Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fertility among smart moms

As a follow-up to the last post, let's look at the relationship between working and fertility for smart women only. While overall fertility is a concern of much of Europe, the American TFR is over 2. Since we don't have to worry at the moment about the country shrinking, we can concern ourselves with the eugenics question. Following the same rules as last time, I simply limited the sample to married women with scores 8 through 10 on the Wordsum vocabulary test.

Married women who work part-time or not at all have more kids. The differences are more glaring here than for women of all levels of IQ. (Differences, however, are not significant since the sample is small). To be specific, smart stay-at-home moms have 1 1/2 times as many babies. Now that's eugenic.  


Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

Outland said...


Sure, but
1) working part time is often probably a matter of can, not want. Part-time working smart moms should have men who can provide for such a lifestyle.
2) smart moms must marry smart dads for eugenic effects, is that the case also? (I guess so, but is it true?)

FeministX said...

Inductivist, let me tell you a story. I am a smart lady who has never wanted any job aside from housewife in my adult life. When I was 20, I wanted 7 kids. When I was 25, I wanted 4 kids. I am 27, and I want 3 kids. And I am single.

You realize that one can go to school and plan for a career that pays hundreds of thousands of dollars. I cannot plan and work diligently and produce a breadwinner for myself. And I would only feel compatible with a man of equal or greater intelligence because I a huge nerd.

This has an internal confound. It's not that women who don't work end up with more kids. It's that once you decide to have more kids upon findinf yourself married to a stable breadwinner, you can stay at home with them.

I have friends who would prefer to stay at home and have lots of babies. Hasn't happened for any of us yet. Some of them are married to men who want them to stay at home too. Many are married to non Americans who could settle for a lower standard of living than most. But none can so far afford it. Well, they could, but apparently none want to make the material sacrifices to do it.

At this point, I am better off actually trying to work to make lots of dollars so that I can afford my three kids. Seriously, wanting to become a stay at home mother who has many children will not enable it to happen. The women in South Korea and Japan are raised to want to become homemakers. It's doing their fertilty rate wonders.

The people with high fertility are 1) low IQ, 2) products of a religious arranged marriage system which pairs them off and tells them to multiply and be fruitful. High IQ people with fertility rates slightly above replacement level are those within propserous countries who make it a point to have a larger than normal family. Not being able to afford this large family does the family creation ambition no favors. I have learned this from experience. So has Iran. So has east Asia.

When some portion of people within a propserous society chooses to try the breadwinner/homemaker model because they value family so highly, they might have more kids. But if everyone is expected to value this model, seems like over time everyone has fewer kids.

Jewish Atheist said...

Um, correlation =/= causation? Women with more kids might be more likely to stay home, rather than vice-versa. It makes sense just from a financial standpoint when you think about the cost of daycare, etc.

Bob said...

Actually it depressing that high-IQ housewives are only having 2.6 kids. What else is it they have to do?