The Sciences

Liberals vs. conservatives, smart vs. dull

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNov 26, 2011 6:57 PM

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One of the things I'm interested in is the perception by some that self-identified conservatives can mobilize better as a collective unit on the American political scene. To test that proposition I often poke around the General Social Survey. For example, it seems to be a common assumption among many liberals that women tend to be more supportive of abortion rights than men. This isn't born out by the GSS data. There's no sex difference. Until you correct for ideology. It turns out that among liberals women are more supportive of abortion rights...while among conservatives men are more supportive of abortion rights! If people socialize only with their own ideological subset then the perception of the relationship between sex and ideological opinions will differ a great deal. Below I decided to attempt to ascertain differences between liberals and conservatives on "hot button" issues as a function of intelligence. I used WORDSUM to probe this. I classed those who scored 0-5 as dull, those who scored 6-8 as not dull, and those who scored 9 and 10 as smart. I also limited the sample to the year 2000 and later, and only non-Hispanic whites. I'll give you the results without comment.

LiberalsConservatives

Abortion for any reason acceptable

YesYes

Dull4629

Not Dull6527

Smart7926

Homosexual relations

Always wrongAlways wrong

Dull5278

Not Dull1570

Smart757

Ban Bible prayer in schools

ApproveApprove

Dull3928

Not Dull6536

Smart8554

Allow anti-religionist to speak

YesYes

Dull7369

Not Dull9382

Smart9996

Humans developed from animals

YesYes

Dull5344

Not Dull7933

Smart9451

Belief in God

Atheist & agnosticAtheist & agnostic

Dull65

Not Dull214

Smart319

Trade took away American jobs

YesYes

Dull2939

Not Dull3641

Smart1111

College educated

YesYes

Dull1116

Not Dull4033

Smart7259

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