Sexual Predator Sally Henderson To Serve Only 365 Days

Woman Accused of Crying Rape is Jailed, This Is London, 3 November 2006,

Back in September I reported that Sally Henderson faced a “lengthy” prison term for falsely accusing a man of rape. Sally Henderson is a sexual predator who men and their families must be protected from. Sadly, a sentencing judge seemed to disagree:

A woman was jailed today for making false rape allegations against her ex-husband.

Sally Henderson, 40, from Woodmancote, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, was jailed for one year after claiming she had been the subject of a string of sex attacks.

Mature student Henderson was found guilty of perverting the course of justice following a week-long trial at Gloucester Crown Court in September.

Additionally, it is my understanding that Sally Henderson will not have to register in an sex offender or sexual predator database.

Still, 365 days is considerably longer than fugitive-from-justice Elisabet Sunde spent behind bars.

More Blog Reactions to Genetics and Politics

The research is freely available

“We test the possibility that political attitudes and behaviors are the result of both environmental and genetic factors. Employing standard methodological approaches in behavioral genetics—–specifically, comparisons of the differential correlations of the attitudes of monozygotic twins and dizygotic twins—–we analyze data drawn from a large sample of twins in the United States, supplemented with findings from twins in Australia. The results indicate that genetics plays an important role in shaping political attitudes and ideologies but a more modest role in forming party identification; as such, they call for finer distinctions in theorizing about the sources of political attitudes. We conclude by urging political scientists to incorporate genetic influences, specifically interactions between genetic heritability and social environment, into models of political attitude formation.”

And has been blogged before


But netizens are still discussing the recent reportings on the Nebraska Lecture on genetics, behavior, and politics.

What’s new today: Free Republic is all over the place (from amazingly good to amazingly bad), InstructorScribe notes that while genetics probably isn’t the end-all it does play a role. Rational Fool confuses genetic influence with genetic determinism. Rusted Sky notes that “Well – if true that’d open up a whole can of worms..” Technocrat makes a good point about partisanship and orientation.

One particular Free Republic comment, by “Question_Assumptions,” struck me:

I don’t think it’s a matter of intelligence. I think Thomas Sowell puts his finger on it in his book A Conflict of Visions. It has to do with how people view fairness and human nature. If you think an equal playing field but unequal results are fair, you’ll be a conservative. If you think that an equal playing field is unfair if it yields unequal results, you’ll be a liberal. Conservatives are interested in equality of process. Liberals are interested in equality of results. See Thomas Sowell’s book The Quest for Cosmic Justice for a good analysis of why attempts to ensure equality of results lead to disaster.

Fortunately, this question is empirically testable. Using the ultimatum game, one should be able to proceduralize conceptions of fairness concerns and see if they correlate with attitudes. I do not know if this has been done. It’s a fascinating factual question.

Further, one of the lead researchers in genetic factors earlier made a name for himself looking at something similar: the preference of Americans for procedural justice over democratic norms. Fairness is a basic drive and it influences how we think politically. “Question_Assumptions” is asking the questions. Maybe soon we’ll know the answers.

Update: All Evolve looks toward personality. Diecast Aircraft Forum is unimpressed. Julia40 wonders about crossbreeding. Reyner thinks about it because he’s bored. And Skyman corrects me.

Indirect Genetic Effects on Politics

Indirection is the way.

Hatemi & Martin found this. Their study of Australian twins attempted to expand on earlier work that found strong genetic influence on political ideology but only a weak genetic influence on party choice. That finding, which Fowler’s paper reinforced, implied that genes influence political orientation directly but party choice, and presumably vote, only indirectly through ideology. However, that was ambiguous and the possibility remained that there was a separate genetic influence on party-identification and vote-choice than on ideology. Hatemi & Martin’s findings confirmed that vote-choice was an effect of genetic influence on orientation, and that there was not a directly genetic influence on vote choice.

McDermott et al.’s theory was more promising. Zak found that cortisol directly influenced trust. Could a similar direct influence by found for testosterone when applied to political organizations? The answer was no, implying yet again that politics is indirectly influenced by genetic factors. Testosterone was only correlated to political aggression was both sexes were treated as one population, which amounts to saying that men are more politically aggressive than women.

Similarly, in his presentation Hibbing echoed a point made by Carmen. The distribution among political beliefs by those who are politically active appears to be bimodal, which implies a “gene for” political persuasion. (As Hibbing discussed in his lecture, bimodal distributions are common for features controlled by a single factor, such as eye color, but rare for features controlled by man, such as height.) However, this same distribution might be the result of a modal distribution where the tails are disproportionately represented. That is, political beliefs may be normally distributed by an interaction with a separate factor that causes intensity may make it appear bimodal through self-selection. In his paper, Carmen noted “Dopamine overload correlates with highly risky behavior: too much gambling, too much sex, too much drinking. What about too much politics? How would one define “too much politics”” Perhaps here again is an indirect link, with people who feel strongly for the status quo not going into politics, and an interaction leading to the apparent divisiveness.

To me, this ties in with Hibbing & Theiss-Morse’s previous research on Congress. In books and articles, those authors have argued that public distrust of Congress comes from perceived procedural injustice. It’s as if the legislature really is the sausage factory, and it’s being judged by OSHA (how the sausage is made) and not Consumer Reports (what the sausage is made of). Laboratory experiments have appeared to confirm people’s self-reports, in that perceived injustice matters about as much as outcome. Yet in his speech, Hibbing outlined how he believe genetic influences fall into only weekly correlated psychological, social, and political spheres. If this is the case the lab experiments implying that people dislike unfairness simply may not apply to political situations.

Still, research can be done. The “political” influences on human behavior may not so much be “how should society be run” as “how should a society be run” — that is, how should groups larger than fifteen members be organized. The Era of Evolutionary Adaption (EEA) for small-band life and the EEA for large-group life appear to be from different eras. “Political” genetic orientation may merely be a large-n case of “social” orientation. This can be tested in a laboratory experiment. Find an issue where social and political influences converge. The run a laboratory experiments with groups of varying sizes (5, 10, 20, 30, etc) you should expect to see a transition from “social” to “political attitudes” as the group size increases. Thus political attitudes are not “how society should be organized” so much as “how should our large-n group be organized”?

Another method, perhaps more indirect, can be used as well. The Hibbing lecture implies that there are two “types’ of political people – absolutists and contextualists. Earlier research on economic games implies three types – wary cooperators, altruists, and egoists. It seems clear that there is no easy mapping of one set of types to another. If there really is a transition from social to political orientation as group size increases, it should be possible to observe these three social types becoming two political types. In other words, it should be possible to create a game where wary/altruist/egoist strategies are available but absolutist/contextualist ones also exist for deliberative decision making. As the n increases, a phase change should occur that transitions the players from the social strategies to the political beliefs.

A story that I am reading as I write this gives another, perhaps easier, method to test the hypothesis. A 1993 articles by Stanley Coren noted that student’s misperceive political biases based based on the presentation of factual information. If the social-political split is actually a factor of group size, then this should be significantly more apparent in large lecture classes (30+ students) than small classes (15- students).

Genetic-Politics Papers Among UNL’s Most Downloaded

The October 2006 list of top downloads from UNL’s Digital Commons is out. Among them are many articles from the recent Hendricks Symposium on Genetics and Political Behavior, which preceded the recent Nerabska Lecture on Genes, Behavior, and Politics. While the list is distorted because many people picked up paper copies instead of downloading digital ones, the most downloaded ones include:

26 Genetic Configurations of Political Phenomena: New Theories, New Methods
43 The Neuroeconomics of Trust
54 The Neural Basis of Representative Democracy
55 Balancing Ambition and Gender Among Decision Makers
59 When Can Politicians Scare Citizens Into Supporting Bad Policies? A Theory of Incentives With Fear Based Content
60 Effects of “In-Your-Face” Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition
63 ‘Heroism’ in Warfare
67 The Genetic Basics of Political Cooperation
69 Personality and Emotional Response: Strategic and Tactical Responses to Changing Political Circumstances
76 Testosterone, Cortisol, and Aggression in a Simulated Crisis Game
90 Evolutionary Model of Racial Attitude Formation Socially Shared and Idiosyncratic Racial Attitudes
93 Empathy and Collective Action in the Prisoner’s Dilemma
104 Audience Effects on Moralistic Punishment
109 The Political Consequences of Perceived Threat and Felt Insecurity
127 Ecological Analysis of a System of Organized Interests
132 Judgments about cooperators and freeriders on a Shuar work team: An evolutionary psychological perspective

Read them. They’re good. The rest are online, too.