posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 02:51 AM
According to a new study published in The American Political Science Review
, our political ideologies could be coded into our DNA. This
doesn't mean that we are born Republican or Democrat, but it could mean that we are born conservative or progressive.
But on the basis of a new study, a team of political scientists is arguing that people's gut-level reaction to issues like the death penalty, taxes
and abortion is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance. The new research builds on a series of studies that indicate that people's general
approach to social issues - more conservative or more progressive - is influenced by genes.
It is not that opinions on specific issues are written into a person's DNA. Rather, genes prime people to respond cautiously or openly to the mores of
a social group.
"When people talk about the political debate becoming increasingly ugly, they often blame talk radio or the people doing the debating, but they've got
it backward," Dr. Alford said. "These genetically predisposed ideologies are polarized, and that's what makes the debate so nasty.
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I find this study to be very intriguing, and I imagine that those charged with finding new tactics to gain political support for their interests do
too. It's amazing to me that so many of the character traits we assumed were freely chosen, or influenced by our environment and upbringing, may
instead be a result of our genetic makeup.