Thursday, December 05, 2019

Do blacks perceive more discrimination in high-black or low-black regions?

I don't know if anyone has put forward the hypothesis in some formal way, but I have run across the idea that while mistreatment by whites is common among blacks generally, it's REALLY bad in areas with few blacks. The reasoning seems to be that whites are very racist everywhere, but concentrations of blacks are able to push back and suppress the discrimination to some extent. By contrast, isolated blacks are more powerless and consequently have it really bad.

The General Social Survey (GSS) asked blacks, "How much discrimination is there that hurts the chances of blacks to get good-paying jobs?" Since there were only 152 respondents, I took the nine regions used by GSS and collapsed them into two: one high-black and one low-black category.
I also divided up the country into North vs. South under the assumption that the South is more racist.

Answers ranged from "a lot of discrimination" (4) to "none at all" (1) so higher numbers indicate greater perceived discrimination. Here are the means:

Mean perceived job discrimination

North High Black  3.56
North Low Black   3.38
South  3.29

The region with the greatest perceived discrimination is made up of parts in the north that have the most blacks. Contrary to the stereotype, there is no evidence here that the South is more racist--it scores the lowest. In the middle are low-black areas in the north. When I say north, I mean the mountain states and the west coast as well as the north proper. (You don't see a low-black southern region because there is no such place in GSS data.)

So GSS data contradict the view that black communities that are small, isolated, and surrounded by many whites have it really bad. Blacks think they have it better when their numbers are small.

My guess would be that perceived discrimination is affected a great deal by exaggeration, a phenomenon that gets magnified among large concentrations of blacks.

UPDATE: This hypothesis of large numbers magnifying the perception of discrimination doesn't work for the South which has many blacks but scores the lowest on discrimination. A reader suggested that progressives encourage blacks to see mistreatment, but some low-black areas contain many liberals: the West Coast, New England, Minnesota. I wonder if the perception of bias depends on how one is treated when applying for a job. Southerners and perhaps many people in low-black areas might have a softer touch than employers in places like Chicago or Detroit. Discrimination is typically an ambiguous thing. People are not going to admit that they're not hiring you because they don't like blacks, so people have to rely on cues. A brusque manner could be interpreted as bias.

Monday, November 25, 2019

How much dumber are big families?

We know that dumb people tend to have larger families, so I was curious about how much IQ drops with each additional child. Here's the mean IQ by family size (sample size = 26,388, immigrants excluded):

Mean offspring IQ by number of children

1    101.4
2    101.2
3    100.2
4      98.4
5      97.1
6      95.2
7      94.2
8      93.0
9      91.7
10    90.8
11    89.6
12+  88.8

If we do an OLS regression, we see that for each additional child, the predicted drop in IQ is 1.13 points. This doesn't mean, of course, that having more kids causes IQs to fall. It simply means that the dumber the couple, the bigger the number of children. As shown in the movie "Idiocracy," smart people see every reason to delay having kids, while the dull ones do what comes naturally.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Do high-income men marry younger wives? What about men with a history of many sex partners?

Evolutionary theory claims that men value physically attractive partners while women desire partners with high status. Normally, we think of status in terms of income, but we can divide men in terms of their sexual success with women. Physical attractiveness is correlated with youth, so I calculated the age difference for married couples. The following is the average number of years that the husband is older than the wife (General Social Survey, sample size = 338):

Mean number of years that the husband is older than the wife by husband's income

Low-income      2.93
Middle-income  2.23
High-income     1.66

This is the opposite of what we predicted: the age gap is smallest for the high-income. Evidently, wealthy men and their wives are more egalitarian, while poor couples are more traditional.

And by number of sex partners since age 18?

Mean number of years that the husband is older than the wife by sex partners since 18

0-3       1.81
4-6       2.86
7-9       2.08
10-19   2.48
20+      4.54

The mean bounces around for the lower numbers, but the men with 20 or more sexual partners have the youngest wives by far.

Sexually successful men seem to be trading their appeal for more youthful wives, but this does not seem to be the case for men with lots of money.

Friday, November 22, 2019

How often are the highly intelligent found among the poorest people?

In the last post, it was mentioned that high IQ people are VERY diverse in terms of income. Many are not particularly interested in pursuing lots of money. But let's look at the other end: Few people would want to be poor, so does IQ keep one out of poverty?

Using General Social Survey data, I looked to see how many people in the highest IQ category (125+) are found in the lowest 10% of income earners (sample size = 16,626). For men, it's 3.4%. So smart guys have a low rate of poverty, but not all escape it. I imagine these men have serious physical or mental health issues.

For smart women, it's 8.0%. Their rate is lower than average, but not by that much. In addition to the health issues that men might face, some intelligent woman are likely to be stay-at-home moms who don't earn much.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Does IQ do a better job of predicting income among younger or older adults?

We know that IQ only has a moderate correlation with income, and it looks like much of this is due to the fact that intelligent people are very diverse in terms of earnings: some are super rich but many aren't very interested in money and pursue other things. I, for example, don't make more than my dad who was a maintenance man and belonged to a union. I could have pursued high-paying business jobs like my brothers, but I was drawn to academics (unfortunately!).

But does the correlation vary with age? Perhaps the earning capacity that comes with IQ becomes more and more evident with the accumulation of years.

Using General Social Survey data, I calculated Pearson correlations between IQ and personal income. Here are the correlations by age group and gender:

Correlation between IQ and income

Ages  18-24  -.03
          25-34   .14
          35-44   .20
          45-54   .26
          55-64   .27

Smart men ages 18 to 24 actually make slightly less than their less intelligent counterparts. Smarter guys are more likely to be in college and thus not earning much money. But we can see the correlation grows with older age groups, and it peaks only in the decade before retirement age.

Ages  18-24   .03
          25-34   .20
          35-44   .20
          45-54   .22
          55-64   .24

We see the same basic trend with women.

These findings are consistent with individual difference research in general: Traits matter more over the long-term and less in any particular situation.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Who's more likely to sex and labor traffic--Americans or immigrants?

Recently, I posted on which races are most likely to engage in sex trafficking.  What about immigrants? Compared to Americans, are they more likely to be criminals of this type?

They sure are. Immigrants are 14% of people living in America, but they are 33% of convicted sex traffickers. That's three times the rate of native-borns. Even more striking, immigrants are 69% of those who enslave workers. That's almost 14 times the rate of Americans.

Sex and labor trafficking: work that Americans are unwilling to do.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What kind of people think that having kids increases one's social standing?

The General Social Survey (GSS) asked American adults if they agreed with the following: "Having children increases people's social standing in society." Answers ranged from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The answers looked like this (sample size = 1,248):

Percent distribution

Strongly Agree  3.7
Agree  29.4
Neither  30.5
Disagree  31.3
Strongly Disagree  5.0

Answers are pretty normally distributed. People simply disagree on this issue.

I looked at a list of variables to see what predicted agreement--age, sex, race, city size, South v. North, income, education, IQ, church attendance, and political orientation.

The only three variables that matter are sex, income, and education: 39.6% of men agree or strongly agree that children increase one's social standing compared to only 27.7% of women. Perhaps women are more likely to see kids as obstacles to status since conventional status comes from education and work; activities that, for women anyway, conflict with raising children.

43.2% of people who dropped out of school agree or strongly agree that children give status, while only 31.8% of people with advanced educations feel the same.

Income is similar: 34.7% of low-income but only 25.2% of high-income people agree or strongly agree with the statement.

Since there is some tension between energy devoted to kids versus education and work, it looks like people who have earned lots of education and income status tend to devalue children, while the opposite is true for people with little conventional status.

I once discussed this issue with my physician brother-in-law. I told him that the most accomplished people are having the fewest children and that he and I were exceptions with our large families. I added that in an evolutionary sense, all these successful people were losers but didn't realize they were losers. My brother-in-law then responded, "That's right. We've got them right where we want them."

Do blacks perceive more discrimination in high-black or low-black regions?

I don't know if anyone has put forward the hypothesis in some formal way, but I have run across the idea that while mistreatment by whit...