US presidential elections, nobody knows yet.
For now, only time will tell – and on this, at least, most Republicans and Democrats are in agreement.
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