Recent studies have shown that variation in political attitudes and participation can be attributed to both genes and the environment. This finding raises the question of why genes matter to participation, and by which pathways. Two hypotheses suggest that feelings of civic duty and sense of political efficacy intermediate the relationship between genes and political participation and, thus, that these traits have a common heritable component. If so, how robust are the relationships across cultural contexts? Utilizing two new twin studies on political traits, one in Denmark and one in the United States, we show that the heritability of political participation and political efficacy is remarkably similar across cultures. Moreover, most of the covariation between efficacy and political participation is accounted for by a common underlying genetic component.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science