Friday, July 27, 2012

The cross-national correlation between IQ and divorce

For 72 countries, I calculate a correlation of .44 between the mean IQ of a country and the rate of divorce. The greater wealth of intelligent countries reduces the economic necessity of marriage, but the correlation between per capita GDP and divorce is only .28.

I suspect that less intelligent countries are more likely to see marriage as a change in life status, not a contract. The acid of modern rationality reduces institutions like marriage to voluntary agreements that can be dissolved if unsatisfying. The focus on family used to be intergenerational; now it's business between adults.


  1. Ironically high IQ individuals within a country (or America at least) are much less likely to divorce, I believe. Certainly college graduates in America are much less likely to divorce.

    This is what high IQ and high education types do: they knock down all tradition and convention for society as a whole while adhering to convention themselves, because it is just more successful.

    Obama is a prime example. He is a married, hard working, faithful family man among the 1%, whose wife stays home with the kids, who attend private school. Meanwhile his life work is to incentivize the opposite of everything he does personally.

  2. That's an interesting take, Dan. I hadn't thought of it like that, but it's true. On the macro level, people espouse values that avoid personally.

    Liberals trumpet liberal social values while simultaneously leading very traditional lifestyles.

    Conservatives trumpet conservative social values while simultaneously leading hidden perverted lifestyles.

  3. "Conservatives trumpet conservative social values while simultaneously leading hidden perverted lifestyles."

    Statistics show that conservatives are more likely to be married and tend to have substantially more children on average than comparable liberals. Liberals divorce less, but only because they marry less.

    As for hidden perversions, I suppose conservatives do tend to keep theirs hidden, as opposed to liberals, who consider their perversions to be a point of Pride.

    America was classier when people kept their perversions to themselves rather than wrap their perversions around themselves as their 'identity.'

  4. Unmarried Man: much, much, more complicated.

    Liberal areas are divided between professional types who think liberal and live conservative (fight for gay marriage and never divorce yourself) and the underclass that thinks liberal and lives liberal (have 6 kids out of wedlock). The elites actually believe their values are effective because, well, they never get screwed, and blame the proles' problems entirely on poverty.

    Conservative areas tend to be filled with people who think conservative and try to live conservative. The higher-IQ and richer types are better at it, of course.

    So, conservatives try to keep traditional values to protect themselves from winding up like the proles in liberal areas. They're probably right to do so: rural whites aren't quite as pathological as urban blacks. (But the rednecks are not exactly role models.)

    Myself I'm a hybrid: I prefer the promotion of traditional marriage, etc., but support contraception and abortion. People are just too dumb to keep it in their pants these days.

  5. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Conservatives trumpet conservative social values while simultaneously leading hidden perverted lifestyles

    Is there any evidence at all to suggest that this is the case?

    The fact that liberals like to believe it does not constitute evidence.


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