Transmission of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights: Effects of genes, social learning and mate selection

Lindon J. Eaves, Peter K. Hatemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The biological and social transmission of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights are analyzed in a large sample of adult twins, siblings, and their parents. We present a linear model for family resemblance allowing for both genetic and cultural transmission of attitudes from parents to offspring, as well as phenotypic assortative mating (the tendency to marry like) and other environmental sources of twin and sibling resemblance that do not depend on the attitudes of their parents. The model gives a close fit to the patterns of similarity between relatives for the two items. Results are consistent with a substantial role of genetic liability in the transmission of both attitudes. Contrary to the dominant paradigm of the social and political sciences, the kinship data are consistent with a relatively minor non-genetic impact of parental attitudes on the development of adult attitudes in their children. By contrast, the choice of mate is a social action that has a marked impact on the polarization of social attitudes and on the long-term influence that parents exert upon the next generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

Fingerprint

abortion (animals)
Marriage
learning
assortative mating
gene
kinship
liability
Genes
Parents
genes
polarization
Siblings
adult development
effect
rights
Social Learning
Sexual Minorities
mating behavior
Linear Models
linear models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

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Transmission of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights : Effects of genes, social learning and mate selection. / Eaves, Lindon J.; Hatemi, Peter K.

In: Behavior Genetics, Vol. 38, No. 3, 01.05.2008, p. 247-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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