the final point that i want to look at from the woodley & bell paper on consanguinity and democracy is their finding that pathogen load affects consanguinity (which, in turn, affects democracy) in societies. before i do that, though, i want to back up and look at pathogens and culture.

in 2008, fincher, et al., published their findings [opens pdf] of an apparent relationship between individualistic vs. collectivist societies and pathogen load. generally, the more pathogens in your environment, the more collectivist — ethnocentric, conforming — you’re gonna be since limiting your interactions with strangers will help to reduce your chances of catching some lethal disease. and vice versa.

i like it! (^_^)

here’s a nice little chart from the paper showing the correlation between individualism (taken from hofstede 2001) and historical pathogen prevelance (the authors explain how they came up with their pathogen index on pgs. 1280-81):

two of the et al. guys, murray and schaller, expanded the historic pathogen index in a paper published in 2010 [opens pdf]. the index (or, rather, indices ’cause there’s two of them) sums up the historic disease prevalence for 230 nations or geopolitical regions. they offer (pg. 102) a nice table summarizing several different studies which found correlations between pathogen load and things like individualism vs. collectivism, extraversion, openness and democratization (click on chart for LARGER view):

again, in general, the more pathogens, the more cultural/behavioral “restrictions.” (but the spicier the food! mmmmm!)

more on all this anon!

previously: consanguinity and democracy and consanguinity and islam and democracy

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