The New York City Math Teacher sent me a sociology working paper by Gambetta and Hertog: "Engineers of Jihad". (Hm. This sounds like something Crooked Timber would post about. Henry Farrell loves him some Gambetta. [checks] Yup. Dude, provenance.)
Anyway. It's well-known in wingnut studies how common engineers are in such movements as evolution denialism, global warming denialism, Holocaust denialism, Reagan worship, Rand worship, and other associated phenomena of the radical right. Conversely, you don't see a whole lot of engineers at the local womyn's center or food co-op (even though, women and food! and most engineers are still men. My sister has a story to tell about that).
Turns out it's cross-cultural.
We find that graduates from subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world, though not among the extremist Islamic groups which have emerged in Western countries more recently. We also find that engineers alone are strongly over-represented among graduates in violent groups in both realms. This is all the more puzzling for engineers are virtually absent from left-wing violent extremists and only present rather than over-represented among right-wing extremists.Daniel Davies claims it has to do with Adorno's f-scale (Davies calls it the f-type). Take the Adorno challenge and find out!
In related research, Rich Cohen investigates the influence of the 'Stache. This seems to be an accident of history amplified through network links.
Slightly tangentially, there's also Adams, Wright, and Lohr's 1996 Journal of Abnormal Psychology paper, "Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?" Why, yes, yes it is. The experimental methods are the best thing about that paper:
A mercury-in-rubber (MIR) circumferential strain gauge (Bancroft, Jones, & Pullan, 1966) was used to measure erectile responses to the sexual stimuli. [...] The stimuli were 4-min segments of explicit erotic videotapes depicting adult heterosexual activity, consensual male homosexual activity, and consensual female homosexual activity. [...] The lesbian videotape was included because it has been shown to be highly sexually arousing to heterosexual men and is a better discriminator between heterosexual and homosexual men than other stimuli (Mavissikalian, Blanchard, Abel, & Barlow, 1975). [...]I love science.
The procedure was explained to the participant on arrival at the laboratory. He was informed that he could terminate participation at any time, and he signed informed consent. The particpant was accompanied to a soundproof chamber, where we was seated in a comfortable reclining chair and was given instructions on the proper placement of the MIR strain gauge. After the experimenter's departure from the experimental chamber into the adjoining equipment room, the participant attached the penile strain gauge. The adjoining equipment room housed the Grass polygraph, the videotape player, an IBM-compatible computer, and the two-way intercom.