16. Consanguinity and democracy


Dr. Edward Dutton: The Jolly Heretic


Published on Nov 3, 2019

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Consanguinity as a Major Predictor of Levels of Democracy: A Study of 70 Nations.

This article examines the hypothesis that although the level of democracy in a society is a complex phenomenon involving many antecedents, consanguinity (marriage and subsequent mating
between second cousins or closer relatives) is an important though often overlooked predictor of it. Measures of the two variables correlate substantially in a sample of 70 nations (r = –0.632,
p less than 0.001), and consanguinity remains a significant predictor of democracy in multiple regression and path analyses involving several additional independent variables. The data suggest that where
consanguineous kinship networks are numerically predominant and have been made to share a common statehood, democracy is unlikely to develop. Possible explanations for these findings include the idea that restricted gene flow arising from consanguineous marriage facilitates a rigid collectivism that is inimical to individualism and the recognition of individual rights, which are key elements of the democratic ethos. Furthermore, high levels of within-group genetic
similarity may discourage cooperation between different large-scale kin groupings sharing the same nation, inhibiting democracy. Finally, genetic similarity stemming from consanguinity may encourage resource predation by members of socially elite kinship networks as an inclusive fitness enhancing behavior.

Download the paper here: https://alingavreliuc.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/journal-of-cross-cultural-psychology-2013-woodley-263-801.pdf