Is Political Identity Related to Androgens and Estrogens?
Is there a Meaningful Correlation Between Political Ideology and Biological Sex (and Related Hormones)?
One could argue that left-wing is a manifestation of the feminine, and right-wing of the masculine, metaphorically. But, what if its more than just a metaphor?
What if sex steroids like testosterone and estrogen have a direct relation to political identity on an individual and group level (where those who tend toward the male characteristics such as aggression tend toward the right on average, and those with the female characteristics such as compassion tend toward the left on average).
This would explain the historic two-way-ish split in politics, just as sex steroids already explain the two-way-ish split in the sexes (where in both cases there is a roughly binary option with countless in-between positions that exist in a “spectrum” in both sex and politics).
I can’t put this forward as anything more than a loose speculative hypothesis based on armchair reasoning (specifically informal abduction, induction, and deduction). With that said, I’m very confident proper study would show this is a correct and stupidly obvious theory somewhere behind the hypothesis (one that our ancestors have long tried to drill into our heads from their armchairs via myths and stories).
NOTE: Further one could ask, “what if other biological chemicals, for example serotonin, affect political ideology as well?” This, like with hormones, could also help explain why political identity sometimes changes with age. This page is about putting forth these questions, not seeking definite answers.
NOTE: See the citations. There is plenty of studies on or related to this… but I don’t want to point to a study and say “see what they say here,” I want to put this forward as a clear hypothesis based on reasoning alone.
Put simply, what if 1. the right-wing is the embodiment of Mars and the masculine, the left-wing of Venus and the feminine in general and 2. what if this literally relates to sex steroids (androgens and estrogen) and their neurological effects?
In essence, what if sex steroids [at least partly] explain why:
- The left tends to err toward qualities such as liberty, equality, democracy, sensitivity, fairness, empathy, and related emotions.
- And, the right tends to err toward qualities such as authority, order, monarchy, honor, rationalism, strength, and related emotions.
TIP: See the image below for more insight into the social and classical left and right.
Here I don’t mean to imply that people are cartoon characters or that the left is never manly or the right has no feminine qualities (I mean, Marx’s beard is pretty is probably a little more manly than Hitler’s well-manicured stache for example; joke).
Rather, I’m imply that this split would represent two pigments would color the complex portraits of people we find in-practice. Where each person is a mix of the masculine and feminine, and each political ideology sees a mix of types under its archetypical umbrella (it isn’t like all the masculine follow one ideology; rather, that quality would just be dominate in the ideology on average and that ideology would be a manifestation of that type).
If that is true, then like with any other fundamental dichotomy, each force is meant to balance each other (just like it is with the genders or any other two forces like this; physical or philosophical).
TIP: The Aristotelian table below will help illustrate what the way in which balance is the key in a two way split:
|SPHERE OF ACTION||MALE – RIGHT||TEMPERED LEFT-RIGHT MEAN||FEMALE – LEFT|
|In-Group / out-Group||Individuals||Respect for Both||Collectives|
|Sense and Sensibility||Logic and Reason (Realism, Sense)||Hume’s Fork||Empathy and Morality (Idealism, Sensibility)|
|Strictness||Order||Principled and lawful||Freedom|
With the above in mind, one could state logically: An overly maculated or overly feminized society is a society out-of-balance. And likewise, the proper position is the position that ensures balance.
That likely means erring toward the male on some issues and toward the female on others. This DOES NOT mean a totally equal distribution of power or the favoring of on type in general without a well-reasoned justification. It DOES however mean not letting the stronger dominate the weaker in general (where who is the stronger can differ per-issue and with the times).
That also means not demonizing the other political side of the coin any more than you would the opposite gender. What if truly understanding this means WWII with its hyper maculated fascists and feminized communists would have never happened to the degree it did (as trying to destroy the other sex is a fools errand).
What if literally the chemicals our body releases in the process of sexual differentiation and generally throughout life literally shapes our neurology and this has a political effect? It would explain why the two party system seems naturally arising. It would explain many world wars and conflicts, and it would give a half-answer to the solution that wasn’t rooted in political science, but in natural science.
The informal theory (behind the speculative hypothesis) seems so obvious. It is clearly a solid philosophical metaphor (as we have long known), but what if it is actual science? I won’t try to prove it, instead I’ll leave the questions floating in the air and point to more discussion on the topic such as: the left and right are naturally occurring, liberal’s and conservative’s brains are different, the gender spectrum, and the political spectrum.
NOTE: I would argue that people don’t always exhibit the qualities they identify with. Rather, I would assume that people have different reasons for identifying with an ideology. They may seek to protect that group, they may yearn to belong to that group, or they may realize a deficit in their own character and seek balance in the opposite group for example.
- Facial Structure May Predict Endorsement of Racial Prejudice
- Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives
- Differences in Conservative and Liberal Brains – 2012
- Differences in Conservative and Liberal Brains – 2016
- Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults
- Biology and political orientation
- Red brain, blue brain: evaluative processes differ in Democrats and Republicans
- Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism
- Social Justice and Social Order: Binding Moralities across the Political Spectrum
- Differences in negativity bias underlie variations in political ideology
- Does testosterone affect political views
- Your Hormones Tell You How to Vote The scientific search is on for the chemical cocktail that makes you vote Republican (or Democrat).
- The Stress of Politics Endocrinology and Voter Participation
"Is Political Identity Related to Androgens and Estrogens?" is tagged with: Left–right Politics, Sex. Gender. and Sexuality
Hi, as we probably both know the concept of feedback loop, I think that blurs the lines of whether a determinate trait or behaviour is natural and whether what is deemed as masculine or feminine is of cultural or biological origin as we know there is policing in many forms, bullying, social pressures that tend to correct behaviours “deviating” from the social gender binary, which is not to be confused, note, with the conception that there are just two sexes and no inbetween (biological binarism), which is in turn different from another conception (often strawmanned as “Tumblr deluded”) that there are some not better identified thirt or fourth sex or gender identity.
As we note that one can wear lipstick or makeup and identify as male, be it straight, gay or bi or trans. 🙂
Very interesting topics and nuances btw.