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Genetic Influences on Political Ideologies

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Shultziner, Doron. ‘Genes and politics: A new explanation and evaluation of twin study results and association studies in political science.’ Political Analysis 21.3 (2013): 350-367.

The study done on twins, specifically identical twins to determine if in fact they inherit and exhibit similar traits. The study focuses whether they vote liberal or conservative, and their voting turnout which associates political traits with their genetics. There physical traits are then compared to their political traits to determine if they actually share every identical trait by asking questions that pinpoint their disagreements to evaluate if their traits are also based on the environment they grew up in. Commonly, identical twins grow up in the same environment so it is likely that they will agree on the same research questions and allows the study to uncover that their genes are monozygous. This ties back to how our political views are behavioral traits that lead us to vote on the political spectrum. We can show with this study how nature vs. nurture is a big factor because the twins inherit and learn political views from their surroundings.

Murray, Gregg R. ’15. Mass political behavior and biology.’ Handbook of Biology and Politics (2017): 247-249.

Genopolitics is explained as a causal relationship between genes and behaviors due to individual experiences in personal environments, but also that the political attitudes are genetically influenced. Biologically, genes influence the neurological functions that control the emotional systems of the human body, and as a child grows the genes operate and are shown. Once it is time for human interaction, the body processes the genetic information and political information is released which can be observed through polls and voting turnout of the individual being studied. This relates to my theory that personalities are inherited traits because political views passed down in families influence the newest generation. Furthermore, once the individual is out in the political world, the voter has the ability to express their political socialization.

Kumar, Disha. ‘Nature Vs. Nurture of Politics.’ Catalyst, Rice Undergraduate Science Research Journal (2013).

Kumar begins by raising the question based on if political views platform from year of education received by the individual. Also, that political views come from environmental influences such as family and the media. However, genetics play a big role due to perhaps our one’s family heritage may favor powerful governments which may be conservative views or weaker governments that can be liberal views. Here is where nature vs. nurture debate rises because a combination of genes can influence party identification, but also the environment may have a larger role in political preference. This ties back to the theory that political identification draws from both influences because there cannot be just one factor that establishes where one stand in their political realm. Factors such as genes, upbringing, and what one views on a daily basis creates the view of one person, but the combinations are endless.

Shostak, Sara, and Jason Beckfield. ‘Making a case for genetics: Interdisciplinary visions and practices in the contemporary social sciences.’ Genetics, Health and Society. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. 95-125.

This piece of information gives insight into gene-environment interactions that engage with genomics that maps the methodology of a human. What is measured is the social environment that one interacts in and analyzes if the combination of genes and the environment give direction to political behavior. In the treatment, the neighborhoods, school, nation, and culture are sets of measurements to research the interactions of human to environment to genes. Specific to my proposal, it is important to consider the social factor that a human encounters because people assimilate to their surroundings. If genes propose a particular view, but the society has an opposing view, do they change their polarization? This can lead to partisan realignment down the line when views are dynamic in the environment.

Bernabel, Rodolpho, and Amâncio Jorge Oliveira. ‘Conservatism and Liberalism Predict Stimulus-Response Performance in Two Non-Ideological Cognitive Tasks.’ (2014).

In this paper, neropolitics is introduced to raise the concern if conservatives and liberals have physiological differences and traits. In the study done of both ideologies, it is shown that political attitudes or preferences demonstrate a neurological reaction. Neither ideology outperforms the other, but their reaction to their ideology shows how their brains behave. It is noted that conservative reacted to negative stimuli over liberals who reacted to larger effects. In my paper, I want to incorporate brain function on both sides of the political spectrum. Although we can prove that genes play a big role, there has to be a correlation seen commonly in brain reactivity on each side. Conservative families should react or choose the same ideologies and must be seen frequently, likewise on the liberal side.

Judis, John B. “Are Political Beliefs Predetermined at Birth?” The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2014, newrepublic.com/article/119794/genopolitics-social-science-and-origin-political-beliefs.

With data used from the article, “Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted,” Judis explains that there are differences between conservatives and liberals by genetic inheritance. Yes or No survey questions about their preference on numerous subjects were asked to find correlations to see if differences are deeper than just their personal culture, and more so if their decisions are the brain using genetic receptors to answer the questions. A survey would prove their theory would display that their answers derive from traits passed through generations, but there is not a “liberal” or “conservative” trait. Those common traits are numerous amounts of genes passed down that allow political behaviors to be noticed. Political scientists for years have been trying to prove that genopolitics is valid, and their correlations in times like our current administration allow these traits to be more noticeable than ever before.   


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