DRD4 Long Form Variant (7r) – A Genetic Correlate Between Liberalism and Homosexuality – The Extreme r-Hypothesis of Homosexuality

This post requires a detailed understanding of r/K Selection Theory in Evolutionary Biology, and it’s relation to our political ideologies. For a quick rundown of this, please see our main page here.

In a previous post we posited that homosexuality may be an extreme form of the reversal in sex specific behaviors which is seen in r-selected populations, where females become more “masculine,” so as to better protect and provision the young they raise alone, while males become more effete, so as to avoid the conflict which is dangerous and disadvantageous under conditions of r-selection.

In that post, we examined the similarities in the neurobiological correlates of gays and Liberals. We then postulated that in gays, the changes which occur in the amygdala as one goes from a K-selected neurobiological structuring to an r-selected neurobiological structuring accidentally go too far, and begin affecting sexual preferences, accidentally turning a merely effete Barack Obama into a full-on Little Richard.

If this was the case, one would expect to see the long form DRD4 polymorphisms, which are one genetic foundation of a Liberal predisposition, to also be associated with homosexual behavior. Of most interest would be the 7r allele of the DRD4 gene, which has been associated with a neurobiology predisposed to Liberalism. Enter the research on the DRD4 7r long form gene:

“About half of the subjects with the long gene had ever had a male sexual partner…” (among self-identified male heterosexuals)

(See: Hamer, D. (2002). Genetics of sexual behavior. In J. Benjamin, R. P. Ebstein, R. H. Belmaker (Eds.), Molecular genetics and the human personality (pp. 257–272). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing. p266.)

Yes, you read that right. Half of the male DRD4 7r carriers who claimed to be heterosexual, in the sample Hamer used, had engaged in sexual relations with another man.

So long form DRD4 polymorphisms, such as the one associated with Liberalism are associated with infidelity, promiscuity, and homosexuality. The brain structures associated with Liberalism are eerily similar to those associated with homosexuality, and as the researcher in this article discusses, even research into the reversal of sex-specific behaviors and sexual dimorphism matches as well.

Interestingly, Hamer concluded the DRD4 7r allele was mainly about promoting “novelty” in sexual behavior, and not homosexuality, per se. He maintained that he felt DRD4-7r-mediated homosexuality was merely an outgrowth of the individual’s drive to find a novel form of sexual partner. This is interesting, as it further supports our contention that Liberalism is an r-strategy.

K-selection is marked by an environment where resources are insufficient, and someone will have to go without. Here, individuals are very discriminating regarding mate fitness. The fitter one’s mate, the fitter one’s offspring, and the more likely such offspring are to succeed in the fierce competition for the extremely limited resources which are available. This is why on finding the fittest mate possible, the K-selected individual will monopolize that mate’s fitness through monogamy, seeking to prevent others from benefiting from mixing their genes with this high level of fitness, to produce offspring. Those within a K-selective environment who do not focus solely on producing fitness in offspring see their offspring starve, and their genes culled from the population. Obviously all of these K-selected urges manifest clearly in the Conservative psychology, which favors careful mate selection and monogamy, and which is focused on giving children every opportunity through high-investment rearing.

By contrast, the excess of resources which marks the r-selective environment eliminates the need for offspring to compete for resources to survive. As a result, every offspring, no matter how unfit, will be able to survive and reproduce, since resources are everywhere. In the r-selective environment, since offspring need not be fit, individuals will focus on producing more offspring, instead of fitter offspring, in an attempt to out-reproduce peers.

To this end, the r-selected organism will seize every mating opportunity, no matter how unfit the mate. Since mate fitness is unimportant, extremely r-selected individuals will not bother with monogamy or mate guarding, instead following a strategy of mating as often as possible. This will result in individuals investing as little as possible in each offspring, through low-investment rearing strategies such as single parenting.

Here, what a researcher would term sexual novelty seeking among those who carry the Liberal gene is really the absence of sexual discrimination, combined with a drive to mate with any mate, regardless of fitness, or even suitability to reproduction (when accidentally over-expressed). Under the Extreme r-Hypothesis of Homosexuality, when carried to an accidental extreme, the r-selected psychology will produce a male individual willing to mate with anything – even another male individual.

Notice also, we maintain the r-strategy of Liberalism is produced by the diminished amygdala development which Kanai et al. identified. In Kluver Bucy syndrome, amygdala dysfunction produces an individual which is prone to mating with inappropriate partners and objects. Such a grossly indiscriminate mating strategy is only favorable under conditions of r-selection.

In summary, here we see a gene which reduces the individual’s ability to perform a fitness discrimination in a prospective mate, while simultaneously programming them to follow an aggressively promiscuous mating strategy. That this gene is the only gene presently associated with the Liberal political ideology only strengthens the case for Liberalism as an r-selected reproductive strategy, as identified in r/K Selection Theory in Evolutionary Biology. That homosexuality correlates with all of this would offer an interesting case that homosexuality may, in fact, arise from a periodic accidental over-expression of Liberal neurobiology. In such a case, males become inordinately effeminate, and the neurological reversal of sex specific behaviors and urges so commonly seen in r-selected individuals bleeds over into mate selection criteria. That homosexuals tend to support Liberalism overwhelmingly, and that Liberals tend to support homosexuals overwhelmingly only further cements their linkage.

Again, I would urge Liberals to quash those feelings of homophobia which would lead them to denigrate Gay America by trying to deny the scientific correlates between between gays and Liberals (as if gays were somehow unfit to be associated with the modern Liberal). To Liberals, I say you should embrace your homosexual brethren (and honestly acknowledge your own bi-curious urges). Having honestly examined ourselves, then we can all move forward, together, towards a better understanding of political ideology and it’s biological purposes.

Absent an understanding of how r/K Selection Theory in Evolutionary Biology has produced our modern political ideologies, we are all fighting blindly in a battle we do not understand. With an understanding of r/K Selection Theory, we see not only the purposes behind each ideological position, but we see how Conservatism embodies all that is good, by our species’ K-selected mores and virtues.

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5 Responses to DRD4 Long Form Variant (7r) – A Genetic Correlate Between Liberalism and Homosexuality – The Extreme r-Hypothesis of Homosexuality

  1. derf says:

    You do know that evo-psych is basically pseudoscience, right? Tacking the word “evolutionary” onto, say, phrenology, won’t make phrenology any less false.

    • I’m not sure what your point is? Are you saying gays don’t have a genetic (evolved) component to their psychology, since that is where you posted this? Does that mean it is a lifestyle choice, which could be changed easily with simple counseling? What about the neurological correlates here? Or is homosexuality arising wholly independent of any difference in brain structure or genetics? Does Cochran’s Germ Theory really seem more likely?

      Or is your broader point that an individual’s psychology is unrelated to the level of conflict in the environment that its population evolved in? Will an environment which offers heightened advantage to the conflict-averse produce a conflict-averse psychology? I think Darwin himself would say yes, if you asked him.

      Would an environment which only allowed the conflict-embracing to survive, produce a conflict-embracing psychology? Again, denying this would rise to the level of denying the effects of Darwinian selection, which is just silly.

      Do we have conflict embracing psychologies and conflict averse psychologies in our populations? Do we have a history of two environments, which differed in conflict levels, in our evolutionary history? If you look to our migration, migrators migrated to areas with low to no population density, while non-migrators fought it out in overpopulated home territories.

      Again, read my front page. r/K is why the bunny rabbit is docile, flees from conflict, mates and rears in an r-type manner, and has no loyalty to in-group. To pretend an identical behavioral strategy, in every respect, arose in a subset of humans purely by chance (when it is so aberrant by the standards of the species), is just silly. That these humans are also more prone to travel/migrate (seek out new territory), and they actually carry a gene associated with migration and novelty seeking, only heightens the connection to a strategy seeking free resource availability over conflict. Even their neurobiology is associated with a reversal in sexual dimorphism, ala that seen in r/K.

      Ideologies are outgrowths of Darwinian strategies, as described in r/K. Whether you like it or not, this idea is catching on like wildfire in the Conservative movement, precisely because it explains so much of the weirdness we see in the loony left, the changes we see in our society, and even the unlikely case of gays, who from just about every other perspective, probably shouldn’t persist in the population due to reduced reproductive rates. After permeating the right, this concept will bleed into the mainstream middle, just because of how much it explains, and how ardently those who understand it will espouse it. It’s catchy, if you are not a leftist.

      As much as the left loves performing stress reduction through denial, it isn’t going to prevent the adoption of this work by the mainstream politicos (just like it couldn’t make Obama a successful two-term President – reality always catches up).

      As these gay posts show, (combined with the reversal in sexual dimorphism produced by a shift towards maximizing r), there is just too much explained by all of this, to see it discarded by a thinking, curious populace just because a few disgruntled leftists said everyone should ignore it.

      Thank you for the post.

  2. This paper notes that the 7r allele has been associated most replicably with ADHD (which, based on both conversations with physicians and observation of students using Adderall as a study aid, I am not convinced is an actual disease). Too, it is worth noting that the original J. Politics study which documented the association between the 7r allele and liberalism found the association was slight and dependent on friends.

    The most conservative interpretation of the data would be that DRD4 7R may interact with at least one other gene (moderating friendship and large-group socializing) to produce liberal behavior (more accurately, self-identity). Alternatively, a dose effect caused by differential transcription of the DRD4 locus in response to environmental cues.

    With regards to the paper by Garcia, et al., self-reporting and a relatively small and homogenous sample (college students) make their conclusions much more tenuous than is implied here.

    As a final note, I’ve seen it mentioned several times (though I can’t chase down the original reference) that the 7R allele may have been introduced to modern H. sapiens by Neanderthal admixture. The idea may come from this paper, which notes that the allele is five to ten times younger than the other common alleles (2R through 6R). It would be strange for the 7R allele to have come from a relatively more K-selected hominid population and have it nonetheless underlie r-strategy behavior. Independent of that, the allele’s increasing abundance among early modern human émigrés further away from Africa is also inconsistent with the 7R allele mediating r-strategy. The frontier was then, presumably, a rough place necessitating high levels of parental investment.

    • Hi Spoos,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I’ve seen the ADHD linkage, and just see that as part of an r-psychology. I look on it like a subtle drive to seize easy opportunities, and bounce quickly to a new environment/strategy/opportunity if a dopamine surge isn’t immediately forthcoming. Don’t fight, struggle, or strive where you are, but just keep moving – since resources are freely available, you’ll hit a winner soon. Note Liberals are noted to be lower in conscientiousness, which is probably similar.

      On DRD4, ideology, the relationship to friends, and what moderates it, there is research linking DRD4 7r to a tendency to adapt one’s rearing style to that they were raised in, probably mediated by stress reactivity. Thus, if you are high 7r, and are reared with high investment, in a loving home by two parents, that is how you will likely rear your kids. If your prostitute mom was gone, turning tricks most of the time, you will tend to be a less invested parent yourself. The stress reactivity path to adopting a more r strategy is generally assumed to be epigenetic, affecting transcription, so I assume that is what will ultimately be found mediating the relationship. (Interestingly stress can initiate an increased drive to make friends, which could point to stressed high 7r’s making more friends before becoming more Liberal, and simultaneously heading down the path of an r-strategy on every other measure, since they are the same thing.)

      With respect to Garcia, earlier age of sexual activity is a part of the r-strategy, so looking at young adult sexual activity isn’t itself bad – sort of a loose measure of precociousness. As for self-reporting, that is pretty much the standard, even in the GSS – I’m not sure how else you would do it without a court warrant to spy, or an agreement to follow someone around 24/7 with a clipboard. When combined with other work linking DRD4 7r to promiscuity, novelty seeking, and impulsiveness, it is a pretty strong indication that this allele is part of a less discriminating, more sexually-aggressive r-mating strategy. I like to cite Garcia because he came right out and said “r-strategy,” which is obviously the point we are making here. It’s one less step I need to argue to get to r/K. If you know of a study showing high 7r’s being less promiscuous, or more prone to monogamy, and less prone to infidelity, I haven’t seen it.

      This post is actually an adder-on to the main body of work on this site. If you read the rest, the main point is that r/K is pretty much identical to politics, DRD4 7r is associated with all the individual r-traits, and the only study I am aware of linking any gene to politics links this one gene to it, and it does so exactly as would be predicted (DRD4 7r produces an r-strategy in a component of it’s carriers (mediated by stress in youth), and it is also associated with Liberalism in a specific component of it’s carriers).

      I’m not saying this isn’t complicated, but rather, that despite the myriad of complications, which should blur out everything, this linkage to ideology remains, and is even shown to only apply to a specific component of the carrier population, as would be predicted.

      It would be strange for the 7R allele to have come from a relatively more K-selected hominid population and have it nonetheless underlie r-strategy behavior. “

      The fact that it is young could just as easily indicate that it’s recent emergence in Homo sapiens was the trigger producing our spread (and subsequent mixing with the Neanderthals). Obviously, if a gene produces migration, the second it hits, the species will spread into new environments invasively, and the mix would then occur independently.

      Also the reduced sexual selectivity it produces could have produced a preferential interbreeding among it’s carriers in the Neanderthals, if that was where it came from. If Neanderthals are dying out, whose genes will remain, the sexually selective Neanderthals, or the genes of the ones who will mate with anything, even including the little, weak humans who would be laughed at if they were Neanderthals? Which leads one to question, even if it did come from Neanderthals, was it the dominant allele in their population, and thus representative of the species, and clearly K?

      Neanderthals could easily have had a small parasitic population of 7r carrying, r-type Liberal Neanderthals, who said this new species Nanderthals saw moving into their territory wasn’t a threat. They could have gone on to make the case that their tribe should welcome this new species, because it was clear they meant no harm, and both could live together in peace and harmony, forever and ever, side by side as loving siblings of Mother Gaia. After their tribe was killed brutally by the newcomers, due to this stupidity, these 7r Neanderthals were so cravenly disloyal to their species, and oversexed, that they thought nothing of joining with the conquering species, Stockholm style, and interbreeding wildly. Meanwhile other, more K-Neanderthal alleles, which were more common in the population (and more sexually discriminating), did not follow that plan and died out.

      That last part is humor – but only partly. The truth is if 7r facilitates mating with novelty, even out of species, you could have had a small handful of 7r in the species, relative to the other alleles, but the 7r’s would still be the ones to contribute to the H. sapiens genome. Thus an overall K population could contribute an r-allele to another species, since it is the r-component of that population which would exhibit the diminished mate discrimination, and increased sexual novelty seeking underlying the transfer.

      Independent of that, the allele’s increasing abundance among early modern human émigrés further away from Africa is also inconsistent with the 7R allele mediating an r-strategy. The frontier was then, presumably, a rough place necessitating high levels of parental investment.”

      Very interesting point, and you would be wholly correct if we were grabbing early H. sapiens in an r-environment in Africa, and throwing them into a harsher northern clime for which they neither had genetic adaptations, or cultural knowledge that would enable them to survive.

      However, I look on spread as being relative to neighboring environments, since that is where the spread occurs from. Thus, a group of Homo sapiens, spreading from one spot in northern Italy to another 50 miles north in southern Switzerland, isn’t necessarily seeing as big a change in environmental harshness as you would see in a shift from tropical parts of Africa to Switzerland. If you are already adapted to, and living in Northern Italy successfully, then the change may favor a more r-strategy locally. It would favor a more r-strategy especially strongly, if you were weaker and small, the new territory in Switzerland was rich in food supply due to its being unpopulated, and in the Italian territory behind you, 200 guys the size of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were fighting to the death with hand axes over enough resources to only feed fifty of them.

      This is why I don’t view Garcia’s assertions that the 7r allele is clearly viewed as underlying an “r-strategy,” or the many studies linking it to promiscuity, as being in conflict with its presence at the frontiers of a migration. The diminished population levels in the frontier, compared to an overpopulated, but probably largely similar home territory immediately behind it, would often make the frontier more r, given the level of harshness humans are capable of generating, under conditions of resource scarcity and overpopulation.

      In short, there is no K-selecting harshness like a well bonded, tightly-knit, blindly-committed group of K-selected Warriors, chasing you down and killing you because there just isn’t enough stuff for all of you to live together peacefully. In the presence of resource scarcity and angry humans, even the most harsh, but unpopulated environment can become relatively r by comparison.

      Beyond all of that, I should note that I present a lot of the material here as simply as possible, to make the lone point that Liberalism is an evolved form of the r-strategy. Most of my readers here probably don’t have a long history internalizing the biological sciences. The truth is, in fact, more complex, and I touch upon that in the book.

      In actuality, we do not see isolated populations of r and isolated populations of K, battling it out, because if this happened in the past, the r’s who allowed it to happen wouldn’t last two minutes, and would be culled en masse. As a result of this type of culling in our history, the purest form of the human r-strategy has evolved over time, as a sort of socially parasitic strategy, designed to latch onto a successful group of K’s, exploit their loyalty for protection and provisioning, betray them whenever it proves advantageous, probably cuckold whomever they can, whenever they can, and never, ever, allow any of their treachery to be recognized by the group, lest it lead to open confrontation and competition. Today they sort of seek their free resource availability and diminished competitive selection pressure, not in a new uninhabited territory, but within a wealthy and successful population of other individuals, with resources to spare and limited Darwinian selection.

      In many ways, this socially dynamic strategy is very different from, and much more complex than, the simple rabbit-like psychology it evolved from, even if you can still see it’s evolutionary origin in the conserved r-traits of docility/pacifism, promiscuity, low-investment parenting, early sexualization of young, and lack of loyalty to in-group, as well as the gradual reversal in sexual dimorphism as you go from Conservative to Liberal, or from K to r.

      Given the socially complex aspects of the human r-strategy, r’s probably didn’t fend for themselves in isolated, all r-populations in the harsher environs, but rather parasitized more K-type groups, seeking refuge, protection, and resource provisioning, while balancing their reduced fitness with increased mating effort and covert cuckoldry. Over time, they became designed to survive the harsh times, and then exploit the less harsh times, just like today.

      I just want to add, I have seen most of the possible challenges to this already, in my own head. I have looked at this from every angle, trying to find some chink in its armor, but I can’t find a serious flaw in it. And the more I look at the world, the more I see a population of animals, just tooling along, the populations guided in their overall psychology by the forces of resource availability and scarcity, while at the individual level, the r’s and K’s battle with each other over how society should provide resources, relative to fitness – either r or K-style.

  3. Agreed on most your points; I just wanted to note that DRD4 7R doesn’t seem to always be sufficient to cause r-strategy behavior. In particular, if you were to look at previous generations who were reared in more stable environments, I think it’s even money that the association with liberalism, and quite probably promiscuity also, would disappear.

    With regards to migration, I very much doubt that much of Eurasia was unpopulated by other hominids by the time H. sapiens got there. Neanderthal man in Europe, Denisovan man in Asia, and even a couple hominins in Africa. There is also no guarantee that the K-selective competition won’t follow you to the frontier; I would think r-selected people would have an easier time in a more settled and consequently less lethal environment (post-Neolithic Revolution).