A new study, which will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, has claimed that higher IQs, on average, are correlated with liberalism, atheism, and sexual exclusivity in men (but not in women!).
I buy the first two correlations, as I'm liberal and agnostic bordering on atheist, but I strongly beg to differ on the last correlation. I have never been sexually exclusive with anyone in the 30+ years I've been sexually active, yet I had the highest IQ in my high school graduating class (140). I know this because the guidance counselor made a point of telling me so shortly before I graduated.
The reasoning given was that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans' evolutionary past.
Sexual exclusivity goes against the grain evolutionarily. With a goal of spreading genes, early men had multiple mates, which helped the human species survive
George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with "unconventional" philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be "ways to communicate to everyone that you're pretty smart."
I see several things wrong with the inclusion of sexual exclusivity as a factor involved in higher intelligence. First of all, sexual activity and reproduction are no longer inextricably linked; thus promiscuity no longer necessarily means that a man will sire large amounts of children. Secondly, no libertine worth his salt, myself included, sleeps with a large variety of women with the desire to "spread our genes around." I've had hundreds of partners in my lifetime, yet I've managed to sire only one child.
Considering that every male celebrity who strays from his marriage now garners widespread societal disapproval and extensive publicity, I'd hardly say that sexual exclusivity is no longer an "unconventional" idea for men. Sexual exclusivity for both sexes has been one of our society's most sacred of cows for quite some time now, regardless of human nature.
Indeed, to be openly and unashamedly non-monogamous is now an unconventional philosophy in our current society.
And in light of the fact that it was religion that imposed monogamy on society in the first place and a large part of being religious today is to accept and adhere to the idea of sexual exclusivity with a single mate, it would seem as if intentionally non-monogamous lifestyles would be more accepted among liberals and atheists.
An interesting study to be sure, but one with a lot of holes in it.