There are two inter­est­ing devel­op­ments on the dis­ease front, it seems — and my love affair with Seed continues.

First is the news that right-​​wing con­ser­vatism might actu­ally be due to a disease*.

According to USGS researcher Kevin Lafferty, per­son­al­ity traits such as

[P]reference for strict laws, an expres­sion of uncer­tainty avoid­ance, and [a society’s] val­u­a­tion of ‘mas­cu­line’ pri­or­i­ties such as com­pet­i­tive­ness and finan­cial suc­cess over ‘fem­i­nine’ val­ues like relationship-​​building

may be rooted in infec­tion by the microor­gan­ism Toxoplasma gondii. Earlier research indi­cated that

Infected men tended to have lower lev­els of intel­li­gence, super­ego strength and novelty-​​seeking, while infected women exhib­ited higher lev­els of intel­li­gence, super­ego strength and warmth.

This leads me to con­clude that the infec­tion isn’t sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted, since obvi­ously any woman who would hook up with a man exhibit­ing symp­toms is not likely to be pos­sessed of ego cer­tainty or intelligence.

Wiki on tox­o­plas­mo­sis here; CDC on it here.

The sec­ond vec­tor, so to speak, is in this arti­cle, which seems to sug­gest monogamy is actu­ally bad for us bio­log­i­cally. Apparently a monog­a­mous cou­ple serves as a Petri dish of sorts, allow­ing all sorts of new STD strains to develop.

So I guess mar­riage ain’t so sacred after all, at least not in the eyes of infec­tious organisms.

Add these two together and you get a pin­cer attack on right-​​wing loonies: The rea­son they behave as they do, and a good rea­son to not behave as they do in one impor­tant area.

Q, as they say, ED.

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* KNEW IT!

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