Sex provides a strong and enduring drive in humans, infusing attitudes and influencing behavior far beyond its immediate activity. Issues involving sex are among the most prevalent and divisive in modern political discourse. However, little is known about whether the actual sexual behaviors of the public align with their political values. Using a web-based US sample, we assess the relationship between individual sexual practices and political preferences. We find that those who engage in more traditional sexual behaviors, such as missionary position sex and kissing, generally have more socially conservative attitudes, ideologies, and partisan leanings, while those who engage in more masturbation, more adventurous sex, such as using sex toys, and those who engage in more risky sex, such as having sex with someone they met on the same day, and who have more lifetime partners, generally hold more liberal positions. Though they engage in a narrower band of activities, those with more conservative orientations tend be more satisfied with their sex life. We also find substantial heterogeneity across political attitudinal dimensions. For example, individuals who hold more conservative outgroup/punishment attitudes appear similar to those who hold liberal social attitudes when it comes to risky sex behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Psychology