Oxytocin, the Racist Drug?
January 15, 2011, 06:33 PM
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I got a little worried a while back when I noticed that the always-impressive Nicholas Wade, a science writer for the New York Times, disappeared from the pages. You see, Wade seems to have a "thing" for evolutionary and genetic topics, and some of his stuff tugged in a non-SPLC/NYT editorial board direction.

My conspiracy thoughts were unfounded. Wade's back. Someone mentioned he was on leave to write a book. Like our fearless editor, he's British, which allows him to say slightly more dangerous things and get away with it.

A recent writing describes a study on Oxytocin's effect on in-group/outgroup feelings.

Somehow, this question-and-quote snuck into the story:

What does it mean that a chemical basis for ethnocentrism is embedded in the human brain? �In the ancestral environment it was very important for people to detect in others whether they had a long-term commitment to the group,� Dr. De Dreu said. �Ethnocentrism is a very basic part of humans, and it’s not something we can change by education. That doesn’t mean that the negative aspects of it should be taken for granted.�
Ethnocentrism is not something we can change by education. Hmmm. We could face up to that reality and deal with it like adults, or melt into a pool of hysterics about Hitler and the Nazis. What will it be?