Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chairman Ann: Coulter is smokin' the last couple weeks, and I ain't talking about the sexiness department. When pundits with large megaphones start sounding like VDARE columnists, the dark clouds begin to dissipate, and little sunbeams start to poke through.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gay Quiz: I just saw a Google ad on my own blog that invites you take a quiz to find out if you're gay. Here's my are-you-gay quiz:

1) Do men turn you on?
A. yes
B. no

If the answer is "A", you're gay.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

While we're on the gay issue, take a look at this 60 Minutes piece on homosexuality. I especially like the research that shows that ordinary people can spot homosexuals by their movements, mannerisms, and voices. I say "in your face" to the PC crowd.
Lesbian leisure: As a follow-up to the post on the leisure activities of homosexual men, let's compare straight women with lesbians:

Percent who have done the activity in the past year

Attending sporting event
Straight women 55.4
Lesbians 33.3

Art museum
Straight women 42.2
Lesbians 37.5

Straight women 51.8
Lesbians 47.5

Car race
Straight women 12.5
Lesbians 0.0

Straight women 43.4
Lesbians 41.7

Straight women 67.0
Lesbians 58.3

Attending dance performance
Straight women 10.0
Lesbians 12.5

Classical music/opera
Straight women 17.4
Lesbians 28.4

Straight women 29.9
Lesbians 25.0

Perform music/dance/theatre
Straight women 10.0
Lesbians 12.5

Playing sports
Straight women 60.7
Lesbians 58.3

See a movie
Straight women 78.2
Lesbians 85.0

Play musical instrument
Straight women 24.3
Lesbians 35.0

The two groups are more similar than I expected, but some of the differences are probably obscured when straight women tag along with the boyfriends or husbands to do more masculine activities like hunting. I'm surprised to see the two groups are roughly the same on playing sports. The number seems high for straights--there are probably a lot of walkers/joggers/gym-attenders in there. As a commentor wrote in the earlier post, differences might be larger if we could look at frequency. I see that lesbians do not fall behind straights in artistic interests--in fact, their numbers are bigger on most items.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ann's the Man: Yes, I know that Ann Coulter is unpleasant to many and wrong on some issues, but her piece this week on illegal immigration is quite good. Take a look.

And I know some of you Beavises will take advantage of the fact that the words "Ann" and "piece" are found in the same sentence.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What do gays do for fun (other than have sex)?: It bothers me just how much homosexual sexuality is discussed at the expense of other aspects of who they are. I was debating a gay guy on the Internet one time, and when I argued that, in my view, homosexual sex was not equal in value to heterosexual sex, he claimed that I thought he was infererior compared to me. I said no: there is a great deal about us that is not sex. Instead of supporting the view that he was a full human being, he continued argue that sex is absolutely central to who he is. I told him that if he thought of himself as a 6 foot penis rather than a man, well that is his choice, but that is simply a distortion of who he is.

So in that spirit, let's see what gay guys do with their free time other than the yucky stuff I don't like to contemplate. Looking at the General Social Survey, I compared the percent of straight versus gay who have done certain things in the past year. Here are the numbers:

Percent having done the activity in the past year

Attending sports event
Straight 66.5
Gay 54.5

Art museum
Straight 38.6
Gay 60.0

Straight 32.9
Gay 50.0

Car race
Straight 24.5
Gay 9.1

Straight 54.4
Gay 18.2

Straight 56.9
Gays 27.3

Attending dance performance
Straight 16.6
Gay 42.5

Attending classical/opera performance
Straight 16.5
Gay 32.7

Straight 53.2
Gay 18.2

Performed dance/theatre/music
Straight 11.2
Gay 22.5

Played sports
Straight 71.4
Gay 63.6

Attended movie
Straight 72.9
Gay 72.5

Played musical instrument
Straight 23.5
Gay 30.0

The only thing that really surprised me was gardening. Combine this with camping, hunting, and fishing, and evidently gay guys don't like to get dirty. Gay guys do like playing sports almost as much as straights. (I didn't want to get sexual, but I was stalked by a guy in the showers once). Not surprisingly, homosexuals are more cultured.

Side note: I'm trying to imagine someone not going to a movie for a whole year. Maybe I'm the strange one.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Only stupid people believe Latinos will vote Republican if they get treated nice: Ok, I confess that I sometimes watch Fox. I saw Geraldo sanguinely tell O'Relly that Latinos will vote for you if you "just treat them nice." I'm highly skeptical to say the least.

Nobody treats Hispanics better than Mormons who believe that they are sort of a chosen people of God. (They believe that Jesus visited Amerindian tribes after his resurrection). Roughly half of the Church is Latino, and many who live in Utah are Mormons. So this big huge love fest should mean that most Hispanics in Utah vote Republican, right? Wrong. According to research reported in a Deseret News article:

"In Utah, Hispanics are more likely to vote Democratic than the general population, the majority of which votes Republican. In the BYU exit poll, 49 percent of Hispanics identified themselves as Democrats and 39 percent as Republican. Some 55 percent voted for Democrat Pete Ashdown, who lost his bid to replace Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch."

So in an state where most people vote Republican, and where Latinos are loved and respected by Republicans, Hispanics are the basically the same as they are any place else: they're Democrats. Nice try Mustache-From-Hell, but us ord'nary Americans ain't as dumb as ya' think.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hitch is unhinged

I've watched a couple of recent Christopher Hitchens debates on religion, and as someone who would like to see belief in God become even more widespread, all I can say is thank God for Hitchens. He acts like a prick on stilts. You could cut the hostility he gives off with a knife. He acts like every religious person that ever lived molested his daughter. He comes off like a rabid dog, and all right-thinking atheists should do what they can to get him committed. He helps the cause like Hitler helped patriotism. Maybe it's the drinking. Look at the photo: does the guy go to the john without booze? He keeps talking about how hateful church people are, but I can't think of a person on a TV talk show that has shown more venom, and I'm not proud to say that I've watched a lot of shows. I was an atheist for about 15 years, and even then I was disgusted with these types who think that the way you talk to believers is to call their mothers whores.
Update: It turns out that Chesterton agrees with me. He wrote that the enemy of religion is not atheism--it's growing indifference. And like Nisbet wrote, aggressive atheism reawakens and reinforces a person's religious values. Hitchens is a friend: the deepening secularization of life is the enemy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More on class and marriage: A reader outlined some limitations to using occupational prestige as a measure of class. In addition to his points, I was dissatisfied with the gender factor in general: a wife could easily come from a high status family, but might not pursue a prestigious career. Looking at education gets around some of these problems, so here are correlations among the same groups I listed in the earlier post:

Pearson correlation coefficients

Father's educ.--Respondent's educ., .49
Respondent's educ.--Spouse's educ., .62
Father's educ.--Spouse's educ., .44

Now these correlations are definitely stronger than when occupational prestige is used. How far you it make it in school depends a lot on Dad, but getting a successful career is more out of his hands.

It seems to me that the most important reality in all this talk of marriage is the simple principle of "homogamy." At least in the American context, it's not so much that you marry someone whose family is like yours in terms of status--you marry someone very much like yourself. Family is correlated with those characteristics, but modestly. This focus on family status is, I think, more on the minds of elites than ordinary people.

Now Steve's definition seems to focus on parental concern, but in American society, anyway, "concern" looks less like influence and more like hope. I know my working-class parents never cared in the least that I associate with people of a certain status: they only wanted me to hang out with good people. My parents would have been perfectly happy if I married a girl with only a high school degree. As for my sister's spouse, they only cared about character, not status. It makes sense that the higher your position, the more that class is a real issue since the people at the top can only maintain or move down.
Does social class determine marriage? Steve Sailer has put forward the idea that "class is about who your descendants are likely to marry." But just how meaningful is any definition of class is contemporary American society? Below, I present Pearson correlations between your father's occupational prestige when you were 16, yours now, and your spouse's. (It would be nice to look at your spouse's father's occupational prestige, but the GSS doesn't have it):

Pearson correlation coefficients

Father-respondent .31
Spouse-respondent .39
Father-spouse .27

These connections are pretty weak. The one that most directly measures your family's class with that of your spouse's is the last one listed, and it is only .27. If this correlation were not reduced by the influence of controls in a multivariate analysis, then your family's class explains about 10% of your spouse's class.

It is possible that a direct measure of your spouse's father's class might be more highly correlated with your own father's, but it seems doubtful when these numbers show that there isn't much of a correlation between your father's class and your own as an adult. The fluidity and individualism of American society makes the idea of class less meaningful.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Are biracial people less happy? With all this talk about Obama's racial identity and his depression, I was interested in this question. I used General Social Survey data to construct two variables: 1) people who say their ancestors are 1st from Africa and 2nd from some white country, versus all others, and 2) people who say their ancestors are 1st from some white country and 2nd from Africa, versus all others. The former I will call "black-whites" and the latter will be "white-blacks."

By the way, the numbers of these biracial people who put black first is twice as large as those who put white first, and the percent of these folks who said "black" when simply asked their race was 88% for the white-blacks and 93% for the black-whites. Here are the percentages for happiness:

Percent very happy

Unmixed whites 33.2
Unmixed blacks 20.9
Unmixed others 30.1
Black-whites 20.9
White-blacks 24.8

The second answer-choice is "pretty happy", but let's look at the third choice--"not too happy":

Percent not too happy

Unmixed whites 9.2
Unmixed blacks 23.6
Unmixed others 11.9
Black-whites 15.6
White-blacks 23.8

Biracials--both black-whites and white-blacks--have low levels of happiness, but not lower than unmixed blacks. But we can't tell from these numbers if the causes of the similar levels are the same or not.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Players are serial molesters: All you guys out there that get a girl to fall for you so you can get in her pants, you're not cool--you're serial molesters. You use your words, your charms, your promises, your high-pressure tactics, and you leave the girl with a lifetime of heartbreak to get over--all so you can get your jollies, and can feel like a man. But you're not a man--you're a common criminal. And if there is any justice, you'll pay for it someday.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The other poor minorities are least likely to want a black president: What's the relationship between ethnicity and voting for a black candidate? According to the General Social Survey, here are the results:

Percent unwilling to vote for black president

Mexicans 11.6
American Indians 11.4
Poles 10.6
Irish 9.7
Germans 9.7
Italians 9.2
English/Welsh 8.5

USA 7.7

Scots 7.3
Blacks 1.4

Evidently, more Mexicans and Indians are afraid that blacks would hog the minority pie with a one of their own in the White House.

Overall, the vast majority of Americans would vote for a black man, but the numbers are large enough here to affect results. Since Obama is our current possibility, people likely to vote for a Democrat are most relevant. The numbers for whites by political orientation:

Percent unwilling to vote for a black president

Extremely liberal 8.0
Liberal 7.2
Slightly liberal 4.4
Moderate 10.2
Slightly conservative 8.3
Conservative 12.8
Extremely conservative 13.5

The percentages are higher for liberals and and moderates than I would have guessed, and are high enough to influence the primaries and the general election. Does anyone know how many whites are more likely to vote for a candidate because he is black? Not too many, I suspect.

Being Mormon is a larger obstacle, as a recent Gallup poll indicates that 24% would not vote for one. Stupid--I would be more likely to vote for one because they have more sense (their instinct is conservative on most issues) and character than most people. Romney was the charismatic one at the debate last week. And the Gallup poll shows that Americans were slightly more willing to vote for a Mormon 30 years ago. I can't think of another topic where Americans are so unnecessarily ignorant.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Surpassing your father: Reading the other day about how Robert Frost's son killed himself, it made me wonder if, in general, sons of more successful fathers are less happy. Using General Social Survey data, I calculated the educational difference between father and son. Knowing that absolute educational level is correlated with happiness (as well as having an interest in educated people), I limited the range by only looking at sons with at least a bachelor's degree. I also figured that small differences might not matter much, so I compared two groups: sons with 4 years more education than dad versus sons with 4 years less than their father's:

Percent of sons happy with 4 more years of education than father

Very happy 34.6
Pretty happy 57.9
Not too happy 7.4

Percent of sons happy with 4 fewer years of education than father

Very happy 26.5
Pretty happy 57.4
Not too happy 16.2

While the difference is not huge, sons that did not go as far as their fathers are not as happy. This may be due to the expectation that, with all of their advantages, sons will surpass their fathers. If they don't, it must because they failed to apply themselves.

This is an example of how people are harmed by a belief in environmental determinism and by not understanding statistics. When I tell my very best students that their kids may not do as well as them due to regression to the mean, they look at me like I'm crazy and evil. If you think about it, if you were Robert Frost's son, why in the world would you think that you could match or surpass such a freak of nature? Our culture would be much healthier if we acknowledged and made peace with our natural limitations. It's okay to be a regular guy. Thank God for your life and health.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Nervy Burglars II: This e-mail from some Hispanic guy to VDARE.COM has been posted on its website:

"Why don't you publish this article, (Race Forms Ugly Underbelly Of Immigration Debate, by Amber Arellano, Detroit News, April 30, 2007) on VDARE.COM? Hmmm... probably not a welcome point of view. Surprise, surprise.

In the end, Arellano is right. You clowns don't like the fact that we're brown and that we come from Latin America. I am 100% sure that if we were German, Irish or some other "white" European nationality there would be an instant end to the immigration debate.

There are many, many young Hispanic families in this country... lots of kids, lots of enthusiastic hard work and savvy... we are not going anywhere and you can't stop it. Is that what's really bothering you and all your frightened VDARE.COM buddies?

Do yourself a favor…learn some Spanish. I have pretty much mastered the use of the English language. Now it's your turn.

If this guy is trying to persuade me of something, he is succeeding: he is confirming my concern that the rapid increase of Hispanics in this country is a movement of power against me and my family. The only reason that I am not "hablando Espanol" today is that this guy does not have quite enough buddies and organization to impose his desires on me. I wouldn't like it any better if some blue-eyed Russian immigrant told me it's time I starting eat borscht. Don't tell me what to eat in my own gotdamn house. To the extent that I have an influence in the house called America, we're going to eat what I like.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nervy Burglars: Did you hear about the professional burglars rally that was held all across the country? These people break into people's houses and have obtained fake papers saying they are licensed contractors. Yesterday, they took to the streets in anger because we Americans are not jumping to attention quickly enough when they demand legitimate papers. I'm telling you, we live in Alice's Wonderland.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Global church attendance trends: In the last post, I looked at trends in global church attendance over two time periods--1981 and 2001. The problem with the analysis is that two samples included different countries, and it might be that the 2001 sample included more of the developing world which tends to be more religious. I'm very busy right now, but I will update this post with additional countries, as I find the time.

My first choice of countries is China since it is the largest. It was surveyed in 1990 and 2001. The percent never attending religious services declined from 94.1% to 89.6%. The largest growth was in the more frequent attendance categories. Of course the numbers are still low, but hey, this is China.

India: Attendance in India is down bigtime over the same period. The biggest drop was among those going more than once a week from 29.4% to 15.3%. Almost everyone goes, but not so often.

USA: America remain unchanged between 1982 and 1999.

Nigeria: Between 1990 and 2000, the biggest change is more people going more than once a week: from 55.5% to 63.7%. Now that's religious.

Russia: During the 90s, the trend was for those who go never or rarely to begin to go for Christmas and Easter and other holy days: this category rose from 7.9% to 22.6%.

Mexico: From 1990 to 2000, the percent attending weekly went from 31.6% to 42.5%.

Are gun owners mentally ill?

  Some anti-gun people think owning a gun is a sign of some kind of mental abnormality. According to General Social Survey data, gun owners ...