The Sciences

Politics, Religion, Sex, and Intelligence?

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumFeb 27, 2010 4:42 PM


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Before another person emails me this article, yes I've seen it.

(CNN) -- Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Anyone who follows the blog should already know I'm highly skeptical about such stories and their purported findings (although I am confident they result in lots of traffic online at the url). I have not seen the primary source, but want to respond to the emails I'm receiving. In short, the reason this troubles me very much is because--regardless of what the actual study says--the way it's been written up as a 'news' item is misleading (especially for those who don't read past the headline). Of course many of the factors considered will show interesting correlations in a sample, but correlation does not equal causation. Each is extremely dependent on social mores, cultural norms, hormones, relationships, socieoeconomic status, and much, much, more. Still, I would be interested to see the data and read the methodology. That said, I can't help but wonder if this is a classic example of 'The Science News Cycle'.

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