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New Study: Bad Smells Lead to Anti-Gay Marriage Views

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday May 20, 2014

Could B.O., bad breath and the smell of trash be the real reason why so many conservatives oppose marriage rights for same-sex couples?

A strange new study found that gross smells apparently cause people to be less supportive of same-sex marriage, the New Republic reports.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by a group of psychologists and political scientists from the University of Arkansas. The team discovered that people are less likely to support gay marriage if they are in an odorous environment.

Political science professor Patrick Stewart and his team recruited 57 people and had them answer questions about their social and political views in a normal room or a stinky room. The researchers added drops of butyric acid, the chemical know for giving vomit its rank smell, on cotton pads placed around the room.

According to the results of the research, those places in the disgusting smelling room were less accepting of same-sex marriage. They also were more conservative on a number of issues, including premarital sex, porn and abortion.

"It is possible that exposure to a disgusting odorant caused increased feelings of disgust, which in turn activated the harm avoidance system and motivated a desire for purity (cleanliness)," the research says.


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