Left wing liberals are born not made.

Pinko Liberal gene discovered! I wonder if I have it? Ge here. My suspicion is we are actually mutants. Thanks to John Rathbone and Telegraph.

Researchers have discovered that the "liberal gene" opens you up to new ideas and alternative lifestyles – and could influence your belief in left wing politics.

The findings may mean that liberals are born not made – although it is exacerbated if you an individual is popular during his or her young formative years.

The Liberal Gene is a "transmitter" in the brain called DRD4 which is connected to a chemical called dopamine, known as the reward currency of the brain.

When those with the gene are socially outgoing they seek out and are "rewarded" by other people's points of view, far more than they might be without the gene.

This suggests they are more open minded and tend to form less conventional political viewpoints as adults – especially if they have a socially active adolescence, says the study.

The research by scientists from the University of California and Harvard looked at 2,000 Americans.

It is published in the Journal of Politics.

It found those with a strain of the DRD4 gene seek out "novelty" – such as people and lifestyles which are different to the ones they are used to.

This leads them to have more liberal opinions, politically, it found.

The person's age, ethnicity, gender or culture appeared to make no difference – it was the gene which counts.

DRD4 is controlled by dopamine which affects the way the brain deals with emotions, pleasure and pain and can therefore influence personality traits.


wombat said…
Talk about desperate to get published!

Given that the gene leads it's carriers to seek novelty it would also seem to lead those living in a liberal society to see the opposite i.e. authoritarianism, oppression of minorities etc.

Will it lead its carriers to try and stop from passing it on to their children now that its been discovered?

They will want their children to be different won't they and probably be in favour of eugenics anyway.

Never mind - a debunking paper will be along shortly.kwart
Paul P. Mealing said…
Hi Stephen,

It's not a new idea that our political tendencies are encoded into our genes, though I've never heard of the 'DRD4 gene' before.

Whilst almost all of our 'traits' are a product of the interaction of genes and environments, it's now well established from twin studies that there are 5 basic personality traits that are genetically influenced, if not actually determined.

New Scientist published an article on this, specifically in a political context, a couple of years ago, and I wrote something on it in response.

Regards, Paul.
Paul Mealing, that is not at all correct.

Personality and traits (and especially behaviour) are largely shaped by life experience.

I doubt any research could determine if there was a genetic component to personality in principal because there is no possibility of a control or comparative study.

After all, you cannot get people with no personality or without genes, or people without life experience.

Certainly, society creates criminals, serial killers and even shapes law-abiding bankers.

Thats the Truth.
tashacatt said…
dear sad wombat: you missed the point! No it wouldn't lead them to want fascism etc. for the "novelty" It means that they aren't ruled by fear of the unknown or easily stirred up by hate messages, but have a strong desire to feel that the world is fair and just; it makes you happy not to crush others. Try imagining it? oh no, you're too busy sneering at "liberals". I don't know why I bother; guess it's in my genes to want to help you.
Hugo said…


"The most striking behaviour genetics finding, however, is the 1999 finding by Eaves et al. showing that conservatism/Leftism is even more hereditary than how tall you are."