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There is a "Tl;dr" at the bottom of the post. Read the "Tl;dr" for a summary.

Disclaimer. I probably should add a sort of disclaimer, in order to avoid controversy amongst readers. This is and always will be a generalisation and in no way is meant to suggest that all men are interested in politics and all women are not-interested in politics. Furthermore, some points made are generalisations and so are not true of all people. They are used to simplify the argument. This post seeks to understand why this difference exists and not to marginalise or offend any group of people. Also, I might have to avoid political correctness, instead opting for relevance and truth. This post is just for discussion and does not necessarily reflect the writer's views or the views of anyone the writer quotes. For anyone not interested in reading the point I make, there is a Tl;dr at the bottom of the post which summarises everything.


With all that out of the way, it needs to be established whether men are more interested in participating in politics than women. Participating can mean anything from becoming a member of the government to voting. I've read some articles on this and it seems so. I've listed below some links:

There is clearly a discrepancy but this question specifically seeks to understand why there is a difference. One possible explanation is given in the Penguin publication of "The Red Queen" by Matt Ridley:

Power-seeking is a characteristic of all social mammals... Wealth, cunning and political skill and experience lead to power among men... The six independent "civilizations" of early history - Babylon, Egypt, India, China, the Aztecs and the Inca ... were all ruled by men... whose power was arbitrary and absolute. The vast accumulation of power was always, without exception, translated into prodigious sexual productivity... The Indian emperor Udayama preserved sixteen thousand consorts in apartments ringed by fire and guarded by eunuchs.

Obviously, this is in no way similar to modern society today and completely disregards women's rights. In modern times, infidelity is considered immoral and is frowned upon. However, the willingness to have multiple partners, when presented the opportunity, still exists in men, albeit no man strives to have sixteen thousand consorts, instead quoting Ridley:

The best they can hope for now is a good-looking younger mistress and a devoted wife who is traded in every decade or so.

This can be seen in the love-life of the UK's current Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson or Boris Johnson, whom has had affairs and divorced but also being current Prime Minister has lots of power. Here are some links supporting the fact he has had at least two affairs but potentially more:

I should now mention this doesn't reflect whether I support or don't support the current leader of the United Kingdom, instead I am simply using him as a relevant example.

This is a very relevant BBC article talking generally about leader's affairs and the public's perception.


As a side note, anyone interested in human nature should read "The Red Queen" it is extremely interesting, relevant and honest about why and how the two sexes evolved and the reason why this occurred: due to diseases. The study of human nature is an evolving field.


Tl;dr: Above, I established the idea that there is a difference in interest and I stated one reason why men may be more interested in politics: sexual competition. Are there any other reasons why men are more interested in politics than women?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm more interested in a summary of the articles you cite than everything else you wrote. What exactly is stated in them; could you add the most relevant quotes? What did you learn from reading them, and what questions are still left? Listing a couple of affairs of politicians is highly anecdotal and I do not see how it strengthens your hypothesis. What about all the people that aren't politicians that are having affairs? Instead, what makes you believe politicians are more likely to behave in such a way? (or just drop it from your question; at most, it is a bad answer now) $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris May 27 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ It's true the politician example is anecdotal. I have included relevant quotes from the book and the links are their if you want to read them. If I included the relevant quotes from the articles, this post would become too long. $\endgroup$ – user32575 2 days ago

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