Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Toxoplasmosis and the French

Based on the data that toxoplasmosis is present in 90% of the population in France and Professor Latto's not so subtle remark that toxoplasmosis could be responsible for certain "behavioral problems" associated with French people, I decided to try to do a little research into this possible correlation. I did not find much, but on Webster's extended online dictionary definition of toxoplasmosis, I found a very interesting quote attributed to one Kevin Lafferty:

"In populations where this parasite is very common, mass personality modification could result in cultural change. [Variations in the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii] may explain a substantial proportion of human population differences we see in cultural aspects that relate to ego, money, material possessions, work and rules."

I took the liberty of bolding a few words that might assist Professor Latto's hypothesis about French people. I wish there was more information on this subject, and maybe certain French stereotypes are not really their fault (if you do not want to blame them on eating undercooked meat). Oh well, c'est la vie.

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