Men with sisters lean toward conservative politics, survey says

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    As any man with sisters can tell you, they tend to prevent their brothers from growing up with a sense of self-importance, or an entitlement mentality.

    That's the reason men with sisters tend to be conservative, rather than liberal.

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    July 31, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    This survey is old news. Worn out long ago. I can't imagine why DN would waste time and space publishing this.

    The article stated "Malhotra and his co-author, Andrew Healy, contacted the study's participants — more than 1,500 high school students — in 1965, and continued to survey those same people over the course of several years. By the time of the last survey, the participants were about 50 years old."

    The participants were born between 1945-51. They were raised during the 50's and 60's, a time of overwhelming resistance to anything liberal. Women were predominantly housewives. Blacks were poor and sub-citizens. Latinos were invisible. It was a white man's country. Those survey participants were raised in a society that no longer exists.

    Fast forward to this century...Today's teens are exposed to and influences by a far different culture. DN, let's have some "modern studies"!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 31, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" it is interesting that you lie about what conservatives believe.

    If you look at most of the laws that Conservatives have been pushing for the regulation of abortions, nearly all of them have exceptions for rape, incest, or cases where the mother or child are in danger.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 31, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    To "Truthseeker" here are some other things to consider.

    Conservatives are the most generous group when helping the poor with their time and money (e Conservatives Happier than Liberals? - Washington Independant)

    Liberals are more likely to lie or cheat if it helps them accomplish their goals. See World Values Survey titled "National Cultural Values Survey". Liberals are over twice as likely to lie and cheat than their conservative counterparts.

    Conservatives are the happiest group out there (See Pew Research Center study on happiness. Conservatives win)

    Conservatives are less racist than liberals (there goes the "open to experience" argument, see "The new American dilemma: Racism and racial resentment")

    Conservatives are more likely to study both sides of an issue (there goes the idea of being less open, "Study: Conservatives more likely to read opposing viewpoints than liberals" at HotAir)

    It would appear that conservatives typically are kinder, gentler than liberals and embody more of the proclaimed traits of liberals than liberals do.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    July 31, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    "Democrats had larger anterior cingulate cortexes.."

    They also have larger egos. Take Hollywood for example... full of Democrats and egos.

    "Liberals consistently score higher on a personality measure called 'openness to experience.'"

    That's right... they like to leap before they look. Not a smart idea if the swimming pool is all but empty. Doesn't seem to bother them. They'll address the problem (somehow) on the way down.

    They like open borders so the poor of the world can come and enjoy America's largess. They forget, if the entire world came we'd start to look like them rather then our free and prosperous America.

    They like to dispatch feti in the womb to reduce parental duties which cuts into party time.

    They're open to gay marriages because, after all, marriage is not for raising families... it's for fun and for maximizing the legal benefits accruing to the married.

    "Conservatives, in contrast, tend to be less open — less exploratory.."

    Conservatives look to the Founding Fathers (and God) for direction.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 31, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    Interesting cause and effect assumptions.

    I lean liberal due to the fact my Mother needed an aboration for medical reasons, and conservatives would rather she had died and left me and my 6 brothers and SISTERS Motherless.

    I lean liberal because one of sisters was raped, and conservatives would never allow her the choice to terminate that pregnancy.

    I lean liberal because my Wife almost died in childbirth, and conservatives would rather she died or her doctor go to prison, than allow them the right to choose in the delivery room.

    I lean liberal because Conservatives do not like contraceptives for women for any reason, even if it's for hormonal balance and improved health.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 31, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    I wonder how many people retain the political leanings of their parents?
    My guess is that significant influences are where one lives and the political party alliance of the parents.

    That said, research on brain and personality differences between Conservatives and Liberals is interesting.
    Some findings:

    Democrats had larger anterior cingulate cortexes, which are associated with tolerance to uncertainty, while Republicans had larger right amygdalas, which are associated with sensitivity to fear. (what is not known is whether the differences caused the thinking or whether the thinking caused the structural brain differences)

    Studies point toward conservatives’ tendency to avoid something called self-harm, while liberals avoid collective group harm.

    Liberals consistently score higher on a personality measure called “openness to experience.

    Conservatives, in contrast, tend to be less open — less exploratory, less in need of change — and more “conscientious,” a trait that indicates they appreciate order and structure in their lives.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    @Sasha Pachev
    What we have right now is quite literally the most conservative the Republican party has ever been according to DW-NOMINATE scores. They sure aren't liberal, otherwise I'd like them a lot more.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 31, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    It is only fair to hear from both sides.
    Will there be a follow up article to learn what happened to a man with only brothers. Is he a harsh, troublesome liberal?
    Inquiring minds are holding their breath for the answer.
    These generalizations are sometimes incorrect.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    July 31, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    I do not see the Republican party as conservative. They are just less liberal in some things that the Democratic, for example abortion. Given a candidate that supports abortion and the one that does not I will vote for the one that does not so I end up voting Republican but not with all of my heart - of the two evils I choose the lesser one.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 11:18 a.m.


    "Anyone who has been in the military should appreciate the downsides of a bloated bureauocracy."

    My views of the government during my time in combat were far more primal than thinking about who bloated the bureaucracy more than the other guy. My view was life and death. If you've studied psychology, you'll understand that in order to give a hoot about your place in society you need to have safety (Maslow's hierarchy).

    You can also get on your high horse after the fact and talk about how Bush wasn't a conservative. Which party did he represent? He was the chosen representative of the conservative party (Republicans), not only once, but twice. I voted for him twice. I don't know how I would have handled Vietnam. I was five when the war ended.

    You can also justify bad behavior by your chosen party leaders all you want, but it is still bad behavior. The worst part is that most of these hypicrites ran on party platforms of strong family values, as well as strong Christian values. Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter how you want to dress it up and neither party is immune.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    McCain won the nomination in 2008 though after having previously cheated in his marriage... and Vitter and Sanford were re-elected after their prostitution and hiking the Appalachian trail scandals. So your argument doesn't work here.

    Weiner never led in the RCP average of polls (he did lead in one poll), and he was always projected to lose the runoff against Quinn. Now he's polling in 4th place.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 10:56 a.m.


    The difference is when a conservative does not respect women they are looked down on by other conservatives. Newt did not win the nomination despite being the most articulate of the group because most conservatives will not vote for someone who acts like that. How far did Guliani go outside liberal New York. On the flip side Anthony Weiner is leading in the polls despite his complete lack of impulse controll. If Gov. Herbery was sending pictures of his privates and having phone sex with strangers, do you really think that hewould have a snowball's chance in St. George of getting re-elected?

    As for you switch to liberalism, would you have become a conservative in Vietnam? While Bush may have been a republican, he was hardly a concervatine (started new medicade programs, grew government, increased the debt). Anyone who has been in the military should appreciate the downsides of a bloated bureauocracy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    "Watching my sister do dishes made me a Republican? I'm not buying that one, especially since I had to do waaaaay more chores than my sister growing up. "

    It's an average, it doesn't apply to everyone (for instance I have a sister and I'm liberal).

    David Vitter, Mark Sanford, John McCain, and Newt Gingrich no longer exist?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    It wasn't my sister who made me liberal or conservative. She's a "bleeding-heart" liberal and I love her truly. Our father is a very conservative, as is my mother. I was really conservative most of my life. I would get fired up listening to Sean Hannity every afternoon after 9/11 on AFN when I was in the Army.

    What changed me from conservative to liberal was going off to war to "defend" us from Iraq. I saw many of my brothers-in-arms killed (yes, saw them killed) and maimed for no honest, strategic reason. I love my country, but my view of it changed a great deal serving in war. It has nothing to do with my lovely sister.

    I realize that my experience is mine alone and totally anecdotal.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 31, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Interesting study. When I was growing up, I was told so many times growing up that I was gay because I was surrounded by sisters. I guess that's what has made me more liberal in treating our gay brothers and sisters with dignity and respect.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 9:29 a.m.


    "Sine when is treating women with respect and believing in fair treatment for all "liberal?" I would say that the conduct of Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer and Bob Filner suggests that many "liberals" view women to simply be something to use for their own pleasure."

    Do you really want to go down the "my political party representatives have higher morals than yours?" Really?

    Since you gave a list of names of liberals, I'll counter that with a list of conservatives: Newt Gingrich, Rudolph Giuliani, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Chip Pickering, David Vitter, Strom Thurmond. Would you like me to go on?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 31, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    I don’t make too much of this study although I find it interesting. All studies have a slant and the views of whomever conducts the study can affect the findings. Having a sister certainly didn’t make me more conservative. She is quite conservative in her political and social views while I lean decidedly to the left. That doesn’t hurt our sibling relationship. But it does make conversation more interesting at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 31, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    The girls knocked the sense out of 'em when they were growing up.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 31, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    RBB has it right. Especially with the examples he gives, it would seem that treating women with respect is far more conservative.

    And given this study's findings, maybe that's a reason so many liberals are for abortion; they want to make sure that Johnny doesn't have a sister.

  • Larceny Rural Hall, USA, NC
    July 31, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    I think thats a very slanted view that depends on a lot of different factors to be conclusive. Watching my sister do dishes made me a Republican? I'm not buying that one, especially since I had to do waaaaay more chores than my sister growing up.

    I also don't believe Brother-Sister relationships are indicative of future Husband-Wife Relationships, for a very obvious reason: My Wife is not my Sister... If she were, I wouldn't have married her would I've?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    Sine when is treating women with respect and believing in fair treatment for all "liberal?" I would say that the conduct of Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer and Bob Filner suggests that many "liberals" view women to simply be something to use for their own pleasure. As long as a man votes pro-abortion, how he uses women is not viewed as relevant. (Of course many men are pro-abortion becuase it furthers their ability to use women.)

    As the brother of four sisters (each of whom is successful in their own endeavors) and father of four daughters, I am conservative in large part because I respect women. Yes a conservative may divide household chores along more traditional roles. But my daughters would much rather do the dishes (which their brother does too) than mow the lawn when it is 100 degrees outside.
    With four sisters, my son is conservative and treats his sisters with respect.