Genetic attributions: Sign of intolerance or acceptance?

Stephen P. Schneider, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Hibbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many scholars argue that people who attribute human characteristics to genetic causes also tend to hold politically and socially problematic attitudes. More specifically, public acceptance of genetic influences is believed to be associated with intolerance, prejudice, and the legitimation of social inequities and laissez-faire policies. We test these expectations with original data from two nationally representative samples that allow us to identify the American public’s attributional patterns across 18 diverse traits. Key findings are (1) genetic attributions are actually more likely to be made by liberals, not conservatives; (2) genetic attributions are associated with higher, not lower, levels of tolerance of vulnerable individuals; and (3) genetic attributions do not correlate with unseemly racial attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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