Friday, August 29, 2008

One should always respect others' customs: I read over at blogfather Steve's that Palin's husband is part Eskimo. I've also read that Eskimos have a tradition of sharing their wives with visitors. I'm gonna have to spend my next vacation in Alaska and ask Mr. Palin about this.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"It's not a low IQ--it's a learning disability": Reading Murray's piece on the limits of educational reform, I was reminded of one exception to America's religious devotion to the idea that all kids can become geniuses. And that is huge growth of the "learning disability." Every semester I get a stack of confidential letters describing all sorts of diagnosed learning disorders, along with requests to make accommodations for these students. They need extra time on exams, permission to record lectures, etc.

Educators seem to be more comfortable recognizing limits if they are understood as disorders. We are told that these students are not dumb; they are smart, but just face extra obstacles.

Maybe people don't like "dumb" because it sounds like forever, and labeling it as a disability enhances our compassion for the person, and it gives hope that eventually we'll discover a cure. The medicalization of IQ might be the only palatable way to confront the reality.

On a related note, every year for the past decade I hear more and more noise among faculty that we have to come up with better ways to improve the "critical thinking skills" of students. In my view, this is the acceptable way of saying that too many of our students are too dumb to be enrolled in our courses. The dishonesty and self-deception in education is embarassing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lesbian lawbreakers: I showed the other day that gay men are not less criminal than straight guys (at least that's what one data set says). Now, what about lesbians?

The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asked 1,160 women about their sexual orientation, and if they had been arrested in the past year. Here are their answers:

Percent arrested in past year

Straight women 1.8
Lesbians 11.1
Bisexuals 5.9

It's what I think most of us would have expected. (Keep in mind that the sample sizes for the non-heteros are very small).

Sexual assault among female inmates is nothing like that of males, but it does happen. And now we have evidence that lesbians are overrepresented among those brought into the system.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Losers living at home: It's been my impression that there are a lot more losers these days still living at home with mom. You know--living in the basement. No job, but lots of video games. (Maybe I'm thinking about this because I recently saw Stepbrothers. Very funny by the way. Funnier than Tropic Thunder which was funny. But don't trust my taste--I'm a big Three Stooges fan.)

Well, the data don't back me up.

The General Social Survey has asked people about their living situation since the mid-70s. I calculated the percent of single men ages 25-40 who live with their parents by decade. Here are the results:

Percent of single men ages 25-40 living with parents

1970s 24.2
1980s 21.9
1990s 13.9
2000s 13.4

So, what is going on? My guess is that, compared to the 70s, many more single men are cohabiting with a girlfriend now. Guys who had a job but didn't earn enough for their own place now can head their own household with a female partner.

It might also be that a single man in the 25-40 age range was more likely in the 70s to be someone who lacked the ability to have a decent job and to get married. More single men now are capable but are not in a hurry to settle down. In other words, the average single guy these days has more going for him compared to a few decades ago.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More evidence that bisexuals have problems: Using General Social Survey data, I have shown that bisexuals seem to engage in more troubling behavior than other sexual orientations. The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asked 1,159 female college students if they had an abortion in the past year. Here are the percent who said yes by sexual orientation:

Percent of women having an abortion in the past year

Straight 2.9
Lesbian 0.0
Bisexual 5.9

This is more support for the "troubled bisexual" hypothesis. Bisexual women are more likely to abort a child even though you would expect that some of their partners would be unable to get them pregnant. Actually, they do have more total partners. (By the way, I've also reported a pattern of less psychological health with those who are very unsure about their belief in God. Atheists and those who are certain of God's existence seem healthiest--at least in some ways. Problematic behavior seems to accompany ambivalence. This reminds me of Durkheim who wrote that questioning everything is an unhealthy condition.)

These results also make me more pro-lesbian: they don't have abortions.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gay men are as violent as straight guys, and even more sticky-fingered? The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asked males attending college about their sexual orientation and frequency of delinquent behaviors over the past year. I calculated the means for both straight and gay guys (answers ranged from 0 ("never") to 5 ("more than 10 times")):


Carried a hidden weapon
Straight 1.30
Gay 1.55
SD .85
N = 770

Hit someone
Straight 1.58
Gay 1.70
SD .87
N = 772

Destroyed property
Straight 1.72
Gay 1.60
SD .84
N = 769

Gotten rowdy in public
Straight 2.20
Gay 1.45
SD 1.31
N = 772

Gotten drunk in public
Straight 2.33
Gay 2.20
SD 1.54
N = 770

Knowingly bought stolen goods
Straight 1.42
Gay 1.50
SD .84
N = 772

Lied about age
Straight 1.91
Gay 2.40
SD 1.38
N = 771

Stolen something worth 5-50 dollars
Straight 1.35
Gay 1.85
SD .87
N = 772

Stolen from a family member
Straight 1.27
Gay 1.75
SD .77
N = 772

Avoided paying for things
Straight 1.72
Gay 1.60
SD 1.13
N = 771

Look at how the Eltons are not less violent than the straight guys. Surprising. As I would have guessed, they are not as rowdy in public, but they do tend to commit more crimes of deception. You just never know about these things until you look at some data.

Friday, August 08, 2008

On vacation: I'm vacationing right now. Had to take a rest from my summer vacation. The life of a teacher is rough. Now can you see why our complaints of being underpaid are valid?

If I get time, I'll do some analyses on the road, but for sure new posts will appear after the 15th.

Now, now. Don't cry. Just remember that numbers are only a thought away. They're free, and they will never reject you. As I drive down the road, I'll find myself daydreaming, "One... ah, so erect... two... so curvy and interesting....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

God as chastity belt: I saw a Google ad on this blog asking if you want atheist women. That made me wonder, for some odd reason, if atheist women put out more than others.

The General Social Survey asked 4,423 women about the total number of sexual partners they have had in the past 5 years, as well as asking them about belief in God. Here are the means (it's actually an index: for example, someone with more than 100 partners--the highest category--is scored an 8):

Mean index of sex partners

Doesn't believe in God 1.94
No way to find out 1.76
There is some higher power 1.78
Believes sometimes 1.57
Believes but doubts 1.55
Knows God exists 1.27

The pattern is clear. Atheist women have the most sex partners, so guys, it pays to cruise for chicks at Humanist Society commitment ceremonies. Females with full confidence in a God being out there have a significantly lower average than the other groups. In the old days they strapped a chastity belt on a girl. Now, God must use like a force field over the area.

My daughter gets the fear of God put into her on a daily basis, thank you.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A. Solz: I see from a New York Times article that Russians, especially young people, are more or less indifferent over the passing of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I imagine we will see a similar response in most places, America included.

This is the fate of truth tellers. It's the people who tell you what you want to hear who become the heroes. The rare type, usually a person with a math or science background (as Solzhenitsyn had), loves to tease the truth out of things and tell it like it is, and people sooner or later will hate him for it. The word "truth" sounds pretty, but it's really a low priority for most folks.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Proof that whites still have a big problem with race: Rasmussen polled 1,000 likely voters last week and reported that 84% of whites are willing to vote for a black person for President. Sixteen percent did not express a willingness, and they and the 16% of blacks who said the same thing when polled a month ago are in serious need of racial re-education.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Just read Jews: I've read some of Kevin MacDonald's writings and found it interesting that for someone with such controversial ideas, most of his sources are Jewish. Now, of course someone can take another person's ideas and bend them to fit into one's own theory.

That's why I was stunned just now. I watched a documentary on anti-Semitism called the Protocols of Zion. The central theme is that there are still people around who believe the silly idea that Jews knew about 9/11 beforehand, and didn't die because they stayed home that day, but the makers of the film covered many areas. My jaw dropped as I listened to an interview of a Jewish author by the name of Douglas Rushkoff who wrote Nothing Sacred. He said, and I quote:

"The thing that makes Judaism dangerous to everybody, to every race, to every nation, every idea, is that we smash things that aren't true. We don't believe in the nation-state, we don't believe in the idea of these individual Gods that protect individual groups of people. Judaism teaches us to see that these are artificial constructions. In a sense our detractors have us right in that we are a corrosive force, breaking down the false gods of all nations and all peoples because they are not real. And that is upsetting to people."

I guess the only real people are Jews, and the only real god, Yahweh.

Seriously, I had to look twice to make sure it wasn't MacDonald being interviewed. Actually, it didn't sound like him since he writes every other sentence that much of the shenanigans are due to self-deception, whereas Rushkoff is saying that Judaism teaches this skill.

You don't have to read gentiles to hear shocking claims about Jews. Just read Jews.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The recent Gallup poll on immigration

Have 9/11, the experience of mass immigration, and restrictionist advocacy shaken up public opinion on immigration? Gallup recently polled 1,975 Americans. As you can see in the chart above, anti-immigration sentiment shot up right after 9/11: the percent favoring less immigration went up almost 20 points. Well, you can see that 100% of that gain has been lost.

And the percent of idiots wanting more immigration increased from 8% in 2002 to 18% now.

And notice how 9/11 was not the high point of anti-immigration sentiment. As the report indicates: "In the mid-1990s, roughly two in three Americans wanted to see less immigration during a backlash against immigrants symbolized by California's Proposition 187, which denied government benefits to illegal immigrants." That number is down TWENTY-SIX points. I don't know about you, but I'm not smiling.

I imagine that many who want more people coming in are immigrants who hope to bring cousin Jesus over. (28% of Hispanics want more immigration. In an earlier analysis of mine using GSS data, the number is much higher if they are asked about increasing Hispanic immigration).

Not very many Americans now think that the issue of illegals is serious either: "... just 27% of Americans said illegal immigration would be an extremely important issue to their vote for president this year, ranking it dead last of eight issues tested." (The rest of the numbers I discuss are not in the graph).

More people now think that immigrants take low-paying jobs that Americans don't want--a stunning 79%--than they did two years ago (74%).

Whites and Hispanics look at the costs of immigration very differently: only 30% of Hispanics think immigrants cost taxpayers too much, compared to 71% of whites.

And if you assume that moderates are just like conservatives on immigration, you're wrong. Twice as many want immigration increased (22% vs. 12%). It is clear now (and always was) that McCain is not going to win over Hispanic voters, and I suspect that moderates at the end of the day don't give a crap about the issue, so if McCain wants votes, he needs to flip-flop right on this issue.

It looks to me like the anti-illegal fervor we've witnessed in the past couple years might not be some kind of widespread movement, but is around the 30% of Americans (mostly white and a small number of blacks, I'm sure) who say that, on the whole, immigration is a bad thing.

If restrictionists are going to win on this issue, they have their work cut out for them.

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 ...