Evol-psych Goes to the Polls

August 23, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

National Review has long been the most important voice on the right.  When NR publishes something, I suppose they mean for us to take it seriously. 

In the Aug. 27 issue, they publish Kevin Williamson’s evolutionay-psychology view of the election and why Romney deserves to win.
Elections are not about public policy. They aren't even about the economy. Elections are tribal, and tribes are . . . ruthlessly hierarchical. Somebody has to be the top dog.
You can read the whole thing here, but (trigger warning) you may find it not just silly but deeply offensive, especially if you think that women have the power of thought and reason.
What do women want? The conventional biological wisdom is that men select mates for fertility, while women select for status.

You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney . . . boss of everything he's ever touched.
Romney is the alpha-male.  Why?  First, because he made a lot of money.  And second, because the Romney has more sons and grandsons.  I am not making this up.
It is a curious scientific fact . . . that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male. Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). . . . He is basically a tribal chieftain.
And by the same reasoning, Obama is a pussy.
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes. [Professors are, by definition, wimps.  No alpha males teach Con law.]
How does this matter in the election?
From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. . . . the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs.
You can’t argue with logic like that.  The only trouble is in the evidence.  Obama consistently polls 12 points higher than Romney among women. 

Oh, those foolish women, thinking about a candidate's policies – how these might affect them, their children, and their country – rather than his wealth and the gender of his offspring. 

FWIW, in 1992, a wealthy candidate with lots of sons (four, and two daughters), with warrior credentials (a navy pilot) ran against a candidate, also a former law professor, with only a daughter, far less wealth, and no military credentials.  Maybe the Bush campaign had signs saying,  “It’s the evol-psych top dog status, stupid.”

(HT: Mark Kleiman, who notes that even from the evol-psych perspective, among male voters, Romney should be getting killed, electorally and maybe literally:  “Admiring alpha males is purely a female trait; the other males mostly want to kill them, or at least replace them.”


Anonymous said...

I have been trying not to let "pro-democratic, no matter what they do parent" bias my opinion towards the Republicans, but they really do make it hard not to laugh at them, and then sigh heavily...

Jay Livingston said...

Hi Anon. You can find much worse -- sillier or more vicious -- on red blogs. But this is the right's flagship -- The National F**king Review.