You’re far more likely to end up married to someone who holds your same political views than someone who votes on the opposite end of the spectrum, a new study says.
The collaborative study from the Journal of Politics notes that individuals do not consciously choose mates with similar political views to them; rather, people seem to end up in politically compatible relationships unconsciously. The study, which surveyed thousands of married couples, found that looks, personality and other seemingly important behaviors and traits weren’t as strongly shared by both members in a couple as political views. In fact, researchers found that people “placed more emphasis on finding a mate who is a kindred spirit with regard to politics, religion and social activity” than on other more surface-level qualities.
“The study found couples value shared
political beliefs over looks or personality.”
Researchers also found that political beliefs played a very strong role in many aspects of their respondents’ lives. Individuals are more likely to align politically with the region they live in, with their friends and with both their co-workers and their job itself, according to the study.
The study notes this corresponds with their finding that political agreement occurs very early in a relationship, debunking the notion partners begin to pattern each other’s political beliefs over the time they spend together.
Researchers wrote that even though “inter-spousal persuasion” certainly exists in a marriage, it doesn’t seem to impact political views, ultimately concluding that “marriage works largely to reinforce the ongoing ideological polarization that we see so clearly today.”