Friday, October 18, 2019

Is IQ just a measure of social class?

A common claim by IQ skeptics is that the test simply measures social class.  If an IQ score is simply a proxy of social status, then the two variables should be very highly correlated. The statisticians tell us that a good proxy should correlate with the original variable at no less than 0.8. 

An excellent example of a worthless proxy that is used all the time in social science research is opposition to racial preferences. It is used for whites as a proxy of racism.  The correlation between opposing preferences and feeling cool toward blacks is a whopping 0.1--a trivial relationship.

So what's the correlation between your class and IQ score?  I'll be generous to the skeptics and choose the measure of social class that correlates most strongly with intelligence; namely, father's educational level. Using the General Social Survey (GSS), I exclude immigrants since they are likely to have a disadvantage on the test (which is an English vocabulary quiz).  Here is a visual of the relationship (sample size = 20,533):

















Sure, IQ rises with dad's highest degree earned, but the connection is not strong. To be specific, the correlation is only .27.

This is a typical problem for sociological explanations. In this instance, the privilege of one's class is supposed to determine one IQ's score. The mechanism should work in lockstep fashion with few exceptions, so the correlation should be almost perfect.  But in sociological research, most observed correlations are weak.  The world is much messier than the sociologist predicts.

The geneticist does not face this problem. Since each sibling is genetically unique (and there is also developmental noise), he expects lots of IQ diversity within a family. And that's exactly what we get: two randomly selected full siblings are expected to differ in IQ by 12 points. That's a lot. 

The sociologist predicts siblings (at least same-sex siblings) will have the same IQs. That's way off.  Since parents and offspring differ genetically, the geneticist predicts only a modest link between social class and IQ, and that is exactly what we get.

Again, biology trumps sociology.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Does IQ explain crime among blacks and Hispanics?

Criminological research usually finds that crime is most common among people with IQ's around 90.  Samples, however, are predominantly white.  Does the IQ finding hold for non-whites?

The General Social Survey (GSS) asks respondents (American adults) if they have ever been arrested, and it also gives a vocabulary quiz that can be used to measure IQ. 

Since the sample size for Hispanics was small (92) I created only three IQ levels: 1) less than 83 (low), 2) 83-97 (low-medium), and 3) over 97 (above average).  The graphs show the percent ever arrested by IQ level:

Whites (n = 3,100)
















For whites, involvement in crime is highest among the low-medium group (16.9% arrested). This is what studies usually find.

Blacks (n = 699)
For blacks, roughly 17% of respondents at all IQ levels report having been arrested. (Keep in mind that blacks tend to under-report contact with police. I don't know if this tendency varies across IQ levels).

Hispanics (n = 92)













The low-medium IQ group has the lowest arrest rate among Hispanics.  Around 25% of the low and high groups report an arrest.

In sum, IQ helps explain crime among whites, but it does not predict crime like you'd expect among blacks and Latinos. Above-average individuals are at least as likely as the unintelligent to be involved in crime. 

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Which race is most likely to enslave workers and to make sex slaves out of children?


In the last post, I showed that whites have a much lower rate of sex trafficking compared to other racial groups.  Now let's look specifically at child sex and labor trafficking.

The numbers shown below compare the rates of child sex trafficking by non-whites to that of whites:

Times more likely to engage in child sex trafficking than whites

Blacks   14.6
Hispanics   5.3
Asians   3.1
Others   2.9

While the racial differences are not as large here as they were with all sex trafficking, they are still striking.  All groups, especially blacks, are much more likely to traffic children.

Here are the differences for labor trafficking:

Times more likely to enslave workers than whites

Blacks   2.0
Hispanics   5.7
Asians   40.0
Others   83.0

The Asian/white gap is enormous and shouldn't surprise anyone. It's ironic that blacks are now two times more likely to enslave workers than whites. And look at "Others"--American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons of two or more races--the gap is giant.

White folks are just awful, aren't they?

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Guess which race has the highest rate of sex trafficking

The traditional way of looking at prostitution is being changed.  Academics and criminal justice officials are moving to the concept of "sex trafficking" which stresses that the pimps (men) are the villains while the prostitutes (women) are the victims.  Grown women, as well as underage girls, are assumed to be exploited.  Criminal justice policy is also shifting toward greater punishment for Johns (men). The old pimp/prostitute understanding was insufficiently feminist.

Some police departments are devoting considerable resources to convict traffickers who could easily get 10 years behind bars for sex trafficking.

So who are the traffickers?  Is the stereotype of the black pimp based in reality?

This Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report gives the breakdown:

Percent of all trafficker suspects by race

Blacks   43.7
Hispanics   29.2
Asians   13.2
Whites   12.8
Other    1.2

I'll assume many of the "others" are American Indians.  Of course, we need to adjust for group size.  Since whites have the lowest rate, we'll make them the comparison group.  The list below shows how many times a member of a given group is more likely to be a pimp than a white person:

Blacks   16.8
Hispanics   8.1
Asians   16.5
Others   6.0

Compared to whites, blacks are 16.8 times more likely to be pimps. That's a huge difference, but the difference is about as large for Asians. (I treated "Other" as Native Americans, but that is probably an inflated number since the category will include non-Natives).

Asians usually have the lowest crime rates (by far) but not here.  My guess is that white men are much less likely to be pimps because they are more decent to women generally.  In the next post, I'll look specifically at child and labor trafficking.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Data suggests Hispanic criminality is similar to that of blacks

Over the years, people like me have disagreed with Ron Unz that the rate of serious crime by Hispanics is not much different than that of whites.

Analysts typically rely on police or imprisonment data to estimate Hispanic/White differences, but Hispanics are significantly less likely than whites to report crimes to the police. Since Latinos are typically victimized by other Latinos (crime is typically intra-ethnic), there is an undercount of crime committed by Hispanics.

Using victim data is a method around this problem.  The National Crime Victimization Survey contacts tens of thousands of people each year to ask them about being victimized.  We can use these statistics as proxies of crime rates for various races/ethnicities. I took the estimates for 2014-2018 and averaged them since there is quite a bit of annual error, especially in a group as small as Asians.  Here are the percentages of people who were victimized by serious crime in the past year:

Percent victimized
Blacks  2.1
Hispanics  2.1
Whites  1.6
Asians  1.0
Other  3.1

See how the rates for Hispanics and blacks are the same. Prevalences for whites and especially Asians are significantly lower.

I doubt serious criminality among Latinos is exactly the same as blacks. While most crimes are intra-racial, some of the victimizations of whites, Latinos, and Asians are by blacks committing robbery or assault.

By the way, I assume that the "Other" category is mostly American Indians. Their very high prevalence is consistent with Cochran and Harpending's hypothesis that racial groups with deep histories of agriculture and powerful states experienced selection for docile and self-disciplined individuals.  Criminological research has found that criminals tend to be impulsive and disagreeable.  As people with shorter histories under agrarian states, Native Americans might have a higher percentage of these types.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Compared to other Americans, do Jews identify as 'citizens of the world'?

This year is the 15th anniversary of the publication of The Jewish Century, a very honest and insightful book by Jewish scholar Yuri Slezkine. Among many other things, Slezkine claims that the Jewish diaspora, compared with majority national groups, has identified more with the tribe and the international community and less with the nation-state.  According to him, when Jews tried to become nationalists, they dominated the highest rungs but, in the end, were rejected as interlopers. 

So, what's the situation in the US now?  Compared to other Americans, do Jews identify more as global citizens and less as Americans?  In 2014, General Social Survey (GSS) respondents were asked, "How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I feel more like a citizen of the world than of any country."  I excluded immigrants (sample size = 1,065).  Answers ranged from "strongly disagree" (scored as a 1) to "strongly agree" (scored as a 5).  Here are the means by religious affiliation:

Mean "Citizen of the World" Score

Buddhist   3.00
No affiliation   2.81
Catholic  2.67

Total Sample  2.66

Christian   2.63
Protestant  2.61
Jewish   2.12

Of the groups large enough to include in the list (10 or more respondents), Buddhists and the unaffiliated have the highest globalist scores, while Jews are actually at the bottom of the list.  The gap between the highest and lowest groups is nine-tenths of a standard deviation.  That's a large difference.  According to GSS data, Jews are real patriots.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Do Western populations place more value on self-sacrificing spousal love?

I'm currently reading the brand new book by Kevin MacDonald titled Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition.  I don't always agree with him, but I'm interested in anyone with big balls and interesting ideas.

According to MacDonald, Western populations evolved to value self-sacrificing love in prospective mates in order to cement close family environments and paternal investment in harsh northern environments.  Since this is an element of a slow life-history strategy, East Asians should value this trait as well, while blacks should be shifted more toward short-term mating strategies.

The General Social Survey (GSS) asked American respondents how much they agree with four statements about loving one's partner with a deep, devoted, self-sacrificing type of love.  I summed the answers to the four questions to create a scale (alpha coefficient = .83).  (It's funny: as I write this, I'm hearing these lyrics on YouTube: "I dried your tears of pain, babe, A million times for you, I'd sell my soul for you babe, For money to burn with you, I'd give you all, and have none, babe.")

Next, I calculated the mean score for ethnic/racial groups with at least 20 respondents (sample size = 1,040).  Here are the results:

Mean Love Score

Germans   13.98
Southern Europeans   13.77
American Indians  13.60
Mexicans   13.58
Italians  13.46
English/Welsh   13.38
Polish  13.38

Total Sample  13.37

Irish  13.32
Scottish  13.21
Scandinavians  13.08  
East Asians  12.34
Blacks   11.84

Americans of German descent and southern Europeans are at the top of the list, while East Asians and blacks are at the bottom.  The gap between Germans and blacks is seven-tenths of a standard deviation, a large difference.

Consistent with MacDonald's prediction, whites are in the top spot, and blacks are last.  He doesn't focus on East Asians, but he relies on life-history theory, and East Asians should fit the "slow" strategy of high family investment. 

The results seem somewhat cultural.  I noticed that not only southern Europeans but Latin Americans (many nationalities were too small to make the list) tend to score high.  This is consistent with the stereotype of the romantic Latin. 

Is IQ just a measure of social class?

A common claim by IQ skeptics is that the test simply measures social class.  If an IQ score is simply a proxy of social status, then the tw...