Male McCain Voters Saw Testosterone Levels Drop When He Lost

Saturday, October 24, 2009

While it may not quite reach the level of biological imperative, men do feel a physiological need to see their candidate win the presidency. The results of the 2008 election caused men who voted for Republican John McCain to experience a loss of testosterone, while their male counterparts supporting Democrat Barack Obama did not. According to data analyzed by researchers at Duke University and the University of Michigan, “male voters exhibit biological responses to the realignment of a country’s dominance hierarchy as if they participated in an interpersonal dominance contest.”

Participants in the study provided saliva samples when polls closed on the East Coast on Election Night and then when Barack Obama was declared the winner and again 20 and 40 minutes later. They also gave samples the day before and the day after the election.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Dominance, Politics, and Physiology: Voters' Testosterone Changes on the Night of the 2008 United States Presidential Election (by Steven J. Stanton, Jacinta C. Beehner, Ekjyot K. Saini, Cynthia M. Kuhn, and Kevin S. LaBar, PLos ONE)


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