Scientists from Harvard and the University of California San Diego have discovered what they’re calling the “Liberal gene.” Of course, the science behind the finding is more complicated than discovering a tiny vegan gene driving a hybrid with a “Coexist” bumper sticker.
An article published in the Journal of Politics explains that it is a combination of genetic and social history that contributes to Liberalism. A survey of 2,500 adults found that people with a 7R variation of the DRD4 neurotransmitter and an adolescent social history which included ten or more friends are more likely to identify as Liberal as adults. The scientists theorize that DRD4, a gene that has been associated with “novelty seeking,” may make people more open minded and that a larger social network may bring exposure to differing viewpoints.
Professor James Fowler, one of the article’s authors, told the Telegraph that, “It is the crucial interaction of two factors – the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence – that is associated with being more liberal.”
In people without the 7R variation of DRD4, scientists found no correlation between that the number of their high school friends and their adult political identity.
The finding, which may change Republicans’ minds about funding gene therapy, comes from the same the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data set that found that smart kids are more likely to become heavier drinkers.
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