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Does Exogenous Oxytocin Make Xenophobic People Non-Xenophobic?
Oxytocin (OXT) is known as ‘the love hormone’, since it facilitates bonding from mother to child (Galbally et al, 2011; Feldman and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2017), facilitates childbirth and breastfeeding (since OXT is released in large amounts after nipple stimulation) (Magon and Kalra, 2011), and increases trust in humans (Kosfeld et al, 2005). It is also implicated in some psychiatric disorders (Marrazziti and Del’Osso, 2008; Cochran et al, 2013). OXT, furthermore, also has endocrine and paracrine roles in male reproduction (Nicholson, 1996; Thackare, Nicholson, and Whittleson, 2006), so it is not strictly ‘a female hormone’ (Saladin, 2010). The hormone induces numerous important behaviors that attach the mother—emotionally speaking—to her new child.
A recent study published back in July titled “Oxytocin-enforced norm compliance reduces xenophobic outgroup rejection” (Marsh et al, 2017), purports to observe that, xenophobic individuals administered a nasal spray with OXT and then shown pro-social behaviors to other ethnies (refugees) show a reduction in xenophobic attitudes. First, I will cover the science aspect of it, then, I will cover the ideological aspect of the paper, and finally will address the societal implications this paper may have in the future. I will conclude with my thoughts on both the science and ideology behind the paper (because, in my opinion, there was a clear ideological drive behind the paper, though, the same holds for most other fields).
In the first experiment, 53 males and 23 females (n=76) were given either the spray with the OXT or a placebo. They were then administered a test that tested how high they scored on a ‘Xenophobia index’. Marsh et al (2017: 9,318) write:
In a separate screening session, we evaluated xenophobia by measuring the attitudes toward refugees based on an adapted assessment instrument developed by Schweitzer and colleagues (33). Adaptions encompassed the wording; for example, “Australian refugee” was replaced by “German refugee.” The assessment instrument contained two inventories, in which participants indicated how strongly they associate refugees with realistic and symbolic threats.
The realistic threat scale items encompass different threat perceptions; for example: “Refugees are not displacing German workers from their jobs” or “Refugees have increased the tax burden on Germans.” Responses were coded on a 10-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (“I strongly disagree”) to 10 (“I strongly agree”). All items were recoded such that higher values reflected greater feelings of perceived realistic threats. The term Xi index, which we used for subsequent analyses, refers to a subject’s mean score achieved on the realistic threat inventory.
Higher Xi scores imply that an individual is more xenophobic. For experiment 1, they put the subjects into a lecture hall to establish altruistic norms, which enabled reputation pressures if one was seen to not be generous when giving. Marsh et al (2017) discovered that those who donated to refugees donated 19 percent more money. Further, donations to natives or refugees—including outgroup bias—was not dependant on gender. The bias (19 percent more donation) indicated altruistic actions and was lowest in those with high Xi scores.
Experiments 2 and 3 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of a random sample of 107 males (mean age of 24). They were administered either the OXT nasal spray or a placebo by a blind researcher. They separated them into high Xi scorers or low Xi scorers (n=53 and n=54 respectively). The OXT administered to low Xi scorers specifically increased altruistic behavior towards the ingroup and outgroup “evident in a 68% (outgroup) and an 81% (ingroup) increase in the donated sums” (Marsh et al, 2017: 9315). However, this effect was not noticed in high Xi scorers, so the researchers wondered if showing pro-social behaviors after being administered OXT would show a change in xenophobic behavior.
So people who scored high on the Xi index and were administered OXT showed no change in altruistic behavior. However, when those who scored high on the XI index were administered OXT and prosocial behavior to the outgroup was seen by those with higher Xi scores, they increased their donations to the outgroup by 74 percent.
Figure 1 shows, clearly, that those who were administered OXT and were exposed to altruistic norms from co-ethnics to the outgroup showed more generosity towards the outgroup than those administered the placebo. It’s also worth noting that these findings (of course) are not generalizable to women.
How does ideology affect this? Of course, both the Right and Left can use this study for their own agendas, but, of course, the Marsh et al (2017) may have biases themselves (everyone has biases, even the most well-known, most respected scientists), so now I will look at the ideology behind this paper through both a Right and Left lens, since political bias permeates our every day lives, and due to this, people won’t be able to think rationally about things, ironically, using their emotions to guide their thought processes/conclusions.
Marsh et al (2017: 9317) write:
The effect of solutions combining selective enhancement of OXT signaling and peer influence would be expected to diminish selfish motives, and thereby increase the ease by which people adapt to rapidly changing social ecosystems. More generally, our results imply that an OXT-enforced social norm adherence could be instrumental in motivating a more generalized acceptance toward ethnic diversity, religious plurality, and cultural differentiation resulting from migration by proposing that interventions to increase altruism are most effective when charitable social cues instill the notion that one’s ingroup shows strong affection for an outgroup. Furthermore, UNESCO has emphasized the importance of developing neurobiologically informed strategies for reducing xenophobic, hostile, and discriminatory attitudes (47). Thus, considering OXT-enforced normative incentives in developing future interventions and policy programs intended to reduce outgroup rejection may be an important step toward making the principle of social inclusion a daily reality in our societies.
This seems pretty bad to me. “If you won’t accept people in your countries, you must take this exogenous OXT while watching your ethnic group show altruistic behavior towards the outgroup so then you too will no longer be a ‘racist’.”
In regard to ref 47, it is a 2001 UNESCO address on ‘racism’. Of course, it begins by stating that “Science – modern genetics in particular – has constantly affirmed the unity of the human species, and denied that the notion of `race’ has any foundation.” This, as regular readers know, is false. Race is a social construct of a biological reality. Self-reported race is a great metric to gauge geographic ancestry (Risch et al, 2002), while Tang et al (2005) showed that self-reported race correlated almost perfectly with geographic ancestry. Though I can forgive this since it is a 2001 address.
Here is the money quote (emphasis mine):
Similarly, respect for others and acceptance of the right to be different should be built in the minds of human beings to replace hostile, discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes.
So it seems that Marsh et al (2017) is the first step in UNESCO’s quest for “[building] the minds of human beings to replace hostile, discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes … I can assure you that UNESCO will work actively to achieve this goal in close cooperation with other UN bodies and specialised agencies, other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and with all interested partners.“. This screams social engineering to me, and it seems that the authors would approve of this, especially if you read the Discussion of the paper. This seems to be whatever the Left thinks would make for a better society, they’ll attempt to enact it. People believe they’re the opposite sex? Give them ‘gender-affirming surgery’ (whatever that means). People are ‘racist’? Better strap them down into a chair and shoot exogenous OXT up their nose while their eyes are forced open while watching videos of prosocial behaviors to the outgroup! The numerous possible scenarios that can be thought up due to this paper are mind boggling. For instance, maybe they can use our Internet history and see who the ‘wrongthinkers’ are to forcibly administer OXT to the ‘racists’. But I thought people should be who they are….?
I’d like to know what the baseline levels of OXT in the subjects were. For instance, did the people who had a high Xi score have higher levels of endogenous OXT? Furthermore, were they around people who did not show altruistic behavior towards ‘refugees’? That, then, would show that higher levels of endogenous OXT combined with non-altruistic behavior would increase ethnocentrism (Dreu et al, 2010). OXT has also been called by journalists ‘the love and trust hormone‘ and ‘the cuddle hormone‘, however, the results of Dreu et al (2010) call this into question showing that the hormone may be a cause of inter-group violence along with outgroup derogation. Dreu et al (2010) also conclude that OXT contributes to prosocial behaviors for the ingroup and facilitates outgroup derogation.
So OXT doesn’t make us prosocial on its own; OXT functions as a way to differentiate the ingroup vs. the outgroup, along with giving the in-group more preferential treatment (though other analyses fail to find that outgroup trust decreases; IJzendoorn and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2011). Dreu et al (2010) also states that ethnocentrism that’s driven by high levels of endogenous OXT “paves the way for intergroup bias, conflict, and violence.” However, the results of Marsh et al (2017) show that OXT may facilitate prosocial behavior.
This study—especially with the discussion and the authors’ citation of the 2001 UNESCO address about “[building] the minds of human beings” is pretty scary. If you don’t go by what society says is ‘good’ and ‘right’ (whatever that means), you’re a heretic and you must be shown the way—forced OXT and watch the altruistic behavior, you don’t want to be ‘racist’ now, do you? We know that those that run our Western countries would like to make us how they think we should be—non-‘xenophobic’, accepting of migration, and they don’t want use to complain about it. So why not attempt to social engineer the populace into conforming to what the government wants?
Of course, over the past decade or so, mass immigration from outside the West has increased. I won’t go into the causes for that since I don’t discuss politics, however, unchecked immigration—no matter what the ultimate cause is—will change the host society. Go somewhere for X amount of benefits? If enough migration occurs to that nation and the native population is displaced enough, how would those benefits continue if those that migrated still exhibit the same behavior they did in their native countries?
This seems to be the start of “If we don’t like what you think or your beliefs, we will attempt to administer hormones to you and force you to watch this in order to cure you of your unnatural (in our egalitarian society) ‘racism’.” Measures such as this have, as far as I know, been spoken about since the turn of the last millennium and the completion of the Human Genome Project. It seems that as more and more migration occurs to the West, more and more anti-migrant attitudes will be had. The plan here seems to be to socially engineer people to be accepting of their replacement. Why? I thought that people should ‘be themselves’, that’s what they tell transgenders, anyway. Why would ‘racists’ be any different? Oh, because it’s not acceptable in today’s increasingly multi-ethnic society.
I won’t go down the path of the naturalistic fallacy (re: ethnocentrism is good and natural because we evolved that way), however, there is, of course, great adaptive significance to such behavior. If you show more altruistic behavior towards the in-group, you’re more likely to show more altruistic behavior to your family members and thusly have a better chance of protecting co-ethnics.
This is a great example of people attempting to enact policies to socially engineer people, a la Brave New World or 1984. Hormones influence behaviors, yes. Further, watching similar others engage in an action facilitates the possibility that they would also take t at same action. Administering exogenous OXT while seeing that would, according to Marsh et al (2017), cure ‘racism’ and make people happy about being displaced in their own countries. Non-Western people are abnormal to our societies, and when migration occurs to the West, this leads to a decrease in social trust in the native population (Putnam, 2007).
The paper (and its results) seem heavily driven by political bias. Will these political biases doom us to further social engineering through administering the populace with whatever hormones are discovered to do what ‘they‘ (the government) want us to do and how ‘they‘ want us to act? All I know is that it’s pretty scary to hear that this is even being talked about. I hope this never comes to fruition.
The Rise of Ethnocentrism and the Alt-Right: The Rebirth of Selfish Genes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past two years, you should have come across the Alt-Right movement somewhere on the Internet. What is driving the rise of the Alt-Right and Nationalism in the West? Simple answer: Selfish Genes. We are, at the end of the day, bags of meat trying to replicate our genes and have more children as to increase our genes’ copies of themselves. This rise in the Alt-Right is due to continued demonization of whites. For instance, a Rutgers professor was quoted as saying “All white people are evil, some are only ‘less bad’ than others“. Statements of this nature, said over and over again towards a population that’s about to become a minority (I won’t use any of the estimates as the TFR for populations constantly changes, but it will happen eventually) will eventually have the open-minded ones become sick of what is occurring to people who look like themselves. I hypothesize that more ethnocentric people have higher levels of the brain peptide oxytocin, which in turn leads to higher rates of ethnocentrism. From the article:
Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one’s group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we conjecture that ethnocentrism may be modulated by brain oxytocin, a peptide shown to promote cooperation among in-group members.
Results show that oxytocin creates intergroup bias because oxytocin motivates in-group favoritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group derogation. These findings call into question the view of oxytocin as an indiscriminate “love drug” or “cuddle chemical” and suggest that oxytocin has a role in the emergence of intergroup conflict and violence.
Oxytocin is known as ‘the love drug’. We can then stretch this to ‘love of one’s race/ethny’. Since political beliefs are heritable (though environment is “still key”, we know that we make our environments based on our genes), I hypothesize that those who are genetically more prone to leaning conservative and ALSO have higher levels of brain oxytocin would be more likely to be ethnocentric and follow a movement such as the Alt-Right. Conversely, people who are genetically more prone towards liberalism (neo-liberalism, not old-fashioned real American liberalism) also have higher levels of oxytocin, except instead of directing their altruistic behaviors towards genetically similar co-ethnics, they direct their altruism towards the out-group. Oxytocin as well as which political ideology one is genetically disposed to, can more than likely be the culprit for these current phenomena that we see in America with both right-wingers and left-wingers.
Some excerpts from my article from earlier in the year Altruism and Ethnocentrism:
We can see ethnocentrism in action in our very own society today. Black Lives Matter is one (extreme) definition of ethnocentrism. La Raza is yet another extreme example. The KKK is another. We can see that in these groups, the motivation to be altruistic to one’s own kind far outweighs being altruistic to those of a different race/ethnicity. Altruism/ethnocentrism is a huge part of the woes of America today.
Which finally brings me to this: why exactly do whites in America not have this same altruistic/ethnocentric behavior towards their own?
Rushton answers this question in one of his AmRen talks: Genetic Similarity Theory and Ethnic Nationalism.
He says that he has really thought about it before and has no definitive answer. But, we are a species who ‘follows the leader’ so to speak. He says to look at individual psychology and not anything to do with being more spineless. That we want to be liked and not disliked. We learn many of our social attitudes (social learning). So we look to people who are similar to ourselves (names some Presidents and others), and that those people tell us things, and since they are high status, we believe it. It’s difficult to go against what those at the top of our society say.
He says what is right and wrong is basically what our neighbors are doing. One outstanding example he gives is how when those at the top say “open your borders and allow more immigrants in” since we are social animals we take to it and want to do it because we ‘follow the leader’. With the majority though right now in America (liberalism/leftism/Marxism), that is the ‘societal norm’ for the country. Therefore, everyone follows that one societal norm, for the most part.
The mass media plays a huge role in this, as I have noted in my previous article on what is going on in Europe and why. Telling whites to hate themselves, that whites are the cause of all evils in the world, makes one begin to hate themselves, their families and, of course, their race/ethnic group. Rushton says many people have said that the media is the cause for many whites with the self-hate that they have. He says back in earlier times, the Jews were self-hating in their identity, because they have assimilated some of the disdain for the wider community. He says the black groups have historically hated themselves because they identified with the conception they have of themselves of the white slave masters/white majority have of them.
Though there is a genetic desire to construct (hi social constructs. =^) ) an identity, the positive cues of that identity has to be picked from the culture (notice anything?).
Finally, David Duke asks Rushton “How would one increase ethnic solidarity and ethnic nationalism”. He says it’s common sense when Goebbels had complete control of the media in Germany, ethnic nationalism shot up, ethnic solidarity increased, out-group hatred increased and the German birth rate shot up. He said the images being displayed on television is the cause for the rise in the aforementioned points. He says, for instance, if you show a lot of blonde haired, blue eyed white babies and women being happy with those white babies in the media, showing women that are happy being stay at home mothers and not working in turn, more women will want to go out and have more babies and be stay at home mothers. He says what you see portrayed on TV, what is portrayed by people who look like you in the media, will make you take to it more.
How is our media today? I noted, very briefly in my previous article, that the media is anti-white. Showing things to bring down the morale of American whites is a huge cause of the lack of altruism and ethnocentrism in American whites.All of these anti-white articles you see in the media daily, all of the anti-white things you see on TV every day, all compound to have what we have in our society today: Marxist whites who go along with groups such as BLM, going completely against their genetic interests, because of media socialization.
Rushton’s AmRen talk on ethnic nationalism should be on your list to view. Media socialization plays a huge part in the self-denigration of whites in America. Being told you’re ‘racist’ just because of your ancestry, to being told that you should be “so sorry” for things that transgressed hundreds of years ago (never mind the fact that the chance that a white person who currently lives in America today most likely has no familial ties of any type of slavery that occurred in the beginnings of this (once great) country. Things like this, when told to someone over and over again, will eventually have them embrace ”’radical”’ ideologies (radical in this sense being far outside of the American norms).
This rise in ‘identity politics’ (hate that phrase, both sides do it) has led to the rise of both the far-left and far-right. But, when you really think about it, ‘identity politics’ is a way to show altruistic behaviors towards genetically similar others. Rushton’s genetic similarity theory (based off of Dawkins’s (1976) theory of selfish genes) explains why these differences how our altruistic acts manifest themselves physically. According to Rushton’s theory, we are more likely to help others who share a similar set of genes. That’s not to say that liberals showing altruistic behavior towards non-co-ethnics refutes the GST theory; on the other hand, it strengthens it.
Americans of mixed ancestry made up for ethnic dissimilarity by matching up on the more heritable traits, whereas the correlation is lower for those traits that are more influenced by the environment. Since the correlation is higher for heritable traits, i.e., BMI, personality, alcoholism, aggressiveness, criminality, psychiatric disorders and so on. Since the correlations are higher than in the environmentally mediated traits and since mixed-race couples match on more heritable traits than on the traits more influenced by the environment, this shows us that even though they are marrying outside of their race/ethnicity, they still match up on the more heritable traits and not the traits more influenced by the environment. So even a liberal’s altruistic actions towards non-co-ethnics shows that GST is still in effect.
The main point is this: our genes are selfish AND they want to produce similar genes. Who is more likely to be genetically similar to yourself? A co-ethnic. This is why nationalism is rising—it works!! Nationalism is rising because the people themselves—the vast majority of ‘vehicles’—are in danger of not being able to ‘replicate’ (their genes). So since the ‘vehicle’ is in danger, the ‘replicators’ have one be more altruistic/ethnocentric to a co-ethnic; oxytocin is the mediator of ethnocentrism as a whole. I’d love to see a study conducted on ethnocentrists and non-ethnocentrists to see what the average level of oxytocin in each group is. I’d bet a large sum of money that the ethnocentrists have higher levels of brain oxytocin while the non-ethnocentrists have a statistically lower amount.
Some of the most distinct genes of individuals will, of course, be found in close family—mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, first cousins, etc. However, against the worldwide variance, the average similarity between people within a single population is on the magnitude of second cousins, so I posit that those with higher levels of brain oxytocin will be more likely to be ethnocentric over others with less of this hormone. See, there is a reason for so-called ‘racist’ (ethnocentric) behavior: since the average similarity between people within a single population is on the magnitude of second cousins against the worldwide variance, this shows why ethnocentric behavior arises.
The rise of nationalism in Europe follows these same patterns. When looking at diversity in the social context, we can see the negative effects of said diversity in neighborhoods (net negative effect, even with the positives that Putnam cites). Knowing the effects of diversity within a homogenous population, we can see the exact cause for the rise of the Alt-Right.
For some people, diversity decreases social trust (this is my opinion) because they see how the out-group acts: increased crime, not assimilating fully to native culture, how many benefits the out-group receives, etc. Then, since it’s drilled into them that ‘we are all the same in the brain no matter where our ancestors evolved for tens of thousands of years’, that all genetically isolated groups must act the same on average. This then causes what Putnam calls ‘hunkering down’—avoiding engagement with the community. This ‘hunkering down’ leads to less social interaction with neighbors and the community as a whole, causing the social trust that Putnam found in his research. Since one of the ways we match on genetic similarity is by culture, when out-groups move in and begin changing the native culture, the ‘hunkering down’ begins to lessen the one way that population propagates its genes—by masking the native culture—which arose for the sole reason of ensuring that the gene made copies of itself with genetically similar others. The increased diversity changes the average person’s perception of their own people since it’s drilled into them that we all have the same mental capacities and behaviors on average (with deviations from said average due to average individual variation; not any inherent genetic racial/ethnic differences).
On the other hand, for one who is more predisposed to lean right who has a higher amount of brain oxytocin on average, sees the negative effects of diversity along with their countrymen getting hurt, negative (natural) feelings then arise. Moreover, seeing how sections of formerly once nice neighborhoods deteriorate when the out-group moves in further drives these feelings. This is one small example from Putnam’s data that shows how diversity negatively affects societies. I’d be interested in a study on racial/ethnic diversity in third-world countries/the East.
This rise we have seen in the Alt-Right is due to the increase of mass immigration to third-world countries. We want to be around genetically similar others—to propagate copies of our genes. With the gene being ‘selfish’, it wants to make copies of genes like itself. Who’s more likely to share similar genes? Parents, brothers, uncles, sisters, brothers, grandparents, first cousins, second- cousins, and third cousins. Since we are related to co-ethnics on the magnitude of second cousins, this shows how and why ethnocentrism evolved. It was beneficial to be more altruistic towards your ‘clan’, and to derogate the out-group since they are genetically dissimilar. This then extends to today in regards to out-groups being derogated—no matter if they’re genetically similar others or if they share the same personalities or hobbies. We want to be around people like ourselves, to better help out members of the ‘team’. The ‘team’ can be anything from race, ethnicity, baseball team, basketball team, football team, hockey team, etc. To understand ethnocentrism, we must understand human evolutionary history. That’s how you understand the rise of far-right or left politics. Genetic similarity theory is that road map to discovering how and why we act the way we do in regards to out-groups.
Any organism strives for the betterment of its group. Any organism will defend that group. Genes cause people to construct ideologies to improve genetic fitness. That one sentence pretty much sums up the rise of the Alt-Right, and along with the negative effects of diversity, you have the recipe for a new right-wing movement.
This growth of “white survivalism” and militant “Christian Identity” groups such as the Aryan Nations, and the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, represent a more extreme response to these perceived threats to the AngloSaxon gene pool. If this overall analysis is correct, one might expect similar correlations in deviations from both genetic and ideological norms in other groups. Preserving the “purity” of the ideology might be an attempt at preserving the “purity” of the gene pool. Are ideological “conservatives” typically more genetically homogeneous than the same ideology’s “liberals”?”
The rise of the Alt-Right shows, in my opinion, one of the main facets of human nature—ethnocentrism. It’s seen with the Ashkenazi Jews and Arabs, to Europeans, Africans, and the pretty much isolationist East Asians. The world is beginning to become more ethnocentric—and selfish genes are in the driver’s seat.