It's all in our genes

So say the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston. In a session called "The Science of Politics", Rose McDermott, professor of political science at Brown University argues that genetics can influence your political choices.

Apperantly it won't make you plump for Sinn Fein or Fianna Fail but it will tend you towards conservatism or liberalism.

I'm not sure just how realistic this is

I'm thinking about my own family for a minute. My Mother's family have been in Dromintee for hundreds of years, my Father's family from Dundalk for about the same time.

My Mother's family have always been rooted to the land. Farmers with the occasional auctioneer or butcher thrown in for good measure but always linked to the land. From what I can tell from talking to older relatives, old stories and research a Conservative Catholic group of people with an inherent disregard for outside involvement in their lives and very loyal to the Church. Hardly surprising coming from Dromintee in South Armagh.

Next my Father's family. Always linked to industrial work be it factory workers, Dockers etc. Catholic but with a very liberal streak and a dislike for authority be it Church or State. Very individualistic and very open to emigration be it Germany, Australia, Chicago, Boston. I probably have more paternal family abroad than I do in Ireland.

How does this relate to my own Politics? My Mother is a stereotypical Rocks and my Father the same for Gaskin. Up until a few years ago I would have said I was a mixture of both but the last couple of years I would certainly link myself much more with my Mother's family in terms of values.

That said I have three Brothers and as the eldest I am the only one who is really politically minded or religious, the youngest who is only 15 is an avowed agnostic who refuses to participate in school prayer because he "doesn't fully believe the words and is not prepared to sully his integrity". The weird bit is that he is also the top student in Religion.

That said I digress. Most of my social circle is very firmly liberal, atheist, feminist and more often than not left leaning.

I'm the only one in the group who is socially conservative and authoritarian so I'm forced to believe that your political propensity is linked to much more than genes. I'm sure nature and nurture have a big part to play but I don't believe you will ever find the one path that shows you why someone believes what they do.

It doesn't exist.

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