Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study.
Conservative politics work almost as a 'gateway' into prejudice against others, say the Canadian academics.
The paper analysed large UK studies which compared childhood intelligence with political views in adulthood across more than 15,000 people.
The authors claim that people with low intelligence gravitate towards right-wing views because they make them feel safe.
'Cognitive abilities are critical in forming impressions of other people and in being open minded,' say the researchers.
'Individuals with lower cognitive abilities may gravitate towards more socially conservative right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo.
'It provides a sense of order.'
The study, by academics at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, used information from two UK studies from 1958 and 1970 , where several thousand children were assessed for intelligence at age 10 and 11, and then asked political questions aged 33.
The authors claim that there is a strong correlation between low intelligence both as a child and an adult, and right-wing politics.
The authors also claim that conservative politics is part of a complex relationship that leads people to become prejudices.
'Conservative ideology represents a critical pathway through which childhood intelligence predicts racism in adulthood,' says the paper.