The Sciences

Politics, Religion, Sex, and Intelligence?

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumFeb 27, 2010 4:42 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

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'.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.