Saturday, June 28, 2008
The General Social Survey asked 1,302 respondents if they think of themselves as a trusting person. Answers ranged from "very trusting" (=1) to "very distrustful" (=4). Here are the means by IQ level:
Mean distrust score by IQ level
High IQ (125) 1.82
Medium IQ (98) 1.50
Low IQ (71) 1.31
The first image is supported here: Intelligent folks are almost a standard deviation more suspicious of others than slow people. As Erving Goffman claimed, people present an image of themselves to others that is better than the reality. Our public images are dishonest, we're all liars about ourselves, and dumb folks buy it while smarter people see through it.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
N = 269
N = 283
In the last post, I was impressed with the connection between frequent church attendance and moral or self-restrained behavior among young adults (ages 18-25). Let's see if we find the same thing with other General Social Survey (GSS) indicators. I recoded church attendance so attending monthly or more frequently is categorized as "often", while less than monthly is "infrequently."
The top bar graph displays illegal drug use in the past year by church attendance. To be exact, 15.8% of those who go infrequently use illicit drugs versus 1.8% of regular churchgoers.
The graph in the middle shows the percent who have a drinking problem: it's 3.1% compared to none of the frequent attenders. (Of course, the real number is higher than zero, but a sample of 269 didn't pick up anyone).
Finally, attitudes toward cheating on taxes are shown in the bottom bar graph. Of those who don't make it to church much, 27.3% think it's either not wrong or only a little bit wrong, while only 8.4% of regular churchgoers feel the same way.
Having looked at several GSS indicators, young adults who behave in traditionally moral ways or who express moral views go to church more often. These data don't tell us whether good people go to church, or that church makes people good, but it's a compliment to religion either way.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
But what about Jewish Americans? They are not a new, high-end immigrant group, but one gets the impression that they act like one. Immigrants are afraid of the anti-immigration sentiment associated with conservatives, and these fears seem to trump economic self-interest. Many Jews also seem concerned about intolerance--in this case antisemitism--which is also associated with the political right.
One way to test this idea is to see if wealthy Jews vote differently. If economic self-interest drives voting patterns, we should expect to see richer Jews vote for Republicans. If fear of intolerance dominates one's decision, Jewish voting patterns should not vary across economic groups.
To maximize sample size, I looked at the 2000 presidential election. I calculated that 30.4% of Jews making $110,000 or more annually at the time went for Bush. Only 19.5% of Jews making less than that voted Republican. So there is evidence that as Jews move up, some move right.
But on the other hand, 51.4% of all Americans voted for Bush (according to the GSS). So people with average incomes were much more likely to side with the Republicans than rich Jews. This supports the idea that a good part of what is driving the Jewish vote is something other than economic. Of course, it could be many things--abortion, for example--but at least the data do not contradict the idea that tolerance is an important concern for many Jews, and like wealthy immigrants, many don't trust Republicans.
My last post reported a positive correlation between church attendance and celibacy for both young men and women (ages 18-25). The question of whether religiosity has any influence on one's behavior interests me, so I wanted to look at the relationship a little more closely and generated the top two graphs displayed above.
We see that, for both men and women, going to church nearly every week, if not more often, is associated with a greater likelihood of celibacy (celibates are the red sections of the bar graph) . To be specific, 34% of young men who attend more than once a week are celibate, compared to 12% of those who never go. For women, the respective numbers are 26% and 10%.
So, we see a connection between religiosity and sex, but how about some other domain of morality, say, crime. The bottom two graphs show the relatioship between attending services and being arrested at least once for a crime.
The same kind of pattern holds here. For men, 43% of those who never go to church have been arrested, while only 13% of the most frequent attenders have. The corresponding percentages for females is 14% and 8%.
Religiosity seems to differentiate young men more than women, so there are at least two explanations available. Women might naturally behave better and thus benefit less from religion. Or there might be a self-selection effect going on here where men who attend religious services often are an especially moral bunch among men, while religious women are not as different from their non-religious counterparts.
Whatever be the case, it makes more sense for a woman to find a boyfriend at church than for a man to find a girlfriend. A guy who is always AWOL from church has almost a 50/50 chance of having a record. By contrast, only one out of seven girls who never goes has been arrested.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Logit coefficients--males, N = 67
Church attendance .265*
How healthy -.510
*p < .10, one-tail test
For young men, the following predict being celibate: frequent church attendance; a high IQ; and less income.
Now for the girls:
Logit coefficients--females, N = 56
Church attendance .282*
How healthy -1.260*
p < .05, one-tail test
Going to church a lot and not being healthy predict that a girl is refraining from sex. More income makes young men more appealing, and high intelligence is probably associated with a lack of the interpersonal skills needed to win over girls, but income and IQ don't matter if you're a girl.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
It has seemed the case that many social indicators have at least plateaued, if not improved slightly since the early 90s, but increasingly coarse pop culture does give older people the impression of a continuing slide.
For example, phenomena like Jackass or Eminem leave one with a sense that the march toward the next, even more shocking fad continues apace. One mistake is to assume that young people are what they seem to older people. Fashion always involves a certain amount of the absurd, and once you move out of those years when it's so important to impress peers, one becomes more disinterested, and many fashions then just seem stupid. "Wearing your pants down below your butt? Idiotic. Only a delinquent would do something that irrational. Wearing a thong that everyone sees? Slutty. Only a girl who sleeps with anyone would do that."
What older folks fail to realize is that fashion--even when it seems extreme--is ultimately about show, and is a poor indicator of behavior. I've got a friend who was a headbanger as a teen. He looked like a two-time felon, and all the grownups at the mall were terrified of him. But I've never known a bigger pussycat--it was all pose, and it usually is.
That's what so great about data--it gets past appearances. Which is a nice segue to my purpose--analyzing General Social Survey data to document trends in sluttiness. I list below the percent of males and females ages 18-25 who report having had 5+ sex partners so far, and the percent who have remained celibate:
Percent--1988-1991 average (N = 624)
Percent--1993-1998 average (N = 1009)
Percent--2000-2006 average (N = 1,133)
I'm not surprised to see what basically looks like a plateau, but one encouraging sign is that the number of girls who are remaining celibate appears to be up. I'm damn happy to see it.
By the way, I'm a bit of a cultural declinist, but Agnostic and other young bloggers I've read seem to be targeting Boomers and X-ers. My reference--and for a lot of thoughtful declinists, I think--is not any of the last four decades. It's WWII through the late 50s. I see a steady decline (with important exceptions) since then, with a flattening more recently. (This is a complicated question, of course, since there are so many trends one could choose to look at).
The only reason why I have a little bit of nostalgia--not much--for my childhood and adolescence is because I was raised in a place that was decades behind every place else. In other words, it was a bit like the 50s. It's easy for me to wax nostalgic as people much older than I (Pat Buchanan for example) do because in a weird way I grew up in that.
Friday, June 13, 2008
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.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Male homicide victimizations per 100,000--most recent year available
1. Colombia 117.0
2. El Salvador 70.0
3. Sri Lanka 50.8
4. Russia 50.2
5. Brazil 49.0
6. Venezuela 48.7
7. Puerto Rico 33.2
8. Guatemala 32.1
9. Ecuador 30.8
10. Philippines 28.3
11. Paraguay 22.2
12. Kazakhstan 20.0
13. Estonia 19.6
14. Mexico 18.0
15. Ukraine 17.8
16. Panama 17.5
17. Latvia 16.8
18. Belarus 15.7
19. Moldova 14.7
20. Trinidad and Tobago 13.2
21. Argentina 12.1
22. Turkmenistan 11.9
23. Albania 11.8
24. Lithuania 11.7
25. Costa Rica 9.8
26. Chile 9.8
27. Kyrgyzstan 9.6
28. Thailand 9.5
29. USA 9.2
30. Uruguay 8.6
31. Cuba 7.9
32. Guyana 7.7
33. Georgia 6.9
34. Romania 5.2
35. Bulgaria 4.6
36. Uzbekistan 4.4
37. Azerbaijan 4.4
38. Armenia 3.6
39. Israel 3.5
40. Finland 3.5
41. Slovakia 3.4
42. Mauritius 3.2
43. Hungary 2.8
44. Poland 2.6
45. Portugal 2.5
46. Canada 2.2
47. Australia 2.1
48. Belgium 2.0
49. Slovenia 1.9
50. Korea 1.8
51. Ireland 1.8
52. Croatia 1.8
53. Bahrain 1.8
54. New Zealand 1.7
55. Spain 1.6
56. Netherlands 1.6
57. Greece 1.6
58. Czech Republic 1.6
59. Italy 1.5
60. Sweden 1.3
61. UK 1.2
62. Kuwait 1.1
63. France 1.1
64. Denmark 1.1
65. Norway 0.9
66. Hong Kong 0.9
67. Germany 0.8
68. Singapore 0.8
69. Switzerland 0.7
70. Austria 0.7
71. Japan 0.7
72. Egypt 0.1
The United States has a homicide problem, and one way to look at these numbers is in terms of how immigrants are likely to improve or worsen the level of violence here. Immigrants from East Asian and Western European regions should make things better, while people from Latin America should worsen the problem. Eastern Europe is a mixed bag. Of course, sub-Saharan Africa is also violent, but the countries don't have their act together enough to collect the necessary data.
Let's compare Colombia and Japan: the rate is 167 times higher in Cokumbia!
Now, of course, it's more complicated than this since immigrants are not usually representative of their mother countries, and conditions are different here than at home. But there is certainly a correlation: Asians and Western Europeans immigrants have proven to be law-abiding here, while Latin Americans have above-average rates of criminal involvement.
These patterns also undermine the arguments that social conditions in the U.S. generate criminality among immigrants: people who come here from violent countries tend to be violent here. They bring the proclivity with them.
One other point. An academic explanation of crime which has gone from being new and unknown to dominant in the past decade is called institutional anomie theory. It claims that societies have a crime problem to the extent that the economy dominates over other important institutions: families, schools, churches, government, etc. The free market generates the motivation to break the law, while all these other segments of society constrain behavior.
The bottom line here is that the freer the economy, the more crime that will be observed. Now, I can imagine an honest theoretician a century ago suggesting such an explanation, but even an amateur now knows that the data contradict this idea. Just look at the list. Many of the freest societies have little homicide, while many heavily regulated societies have a real problem.
International data is widely available, so Steven Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (the theorists) have no excuse. This is an obvious case of responding to the political demands of the discipline, rather than the realities of crime.
I'll say it again: mainstream social science is a sham.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
According to the Wikipedia page, there are 34 disorders that have been linked to older paternal age. "Generally, older men have a greater probability of fathering children with a genetic defect than younger men do. This is seen as likely due to genetic copying errors which may increase in number after repeated spermatogenesis cycles over a man's lifetime."
Better known is the risk of Down Syndrome when the mother is 35 or older. Genetics testing is offered to any pregnant woman 35 or older, due to potential increased risk of this disorder as well as others.
Having kids when you're younger is exactly the kind of eugenics approach I can get behind.
In fact, I wish we had these kinds of names for the other categories for the same reason. How about if we use the names of celebrities with the quintessential qualities? I'm not too good at this, but "Eltons" seems kind of obvious (as is "Rosies" if we wanted someone's name for lesbians too). Names for heterosexuals are not as straighforward. I'm thinking maybe "Harrisons" and "Amys" (after the sweet Amy Adams). Other ideas?
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Mean number of children
To get a sufficiently large sample of gay men and lesbians in the earlier period, I had to look at all people 40 and over (which means that some people were beginning their childbearing years as early as the second decade in the last century).
First, there is no surprise to see large drops among both heterosexual men and women. Gay men have followed the same trend of significantly fewer kids, and they were low in the first place. Lesbians, in contrast, have more now. I assume that this is due to adoption and artificial insemination being more widely available now.
These findings are interesting in connection with the issue of homosexual prevalence and also gay marriage. Greater acceptance is causing fewer gay men to stay in the closet and have children with their girlfriends or wives. The experts tells us that homosexuality is inherited, so if this is true, we might see fewer and fewer gay men in the future. Such a trend would likely be accelerated if the gay lifestyle were completely legitimated through same-sex marriage.
The implications are more complicated for lesbians. Having their relationships normalized evidently has led more of them to openly cohabit with a partner and to have more children than when lesbianism was not acceptable. But many of these kids are adopted, and babies born to one woman won't be biologically related to the other, so even if the typical couple has two children born to one partner (a high estimate), the average completed number of children is only one since zero and two average to one. This is a smaller number of children than the 1.17 average from the older period, so it appears that lesbians could become less prevalent over time as well. (I realize that all this is an oversimplication with lots of assumptions, so input is welcomed).
UPDATE: It didn't take me long to find evidence that contradicts my line of thinking. A study found that male homosexuality appears to be inherited through the maternal line. The research did not examine lesbians.
If this finding is true, then it doesn't matter so much how many kids a gay man has; what matters is the fertility of his sisters and nieces.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Mean soft-heartedness score
Straight women 4.33
Homosexual men 4.16
All Americans 4.10
Straight men 3.88
Overall SD 1.04
Gay men are similar heterosexual women, and straight guys and lesbians are close, although the guys are nicer. The difference between straight and lesbian females is sixth-tenths of a standard deviation--that's large.
One more stereotype empirically supported.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Parker Posey is great as a neurotic 30-something, desperate to find a man. Like with so many women, numerous men have come and gone over the years. Just following cultural expectations, men feel they get to enjoy a dozen years worth of oat sewing before they think about settling down. I suspect that most women cope with this by becoming hard and cynical, which makes them less attractive and thus even less likely to find a lasting relationship. Parker, by contrast, has become more vulnerable and neurotic, and is constantly at the wine bottle--this is not attractive and not helping her either.
Culturally with-it people seem to imply that women need this 10-20 years of dating before getting married--you know, in order to mature, work on one's career, find the right person, blah, blah, blah--but I think it's bullshit. Now, maybe men can hop from one woman to the next for many years and love it, and perhaps some manly women too, but in my experience, a woman wants a permanent relationship, period.
You see, I'm the true feminist. The current norm looks to me like a conspiracy cooked up by a bunch of horny men. I can see them in the smoke-filled room right now: "Yeah, we'll use articulate women as fronts, and have them convince other women to put marriage off as long as possible but to freely give themselves to men. We'll tell them it's equality and liberation; meanwhile, we'll be screwing 'em left and right, and moving on to the next. It's genius because they'll think they're doing it to show us men that they're not going to take our oppression anymore!"
The General Social Survey asked 1,140 Americans in 1996 if immigration should be: 1) increased a lot; 2) increased a little; 3) should remain the same; 4) decreased a little; or 5) decreased a lot. Here are the results:
Attitude toward immigration, 1996--percent distribution
Should be increased a lot 2.9
Increased a little 5.9
Remain the same 27.2
Reduced a little 29.6
Reduced a lot 34.6
In 2006, 1,936 people were asked the same question, and I've listed the numbers once again below:
Attitude toward immigration, 2006--percent distribution
Should be increased a lot 3.9
Increased a little 8.7
Remain the same 34.8
Reduced a little 24.0
Reduced a lot 28.6
There is a very clear shift toward either maintaining current levels of immigration or increasing them. The percent wanting a reduction--either a little or a lot--fell by almost 12 points. Fortunately, a majority still want slower immigration, but the shift is not good news for restrictionists like myself.
But 9/11 affected some folks more than others. Jews were hit particularly hard since many live or have relatives in New York, and the terrorists and many of their immigrant co-religionists are anti-Semitic. Plus, Jews have been so reflexively pro-immigration, the ice cold splash of 9/11 might have made them re-think the issue.
So here are the numbers for American Jews (I've combined 2006 and the other year available--2004--to maximize N):
Jewish attitudes toward immigration, 1996--percent distribution
Should be increased a lot 0.0
Increased a little 23.1
Remain the same 30.8
Reduced a little 23.1
Reduced a lot 23.1
N = 26
Jewish attitudes toward immigration, 2004 and 2006 combined--percent distribution
Should be increased a lot 5.3
Increased a little 11.8
Remain the same 35.5
Reduced a little 27.6
Reduced a lot 19.7
N = 76
We can't make any strong conclusions since samples are small--perhaps the safe thing to say is that Jews evidently have not changed their views in the post-9/11 environment. On the other hand, these data indicate that almost half of Jews would like to see a reduction in immigration--a number not much lower than for all Americans.
I found in a previous analysis that 90% or more of Jewish Americans are pro-immigration, but I was using the generic question, "Is immigration good for America?" But when you pin folks down and ask them if they want more or less, Jews like everyone else are more likely to say less. So it seems that some of the Jewish enthusiasm for immigration is theoretical.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Mean IQ--white college grads
The trend is clear with a slight reversal in this decade. I looked at people who graduated during the 1950s and before, but I didn't list the scores since they are similar to the 60s cohort.
America is obsessed with educating everyone, regardless of ability, so admission standards have been lowered. A bachelors degree has not held its value over the years.
Fortunately, the mean score for those with advanced degrees has not fallen, but the mindless compulsion to educate more and more people will likely fix that. In my experience, the only thing keeping IQs up is that colleges cannot convince people below a certain IQ threshold to stay in school.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Mean pro-military score
East South Central 5.80
South Atlantic 5.50
West South Central 5.48
West North Central 5.48
East North Central 5.43
Middle Atlantic 5.21
New England 5.15
Yep, it's the Mountain states--a part of the country I really like, and not just for the mountains.
Now, maybe you're smart and are thinking, "Well yeah, the South has a lot of blacks who, as a group, are not so pro-military." Nice try, Pointdexter--here's the list with blacks omitted:
Mean pro-military score--whites
West South Central 5.92
East South Central 5.86
South Atlantic 5.79
All whites 5.62
East North Central 5.53
West North Central 5.50
Middle Atlantic 5.42
New England 5.12
Removing blacks did increase the overall mean, and it moved regions up that have substantial numbers of blacks, but folks in the Intermountain West are still more pro-military than white Southerners.
As a side note, the regional pattern suggests that political orientation has a lot to do with attitude toward serving. Of those who said it is very important to serve in a time of need, 65% voted for Bush in 2000, and only 34% went for Gore. By contrast, if the answer was not important at all, 80% voted for Gore and 20% went for Bush.
These numbers support the contention that, compared to conservatives, liberals are allergic to military service.