IQ, race, and college graduation: In my earlier post, I showed that the mean IQ for white, 4-year college grads dropped 9 points in about 4 decades to roughly 105. But what about large minority groups like blacks and Mexican Americans? The General Social Survey doesn't have enough cases to examine 10-year changes for these two groups, but the analysis of whites shows that the low average IQs have been seen over the last 20 years, so let's look at averages for blacks and Mex-Ams since 1990:
Mean IQs of 4-year college grads--1990-2006 average
Blacks 100.85 (N = 87)
Mexican Americans 99.52 (N = 27)
So minority students are completing college even though they have a 5 point IQ deficit when compared to whites. How are they able to graduate with less intelligence? More perseverance? Graduating, but with lower GPAs? Faculty allowing them to skate? The data don't allow us to say.
One other interesting question is differential graduation rates of black males and females. In my own classes, black girls outnumber the guys 4 to 1, easy. But according to the GSS, graduation is 2 to 1, so of course we'll go with that. Do more women attend and finish because of a higher mean IQ? No. Using the same years as described above, I looked the mean IQ of all blacks: women have a mean of 91.67, while the male mean is 93.32. (Remember that these estimates of IQ are vocabulary questions, and the black-white gap is not as large as with overall IQ tests).
So why do black women do better and go further with the same IQs? I suspect that the pathological aspect of black culture puts more pressure on black guys to not conform to what is perceived as the white system. You're not a real man, but kind of a bitch to do what everyone tells you to do. Women don't feel this pressure as much, and can conform and still feel like a woman.
Another possibility is patience and mental self-discipline. School requires a lot of self-restraint, and many black men, given a choice of whether to attend school or not, might not want to put themselves through more of what was very difficult for the past 12 years.
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