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Study: Similarities and Differences in Beliefs and Behaviors Across Party Lines

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It seems like everywhere we go, we are followed by the specter of political division.  Outside of maybe religion, there is no topic more divisive and polarizing than each person’s political identity.  We can’t turn on the TV or our social media feeds without being inundated with news and opinions that are grounded in politics.  This constant exposure to information and opinions, combined with the increased division between Republicans and Democrats, has amplified a tense atmosphere that has led this current era to be one of the most divisive and (more importantly) stressful in the history of this nation.  We surveyed over 1,000 people from all sides of the political spectrum to find how they defined themselves on a wide range of topics, including: religion, parenting styles, relationships, and sexual proclivities.  While many of these responses predictably differed, we also found some similarities across the political landscape, most notably in the levels of stress and the desire to feel better.

Like individual political identities, parenting styles and situations can differ greatly and, therefore, produce polarizing opinions and heated arguments.  More than 70 percent of the people we surveyed who didn’t have children identified themselves as Democrats.  Inversely, our survey found that parents with larger families (those have 4 or more children) were more likely to be Republican; that percentage increased along with the number of children.  The political identities of parents with one or two children were quite level.  As to the actual style of parenting, nothing divides opinions more than how to punish or correct our children.  According to our survey, nearly 41 percent of Republican respondents admitted to physically punishing their kids versus 33 percent of Independents and only 26 percent of Democrats who participated.

While they don’t tend to be discussed as openly in public, survey questions about sexual preferences also yielded varying responses across the political aisle.  Democrat respondents tended to be more “kinky”; more than 38 percent admitted to participating in kinky activities, while that percentage was lower for Republicans (28.9 percent) and Independents (32.86 percent).  This data lines up with the responses to questions related to fantasizing about co-workers; more than 35 percent of Democrat and Independent survey participants admitted to fantasizing about a co-worker versus just 28 percent of Republican participants.  These numbers were almost identical in responses to questions related to fantasizing about friends.  However, those numbers went the other way in terms of survey participants who admitted to acting on those kinds of impulses: almost 37 percent of Republican respondents admitted to having cheated on a partner at some point, while just 30 percent of Independents and 33 percent of Democrats admitted to the same.  In fact, of the Republican respondents who admitted to infidelity, almost 43 percent said that their affair was with a co-worker.

Responses to questions about religion also highlighted differences between the mainstream political identities.  Religious participation as a whole is waning, which only further widens the chasm between these identities.  While the number of participants who said they go to religious services more than once per week was an almost even split, responses to other religious questions varied from one side of the aisle to another.  Almost 57 percent of respondents who said that they go to religious services once per week were Republican.  This disparity is further reflected in religious beliefs themselves.  While only 8.85 percent of Republican respondents said that they do not believe in God, that percentage was almost 3 times higher for Democrat and Independent participants.  Those trends held true for questions related to the existence of God.  Almost 54 percent of Republicans surveyed claimed to know that God exists, versus just 33 percent of Independents and 31 percent of Democrats.

These differences between political identities even extend to personal finances.  Republicans are not only more likely to invest their money, but 42 percent of participants who said that they invest $10,000 or more also identified as Republican.  On the flip side, only 27 percent of those participants identified as Democrats while 30 percent identified as Independent.  It is not hyperbole to suggest that politics (and the discussion of them) are woven into every fabric of our everyday lives.  All of these subjects matter to us, so we tend to view politics and politicians through the prism of these different facets of life.

It should be no surprise, therefore, that these differences also appear in the realm of health and wellness.  The results of our survey suggest that Democrats tend to be more aware (or self-conscious) of their own body image.  Of those participants who identified as being obese, 72 percent identified as Democrats versus just 28 percent Republicans.

So what does this all mean?  If it feels like we can’t escape politics on a daily basis, that’s probably because we actually can’t.  Political slants and discussions have permeated all aspects of our lives, and that contributes greatly to our stress levels.  Stress affects everyone from all walks of life and political ideologies.  Even though our study lends to the idea that Democrats are more body-conscious, that doesn’t mean that Republicans don’t have body image issues of their own.  After all, of the participants who identified themselves as being at a healthy weight, only 40 percent identified as Republican.  Even though we can’t escape the stress of political divisiveness, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all agree that improving our health and bodies can greatly increase quality of life.  At BodyLogicMD, we strive to provide health and wellness solutions for people from all walks of life and all sides of the political spectrum.  The practitioners within the BodyLogicMD network are highly-trained in areas of anti-aging and regenerative medicine.  Don’t rely on traditional medicine to provide answers to complex issues involving conditions like sexual dysfunction, thyroid disease, and metabolic syndrome.  Contact your nearest BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioner today and start managing your stress from a health and wellness angle.

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