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Old April 10th, 2011, 11:47 AM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia area
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Arrow Useless to talk to a Dem unless you're a Dem?

“The race to become the most powerful politician on earth is well under way, and the US is gripped by election fever. In newsrooms and bars across the land, liberals and conservatives are slugging it out, trying to convince each other that their way of thinking is right. They may be wasting their breath.

“According to an emerging idea, political positions are substantially determined by biology and can be stubbornly resistant to reason. ‘These views are deep-seated and built into our brains. Trying to persuade someone not to be liberal is like trying to persuade someone not to have brown eyes. We have to rethink persuasion,’ says John Alford, a political scientist at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
“Evidence to support this idea is growing….”

Giles J (2008) Are political leanings all in the genes? New Scientist.

I’ve argued in support of this view for several years and a friend, Todd Stark, passed on a comment several days ago:

“I learned about this possibility first from Jim Brody. Ryota Kanai backs him up.
"‘Previously, some psychological traits were known to be predictive of an individual's political orientation,’ said Ryota Kanai of the University College London. ‘Our study now links such personality traits with specific brain structure.’

"‘Individuals who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who call themselves conservative have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat, the researchers say."

The next step is recognizing the foundation to be “genomic imprinting.” That is, the effect of a gene is different depending on the parent who donated it. Males typically bias offspring to be more demanding, active, impulsive, stronger, and blessed with more dental enamel and higher amounts of brown fats. Females bias them to demand the least amount possible from her. Female imprinting is associated with smaller offspring, larger cerebral cortexes, and earlier maturity.

“Female” imprints can, however, might be found in males who go into politics and the news media. (Rush calls them “girly men”!) And male imprints might be found in lady truckers and one Alaskan female politician!

Incidentally, the number of imprinted genes was thought to be about 100: Six months ago, the number was pushed to 1500! And there is a tendency for female imprints to dominate the early phase of life and male imprints take over later….

See also David Haig’s thoughts:

And John Lott’s ideas on sex and government size:
Lott JR & Kenny L (1999) "How Dramatically Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?" (September 1998). Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107, Number 6, Part 1, pp. 1163-1198.
“This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870 to 1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. (emph added, jb) Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.”
Number of Pages in PDF File: 75,
Data available at

Last edited by James Brody; April 10th, 2011 at 11:59 AM..
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conservatives, genomic imprinting, liberals, politics

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