The politics of mate choice

John R. Alford, Peter K. Hatemi, John R. Hibbing, Nicholas G. Martin, Lindon J. Eaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 47 Citations

Abstract

Recent research has found a surprising degree of homogeneity in the personal political communication network of individuals but this work has focused largely on the tendency to sort into likeminded social, workplace, and residential political contexts. We extend this line of research into one of the most fundamental and consequential of political interactions - that between sexual mates. Using data on thousands of spouse pairs in the United States, we investigate the degree of concordance among mates on a variety of traits. Our findings show that physical and personality traits display only weakly positive and frequently insignificant correlations across spouses. Conversely, political attitudes display interspousal correlations that are among the strongest of all social and biometric traits. Further, it appears the political similarity of spouses derives in part from initial mate choice rather than persuasion and accommodation over the life of the relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-379
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

spouse
correlation
research
political communication
political attitude
persuasion
personality traits
accommodation
politics
interaction
network
individual
data
homogeneity
biometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Alford, J. R., Hatemi, P. K., Hibbing, J. R., Martin, N. G., & Eaves, L. J. (2011). The politics of mate choice. Journal of Politics, 73(2), 362-379. DOI: 10.1017/S0022381611000016

The politics of mate choice. / Alford, John R.; Hatemi, Peter K.; Hibbing, John R.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Eaves, Lindon J.

In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 73, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 362-379.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alford, JR, Hatemi, PK, Hibbing, JR, Martin, NG & Eaves, LJ 2011, 'The politics of mate choice' Journal of Politics, vol 73, no. 2, pp. 362-379. DOI: 10.1017/S0022381611000016
Alford JR, Hatemi PK, Hibbing JR, Martin NG, Eaves LJ. The politics of mate choice. Journal of Politics. 2011 Apr;73(2):362-379. Available from, DOI: 10.1017/S0022381611000016

Alford, John R.; Hatemi, Peter K.; Hibbing, John R.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Eaves, Lindon J. / The politics of mate choice.

In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 73, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 362-379.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f8395f28164543a7a85cfb46069fce87,
title = "The politics of mate choice",
abstract = "Recent research has found a surprising degree of homogeneity in the personal political communication network of individuals but this work has focused largely on the tendency to sort into likeminded social, workplace, and residential political contexts. We extend this line of research into one of the most fundamental and consequential of political interactions - that between sexual mates. Using data on thousands of spouse pairs in the United States, we investigate the degree of concordance among mates on a variety of traits. Our findings show that physical and personality traits display only weakly positive and frequently insignificant correlations across spouses. Conversely, political attitudes display interspousal correlations that are among the strongest of all social and biometric traits. Further, it appears the political similarity of spouses derives in part from initial mate choice rather than persuasion and accommodation over the life of the relationship.",
author = "Alford, {John R.} and Hatemi, {Peter K.} and Hibbing, {John R.} and Martin, {Nicholas G.} and Eaves, {Lindon J.}",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1017/S0022381611000016",
volume = "73",
pages = "362--379",
journal = "Journal of Politics",
issn = "0022-3816",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The politics of mate choice

AU - Alford,John R.

AU - Hatemi,Peter K.

AU - Hibbing,John R.

AU - Martin,Nicholas G.

AU - Eaves,Lindon J.

PY - 2011/4

Y1 - 2011/4

N2 - Recent research has found a surprising degree of homogeneity in the personal political communication network of individuals but this work has focused largely on the tendency to sort into likeminded social, workplace, and residential political contexts. We extend this line of research into one of the most fundamental and consequential of political interactions - that between sexual mates. Using data on thousands of spouse pairs in the United States, we investigate the degree of concordance among mates on a variety of traits. Our findings show that physical and personality traits display only weakly positive and frequently insignificant correlations across spouses. Conversely, political attitudes display interspousal correlations that are among the strongest of all social and biometric traits. Further, it appears the political similarity of spouses derives in part from initial mate choice rather than persuasion and accommodation over the life of the relationship.

AB - Recent research has found a surprising degree of homogeneity in the personal political communication network of individuals but this work has focused largely on the tendency to sort into likeminded social, workplace, and residential political contexts. We extend this line of research into one of the most fundamental and consequential of political interactions - that between sexual mates. Using data on thousands of spouse pairs in the United States, we investigate the degree of concordance among mates on a variety of traits. Our findings show that physical and personality traits display only weakly positive and frequently insignificant correlations across spouses. Conversely, political attitudes display interspousal correlations that are among the strongest of all social and biometric traits. Further, it appears the political similarity of spouses derives in part from initial mate choice rather than persuasion and accommodation over the life of the relationship.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79956194514&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79956194514&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0022381611000016

DO - 10.1017/S0022381611000016

M3 - Article

VL - 73

SP - 362

EP - 379

JO - Journal of Politics

T2 - Journal of Politics

JF - Journal of Politics

SN - 0022-3816

IS - 2

ER -