Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are "angry white males" angry? Conservative guys like me have been labeled "angry white males," but are we? My sister-in-law suggested that liberals are the ones who are ticked off about everything.

The General Social Survey asked 1,128 whites how many days in the week they get angry about something. Here are the means by political orientation:

Mean days that the person is angry

Extremely liberal 2.53
Liberal 1.58
Slightly liberal 1.42
Moderate 1.38
Slightly conservative 1.49
Conservative 1.61
Extremely conservative 2.04

Extremely liberal 2.44
Liberal 1.60
Slightly liberal 1.32
Moderate 1.57
Slightly conservative 1.45
Conservative 1.21
Extremely conservative .93

While extremely conservative guys fit the stereotype, it's liberals who are angrier. The pattern is especially clear for women. Very conservative women are the calmest of the bunch.

Now, how do we explain this? Anger comes from the perception that one is not being treated fairly, so perhaps liberals are the type of people who see themselves as frequent victims of injustice.

So there is a message here for libs: chill people, anger's not good for you. Do yourself a favor and look for something positive.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Mex-Am vote: Well my break didn't last long.

Did anyone ever check how many Hispanics voted for Bush in 2004, according to the GSS? Even though Steve Sailer was debunking the exit poll-based 44% right after the election, I still see pundits give that number.

The GSS is also useful since we can look specifically at Mex-Ams--the Hispanic group that really matters here. It gives the number 37.4%.

Bush is held up us a model Hispanderer, and in his best year he can't even get two-fifths of the vote? And Juan "They're all children of God/Race is off the table" McAmnesty can't even manage one out of three? And every Republican strategist and even so-called right-wingers like Palin have all answered the question of what went wrong in 2008 the same way (in unison, like robots): We failed to get the Hispanic vote.

Just like all those black voters (also natural social conservatives), they'll be joining us Any Day Now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas, bitches: You know how we professors get super long vacations, so I'm going to make the best of it and spend the next couple of weeks out of town. If I get a chance, I'll post, but if you see no changes for a few days, the Thought Police have not dragged me off to the Ministry of Love.

Dona nobis pachem.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fat and happy

Males, N = 410

Females, N = 439

Males, N = 430

Females, N = 485

The Steveosphere has been chatting about fat, so I thought I'd chime in. There are two ideas I wanted to test: 1) that fatter people are happier; and 2) that they're lazier.

General Social Survey interviewers looked over respondents and recorded whether they thought they were below average, average, above average, or considerably above average weight. I omitted non-whites since their numbers were too small.

The top two graphs show how happiness varies with weight. Among men, the skinny ones are not as happy. Men of average weight are happiest, but the fatties are pretty close.

Among women, the trend is clearer: the fatter, the happier.

Now, on the laziness question, I picked work status for people from the age of 30-55. (Next time, I might look at other indicators).

Looking at the third graph, the skinny guys are least likely to be working full-time; the really fat dudes are second.

Once again, weight is more important for women. As the rotundness increases, so do the hours at work. Notice how the skinnies have the most homemakers. They probably used their thinness to bag them a productive husband. (Lots of thin part-timers too).

So, the data here do not support the idea that fat people are lazy and miserable. Perhaps happy people worry less about their weight. The world is a good place whether I'm narrow or wide.

What's up with thin men? Not happy because they're too slight--a feminine quality? More neurotic?

I imagine that more fat women need to work because they don't have a man to support them, or because they must bring more income to the marriage bargain to compensate for being unattractive. Or they're just lower-income types and need the money more.
A message to all blockheads: I just had a dream that some moron read my blog and went out and committed a hate crime. This is the kind of thing I never think about because stupid people don't like numbers, and the readers here are not that kind of people, not by a long stretch. But there is always that one percent who have something wrong with them, so a message to them: Always obey the law, and get some professional help.

This blog is devoted to getting the facts out and to stating things boldly, but I condemn the mistreatment of anyone and everyone. I'm against hatred, animosity, and ill will of any kind.

The data show again and again that groups differ, but groups are one thing and individuals another. When dealing with a person, focus on his actions, not which group he belongs to. The best way to know what he is like is to find out what he is like. It's a wise policy to always treat people with respect, whether they deserve it or not. It's hard for someone to treat you like a jerk when you don't reciprocate.

Probably the most controversial thing I do here is to document social problems in the Hispanic community. I worry about the well-being of my country, but it is not my intention to demean anyone. There are millions of Latinos who are more moral, more intelligent, more accomplished, and more attractive than I am. As I wrote before, I am in favor of people coming to the country who make a net contribution to its success.

Now I can go back to sleep.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rap and going to church: Readers have suggested that the decline of black singing and the rise of rap is due to declining church attendance. Church is a great place, especially for poor people, to learn how to sing and perform.

One of my favorite things about mass is the chance to sing and to listen to the organist play classical music. If you're a singer like I am, you know how satisfying it is to exercise those pipes once in a while, but if you're not a professional and think that the karaoke circuit is a little pathetic, where do you ever get a chance? In the car? You look like a crazy person. Even in church, a guy who is in the choir or who sings in the pews feels a little funny, but at least it's legitimate.

My friend got me started in high school. He tried to persuade me to join the school choir--I told him it was gay. He twisted my arm and reminded me that Bono is a singer. I agreed to visit one time. We walked into a large room, and there were about 40 girls and 5 guys. I signed up immediately and was awash in females for the next two years.

But I digress. Back to the question. I looked at General Social Survey to see if the share of blacks ages 18 to 25 who go to church at least almost every week--you're going to have to go at least that often to be in the choir--dropped in the late 70s or early 80s:

Percent of young blacks attending church nearly every week or more

1972-1976 22.5
1977-1981 23.3
1982-1986 28.5
1987-1991 24.3
1992-1996 20.3
1997-2001 29.7
2002-2006 29.9

No evidence here. The numbers bounce around a little because sample sizes are not large, but the story here is one of stability over the past four decades. But since rap was created in the ghetto, let's try to focus on urban blacks (those living in the largest 100 SMSAs):

Percent of young urban blacks attending church nearly every week or more

1970s 23.7
1980s 28.1
1990s 21.2
2000s 30.0

Same basic story. Along with rap, the crack-related crime wave of the 80s was not preceded by a drop in religiosity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Southern culture: The notion that we can understand quite a bit about contemporary American politics and culture by looking at the very old North/South divide is an intriguing one. In a data set of mine compiled from many sources, I included a measure of "southerness" put together by sociologist Raymond Gastil. He based it on populations originally from core southern states who had remained or migrated to other states, pretty much by the time of the Civil War.

Illinois, for example, gets a moderate score because of people like Abe Lincoln who were born in the south, but then moved north and putatively took some southern culture with them. This might explain Lincoln's almost fighting a duel with James Shields. Mountain states like New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada are other examples of states with moderate southerness scores. According to Gastil, early populations laid down the foundations of culture which have endured to some degree until the present time.

I looked at all counties with at least 250,000 people in 2000 (N =220) and calculated the correlations between southerness and a number of variables that might be influenced by culture.

Southerness index (Pearson correlation coefficients)

Okay to hit a drunk man who bumped into your wife .78*
Household gun ownership .65*
Homicide rate .49*
Suicide rate .36*
Percent Republican .24*
Alcoholic liver disease mortality rate .21*

* significant at the .01 level, one-tailed test

Guns and violence are closely related, but even alcohol abuse and suicide are significantly associated with southerness. I suspect that the percent Republican correlation is weak because the sample is limited to populous counties, so the range of the share of the population that is Republican is not as wide as it would be for all U.S. counties.

Some of the correlations would be smaller if we adjusted for percent black. Of course, sociologists--the braver ones, anyway--like to explain black violence in terms of "southerness." The others either say that the races do not differ in violence, only in being arrested for it, or that the social system is so unjust, it makes blacks go crazy and take out their anger on convenient targets. (They fail to mention, however, that their own theory implies that whipping up blacks with hypotheses of being exploited will likely contribute to the problem).

Monday, December 08, 2008

He's gotta a big head. You know what THAT means....

Okay. I couldn't resist. Make of it what you will. This German condom institute invited men online to measure the length and girth of their penises. More than 10,000 men from 25 European countries submitted their measurements. I correlated the means with national level IQs taken from Sailer's table of Lynn's data. Here are the numbers:

Pearson Correlation

Length-girth .80
Length-IQ .63
Girth-IQ .43

I expected that I'd find nothing or perhaps an inverse correlation, but wow, a positive one. Does God have to give it ALL to some guys??!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"White trash" folks are good for something other than cannon fodder

Of Rolling Stone's top 100 singers, 28 are white male Americans. The interesting fact is that 13 were born in the South. Even more interesting, most of these Southerners grew up poor. Elvis Presley, the third best singer on the list after Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, is a good example. His father was a sharecropper and a truck driver.

The vast majority of all the white males have English, Scottish, and/or Irish ancestries. The only men I found with some German in the family line are Bruce Springsteen, Greg Allman, Axl Rose, and Steven Tyler. While Italian Americans like Frank Sinatra dominated big band music, the only vocalists with some reported Italian blood that made this rock-dominated list are Springsteen, Tyler, and Frankie Valli. For such a small group, Jews did just fine with Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Art Garfunkel.

Why so many white southerners? Well, popular music requires singers with soul, naturalness, and unschooled talent, and Scots-Irish men of humble origins seems to have it. I might be tempted to suggest that people with lower average IQs (e.g., blacks) tend to be more in touch with their instincts, but Jews contradict the idea. (Plus, I imagine that successful singers have above average IQs relative to their group). Another possibility is that there is greater extraversion among southerners, an important trait for performing.

Southern men also seem to have voices that are more resonant and lower. This isn't valued particularly with many types of popular music, but country western fans are drawn to it. Buddy Holly didn't have it, but it sure helped Johnny Cash and George Jones.

Women from the South didn't do too badly either. Of the nine white American women on the list, three were southerners: Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Janis Joplin. All three had a lot of passion, and Cline even had resonance like the men.

Keep in mind that so many of these men made a list that was chosen by music elites in places like L.A. and New York. People there are not known for their love of southern whites.

I guess "white trash" folks are good for something other than cannon fodder.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The rise and fall of the black singer

On the issue of race, three things strike me as I look over Rolling Stone's list of the top 100 vocalists: 1) black folks can sing; 2) they abandoned that talent for the lesser ability of talking rhythmically; and 3) their style was more assimilationist during Jim Crow and more countercultural since.

I spend most of my time documenting social problems among NAMs. It has to be done because mainstream data analysts are fundamentally dishonest. In fact, they are even liars about black superiority. Of the top 100 singers, 39 are black, and they are competing with not only white Americans but other English-language whites: Brits, the Irish, Canadians, and Australians.

Now, I haven't read the literature, but multicultis are so predictable, who needs to: black singing goes back to the slave days of surreptitious Gospel songs of liberation; entertainers were considered trashy people so blacks were allowed into the industry, etc., etc. I say nonsense. Blacks are naturally good at singing, period. Just yesterday, I walked into McDonalds and a minimum-wage black girl is singing like a bird. They're not hard to find.

So I've got a question for black folks: you've got the talent to produce the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye, and you decide to start talking instead? Well, I'm sorry folks, but you made a mistake--Eminem does it better than y'all, and he sucks. You peaked with Ray Charles--and what a peak that was--but it's been nothing but slide ever since.

And black singers used to have class. Can you think of anyone classier than Nat King Cole? Guys like him just wanted to get into the club, but just as soon as that happened in 1965, black folks decided that they didn't want entry; they wanted to look like the guys who burned down the club. And so we end up with high-class mugs like Plies (in the photo) and we're supposed to celebrate this as art and progress. Sick and twisted times.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sexism at Rolling Stone? This week's Rolling Stone lists the 100 best vocalists ever. I did some totals, and 75 singers were male while only 25 were women. At first that sounds like a case of people prefering male to female voices. They're stronger, more resonant. Women's voices can be shrill and screechy. Growing up in the 80s, I could count on one hand the number of contemporary female singers I liked. (Off the top of my head, Blondie, Hynde, Lennox, Sade, Sinead).

But I noticed that the judges picked by RS were men by three or four to one. It is clearly a male dominated industry. Not only are the judges men, they tend to be older, and the list shows a real preference for the 50s-70s. That's not simply bias: many people including myself think that music was better then.

Anyway, perhaps the long list of male artists reflects male bias or the traditional expectation that women would give up careers for family.

I looked at those who made the list who were born in 1960 or after, and the ratio shifts dramatically. While four guys made it onto the list--Bono, Cobain, Rose, and Yorke--five women made it--Houston, Aguilera, Bjork, Carey, and Blige. Three guys were just a year or two too old--Prince, Jackson, and Morrissey--but even with them, male dominance is not what it used to be.

And this squares with my own experience: I haven't counted, but the gender split of the young singers I listen to now is roughly 50/50. Maybe there are more relaxed female singers now--the kind I usually like (e.g., Corinne Bailey Rae).

The girls seem about as good as the guys at singing these days. The creative types are still largely men--notice how most of the women I listed are known for their voices--but I suspect the gap is smaller now. The gender revolution of the past half century has, I suspect, exposed us to more female talent. The problem is that what folks, male or female, are creating ain't what it used to be.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's getting better all the time

Whites, N = 24,684

Blacks, N = 4,235

Other races, N = 1,225

Cultural conservatives and old people have the bad habit of assuming that everything is going hell. Data have a way of proving everyone wrong sooner or later.

I know from prior analysis that whites are more intolerant of marital infidelity than they used to be, but I wanted to check for other racial groups. You can see in all three groups shown above that since 1973 there has been a gradual increase in the number of people who say that cheating on your spouse is always wrong. In an era of tolerance, it's refreshing to see so many people close-minded about the issue.

People used to be more indulgent about affairs, at least for men, but now they are much more approving of sex before marriage. I'm not thrilled with either era, but if you're going to be free sexually, I would prefer that you do it before children are involved. We traditionally make a big deal about divorce, but it's breakup of any sort with children involved that's the problem.

People seem to put marriage on a high pedestal now. Higher status people are thinking about how it's the institution where our precious children are raised and how they will be ruined or saved depending on the parenting, while lower status folks will start families without marriage, but still see it as an ideal they hope to eventually have.

And once you finally get married, you've got to get it right (although our expressive individualism makes that difficult). Does Hollywood have something to do with the idealization of marriage? Sailer has writen about the pro-family messages found in some films.

Can we attribute the moral improvement to feminism, to a greater concern for the treatment of women, like we might with attitudes towards wife beating and rape? Damn, I hate giving fems credit for anything. Is it due to a greater desire for couples to have an authentic relationship; to have real honesty?

If you're inclination is not a moralistic one like mine, keep in mind that society's condemnation of cheating benefits us beta males by making it harder for the alphas to have multiple women. If you're an alpha, why are you reading this dumb blog when you could be out on the prowl?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Emotional intelligence is the future: I ran across a study (Van Rooy et al. 2005. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 689–700) that found that women, blacks, and Hispanics score higher on the "emotional intelligence scale" or EIS. You know--the test that supposedly measures how well you perceive, understand, and manage emotions.

The authors write that, while the use of general mental ability tests raises adverse impact and legal concerns, businesses can avoid bias by using the EIS in the hiring process. They cite studies reporting that the use of emotional intelligence tests to aid the personnel selection process is on the increase.

It is just too easy to imagine this test becoming a commonplace in human resources departments. A test where women and poor minorities outperform men and whites??!! Give me one of those! Disadvantaged groups getting hired in large numbers without preferences??!!

Teamwork is so important now, and interpersonal skills are so essential in our service economy. It is an intelligence test of sorts, right? Plus, in this age of Oprah, it is just so great to focus on feelings! And if it doesn't help productivity, who cares?!

I can see it all now....

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 ...