Liberalism, Atheism, & Sexual Exclusivity Among Males Linked To Higher IQ

Here’s a fun fact reported by CNN to help make a few conservative heads explode:

Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

When we see the tea baggers how can there be any question that they are bringing down the average intelligence of their side? Even beyond them, it is hardly a surprise that there is some tendency for intelligent people to be the ones who accept ideas beyond those which are more conventionally held. The more intelligent might come to different answers as to belief in God, but it is the more intelligent who will even consider such questions as opposed to following what they have been taught.

There’s no question that there are intelligent people who are conservative and religious. However, being conservative at present by the American definition generally means accepting many claims that are factually untrue, believing a revisionist history of the United States, accepting “Voodoo Economics” in place of actual economics, and rejecting modern science. While there are clearly limitations to this study, there really should be no question that there will be a tendency, even if not absolute, for intelligent people to tend to be more liberal.When many in the conservative movement reject intelligence as elitism and pride themselves on their know-nothing attitude, this can only lead to the results seen.

These results are also not surprising  as numerous studies have demonstrated that more educated people are now voting Democratic as opposed to Republican. Education has become the strongest predictor of  partisan preference over the past decade. The correlation to both political and religious views is consistent with polls showing  that frequency of church attendance also predicts support for Republicans. Studies have also showed that scientists support Democrats over Republicans by large margins.

Sexual exclusivity is harder to explain by evolutionary science:

For men, on the other hand, sexual exclusivity goes against the grain evolutionarily. With a goal of spreading genes, early men had multiple mates. Since women had to spend nine months being pregnant, and additional years caring for very young children, it made sense for them to want a steady mate to provide them resources.

On the other hand, haven’t some of the actions by Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and John Edwards ever caused you to question their intelligence?

Update: A commenter has provided the link to the actual study which has a far more blunt title than the CNN report: Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent


  1. 1
    DavidL says:

    So is Charles Murray right, that itteligence is both measurable and inportant?

  2. 2
    cognitive dissident says:

    The actual study, titled “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent,” is even blunter than how it was presented in the CNN piece…it’s a good read. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis was invoked to suggest that “more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values than less intelligent individuals.”

    You don’t have to be smart to go long with the herd by parrot the conservative status-quo opinions, but some brains help if you’re bucking trends and espousing something more avant-garde…

  3. 3
    TheYoungLib says:

    I wrote an article about this earlier, it is a statiscally measurable diference. However, some then make the argument that it’s not stastically measurable as it pertains to IQ and suggest that IQ is not an accurate enough way of determining and defining inteligence. But they can lick me, it’s a large enough defierence to look for causation. The causation being, that their” measurably” retarded.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Liberalism & Atheism linked to higher IQ. Just like studies showing scientists and more educated support Dems #p2

  5. 5
    superiormind says:

    Clearly this study is the final nail in the coffin for the intellectually deficient. I believe the time has come for those of us who are enlightened to move to assuming complete and total power. Those who are less intelligent need us to guide them toward the light. They are really unable to make decisions for themselves. Its time we expel them from public office and take away their right to vote. We should also move to keep such people from any positions of influence or where they can put we liberals at risk. Perhaps they can be relegated to menial labor or in a servant capacity where their intellegence levels are suitable. We must be the wise shepherds tending to the ignorant sheep. And in time we must recognize the need for population control as frankly they breed like rabbits and there are too many of them already.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:


    Your misinterpretation of this article and even worse your recommendations based upon the article sound what would be expected from a conservative not a liberal. The most likely explanation is that you must be one of those low IQ conservatives and managed to somehow misinterpret the article to be claiming that it is conservatives with the higher education. 🙂

  7. 7
    TonyN says:

    Superiormind = Adolf Hitler.

    Go live in a country that puts walls, fences and barbed wire fences, along with guard towers with snipers to KEEP PEOPLE IN.  Your elitist views are not intellectual, but tyrannical.  I would love to be in the same room where you attempt to speak.  Clearly, you ARE the smartest person in the room and would love to squash any dissenting opinions.

    People like you should not only stop voting, but please do us all a favor and not bring offspring into this world.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    I don’t believe Superiormind was being serious. I interpreted the comment as taking this article to utterly irrational extremes as a means of criticizing it.

  9. 9
    superiormind says:

    precisely my point

  10. 10
    superiormind says:

    the study itself is so utterly stupid that to lend it any credence is beyond ridiculous.

  11. 11
    Go Dog says:

    Most interestingly, I think this is the third or fourth study to have reached similar conclusions. I recall one about three years ago by the University of Edinburgh analyzing IQ results of 10 year-olds in the 1980’s, then comparing them to political values in their 30’s. Liberalism (and some other traits, such as left-handedness IIRC) were statistically projectable.
    I think CNN may have tempered the article to keep from alienating their readership – The difference of 11 points is HUGE. But we should remember that this is volatile stuff and no one should ever “gloat” about it: All men are created equal. That’s important.

  12. 12
    ChristianRightWingConservative says:

    “When we see the tea baggers how can there be any question that they are bringing down the average intelligence of their side?”  When you say “tea baggers”, do you mean those who engage in “the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion…”  or do mean something else?
    Would it be fair to say that “being” progressive “at present by the American definition generally means accepting many claims that are factually untrue…”?  For instance, the claim that many millions of additional people can be given health insurance and/or healthcare for less money than is now being spent on health insurance and/or healthcare certainly seems to be a factually inaccurate claim (I submit it seems to be much worse than that, but I’ll settle for factually inaccurate).

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Actually you are showing that it is conservatives who believe factually incorrect things in the way you repeat this false claim.

    Progressives are not saying it will cost less with the current health care legislation. It will cost more, but it this is money worth spending. There are also items in the health care reform legislation which will help reduce the rate of growth of health care spending.

    The other argument which many on the left make is that if we went to a single payer system we could cover everyone for less than we are spending now, which is factually correct due to the amount of overhead spent by the insurance industry. However if we keep the current hybrid system it will cost more.

  14. 14
    ChristianRightWingConservative says:

    I will stipulate that perhaps “Progressives are not saying it will cost less with the current health care legislation.”  However, it still seems ridiculous to me (and I’m not alone) to claim as fact “if we went to a single payer system we could cover everyone for less than we are spending now.”  That MIGHT be the case, but no one knows.  You don’t know, Paul Krugman doesn’t know, Tom Sowell doesn’t know, and I certainly don’t know.  We do know that the US Federal Government hasn’t given anyone much reason to believe them especially capable of  minimizing overhead, and/or administrative costs.
    What about my first question?  Are you demonstrating the generally superior intelligence of those on the left by saying those with whom you disagree like to dangle their balls in each others’ mouths?

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are using strawman arguments again, as in your first comment, attacking arguments which nobody is making as opposed to the actual liberal positions. Of course it MIGHT be the case that we could cover everyone for less than we are spending now with a single payer plan. It is impossible to say 100% that it will happen without the specifics of the plan. The point is that it is possible to do this.

    You are wrong in saying “the US Federal Government hasn’t given anyone much reason to believe them especially capable of minimizing overhead, and/or administrative costs.” Overhead for Medicare is 2-3%. Overhead for private insurance is around 25% to 40%.

    One example of the far greater efficiency of a single payer model versus private insurance is with the comparison of Medicare Advanage plans to the government Medicare plan. As of last year it was costing 13% to 19% more to care for Medicare patients in private MA plans than thru the government plan despite the fact that the MA plans have the advantage that other private plans don’t have of being able to pay off of the Medicare fee schedule. Besides requiring large subsidies, many of these plans are going under, and others are charging beneficiearies much more in premiums and out of pocket expenses this year compared to last year.

    In addition, having to deal with multiple insurance plans is a major expense in medical offices. Overhead to bill to Medicare is very inexpensive compared to what it costs to handle the variety of private plans. Conservatives claim that malpractice reform would be a solution to the health care crisis when this would only reduce health care costs by around two to five percent. Eliminating the need to deal with multiple plans would cut my office overhead by far more than the cost of malpractice insurance.

    As for your first question, if you cannot figure out what “tea baggers” means in the context here this would be yet another demonstration of lower intelligence. Understanding words in the context used is one sign of intelligence.

  16. 16
    ChristianRightWingConservative says:

    Man, I feel like I am justified with regard to my sense that my relative intelligence is higher than that of the average American (even considering my lack of a PhD), but I certainly can’t prove it.  Let’s say I “cannot figure out what ‘tea baggers’ means in the context here.”  In what way (given my inferior intelligence) is this “another demonstration of lower intelligence?”  After all, I am only 1 in a million.  Is it possible that others (the VERY few who are in agreement with me) might claim something like the following:  “Some folks who claim the term/phrase ‘tea bagger’ means something like: ‘the VERY select few with whom progressives disagree'”?  Is it even possible that those (VERY SELECT FEW) might claim something like the following:  “‘Tea Bagger’ is a term that refers both to folks with whom progressives disagree (as a derogatory term), as well as to folks (sexual degenerates?) who like to dangle their testicles over [and perhaps in and out of] the mouths of other ‘tea baggers’
    If it, in fact, turns out to be the case that, “Overhead for Medicare is 2-3%. Overhead for private insurance is around 25% to 40%.”, then what does that “prove”?  I submit this proves only that “Overhead for Medicare is 2-3%. Overhead for private insurance is around 25% to 40%.”  I also submit (keep in mind that the likelihood that my intelligence is almost certainly inferior to most progressives) this proves very little, with regard to THE WAY THINGS ACTUALLY ARE.  (forgive the bits of mistaken grammar, and/or the emphasis given to claims which (might be) are mistaken. WORD, YO.

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    It shows that a single payer plan similar to Medicare would have far lower overhead, allowing us to deliver health care to more people for the same price. Plus if health care spending in the private sector was more in line with Medicare’s record premiums on the individual market wouldn’t be jumping by over 30% in many areas this year.

  18. 18
    Lon Ball says:

    Teabaggers is an interesting and perhaps volatile phenomenon in a grand way that can give us some modicum of hope in this corporatist country.  See:
    Could it be that the Teabaggers, originally a PR invention of the Republican Party, could take on a life of its own and truly evolve to be a populist social movement to destroy the illusion of the Two Party System??

  19. 19
    Lon Ball says:

    Also, the general idea of eugenics, that ChristianrightwingConservative parodies did not originate in MeinKampf but in the USA Ivy League colleges with people like Lothrop Stoddard, Harvard, long before Hitler wrote his book.  Stoddard met with Hitler.  Eugenics is based on what the Quakers term as “intellectual pride”, pride being one of the cardinal sins.  Could technocracy be a dark as plutocracy and theocracy?

  20. 20
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  21. 21
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