Saturday, January 31, 2009

Religion and charity

Gallup conducted telephone and face-to-face interviews between 2006 and 2008 with at least 2,000 adults in most countries and found that in all major regions of the world more religious people: 1) help strangers, 2) volunteer, and 3) donate to charity.

Friday, January 30, 2009

When I get a chance I'll take a closer look, but check out this analysis of NLSY data.
Patterns of sexual harassment: The General Social Survey asked 3,488 Americans if they have been sexually harassed on the job in the past 12 months. Here are the numbers:

Percent sexual harassed in past 12 months

Surveyed in 2000 4.8
In 2006 3.2

Female 5.8
Male 2.1

Straight woman 6.7
Straight man 2.2
Gay man 2.1
Lesbian 2.3

Single 6.6
Married 2.0
Separated 5.6
Divorced 5.5
Widowed 2.7

White 4.3
Black 4.5
Other 1.0

Age 20-24 7.2
25-29 6.8
30-34 6.2
35-39 3.3
40-44 3.7
45-49 3.1
50-54 2.4
55-59 2.3
60 plus 1.2

Italian 7.6
Irish 6.2
Scottish 6.4
French 5.6
Amerindian 5.0
English/Welsh 3.7
German 2.7
Polish 2.6
Norwegian 2.0
Mexican 1.6

Protestant 3.8
Catholic 3.9
Jewish 0.0
No religion 4.5

Less than high school 6.3
High school 3.5
Some college 4.6
College grad 4.8
Grad school 2.8

Working full-time 4.0
Part-time 3.4
Temp. not working 8.5

Low prestige job 5.7
Middle 3.4
High 4.0

Voted in 2000 for Bush 2.6
Gore 5.0
Nader 10.7

Has cheated on spouse 5.8
Has not 2.5

It always wrong to cheat 3.3
Almost always wrong 2.6
Sometimes wrong 5.3
Not wrong at all 5.7

Goes to bar almost daily 12.5
Several times a week 6.6
Never 2.7

Very happy 3.0
Pretty happy 3.5
Not to happy 5.7

There is a lot here. Let me only make a comment or two--you're input is appreciated. The number seems to be down a bit since 2000. I'd like to think the hysteria is subsiding, but the truth is probably that men have become even more neutered in the workplace. Myself, I never even compliment a woman on how she looks.

Homosexuals are not being harassed at high numbers, although I'm sure that elites assume they are.

For a profile of a harassed person, I'm getting the picture of a young, single, low status woman with a wilder type of lifestyle and a liberal orientation. She attracts attention, some of it unwanted, she probably works in a place with fewer castrated men (lower status men or higher status men in less sensitive fields) and her politics lead her to define ambiguous interactions as harassment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interracial fertility: Over at 2blowhards, Gregory Cochran said in Monday's interview that:

Well, one usual claim is that individuals from every human population are fully interfertile, completely able to interbreed... Of course, like so many sweeping statements, no one has carefully tested this for all possible combinations.
It is true that research has not answered this question, but a recent study tell us that some combinations seem as fertile as same-race couplings. I can't access the full text, but here's some of the abstract:

This study uses 2000 - 2005 American Community Survey data on married (n =272,336) and cohabiting (n = 48,769) couples to compare the fertility of endogamous and exogamous couples. Interracial and interethnic partnering do not affect fertility for cohabiting, Black-White, Mexican-White, and Puerto Rican-White intermarried couples, but it does reduce fertility in Chinese-White and Asian Indian-White intermarriages (Fu, Vincent Kang. Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 70, Number 3, August 2008 , pp. 783-795(13)).
You've got to watch this ad. It knocked me off my chair.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Widespread ethnic consciousness: The Houston Area Survey asked Hispanics (and Asians) if they think of themselves primarily as Hispanics (or Asians) or Americans. Here are their answers:

Hispanics--percentages (N = 823)

Primarily ethnic 50.5
Equally ethnic and American 31.2
Primarily American 18.2

Asians--percentages (N = 68)

Primarily ethnic 39.7
Equally ethnic and American 44.1
Primarily American 16.2

Fewer than 20% in each group see themselves as I see myself--an American. One-half of Hispanics don't even give their American identity equal weight. I'll cut them some slack because some of these folks are immigrants. On the other hand, this is Houston, a place not known as a multicultural vanguard.

Along with blacks, these two groups are getting large enough and powerful enough that they are on the verge of forcing me, a person who doesn't want to, to feel like he must mirror them and become a white man. It's simply defensive racial consciousness. An individualist patriot surrounded by herds of racialists gets stomped.

If this happens to guys like me, the elites who are behind this multiculturalism and the non-whites who happily embrace it will have no one to blame but themselves. They will have killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

And no, folks like me won't become barbarians; we'll simply organize and dominate in an explicit way, in contrast to the unintentional, spontaneous leadership we see today. And we won't feel the slightest twinge of guilt as we do it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Homosexuals use more drugs: The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asks college students about sexual orientation and drug use. Here are the percentages:

Percent using marijuana

Men (N = 762)
Straight 28.1
Bi 53.2
Gay 40.0

Women (N = 1,446)
Straight 19.6
Bi 54.5
Lesbian 25.0

Percent using other illicit drugs

Men (N = 742)
Straight 10.5
Bi 35.7
Gay 31.6

Women (N = 1,446)
Straight 7.2
Bi 21.8
Lesbian 25.0

It is clear that for both categories of drugs, use is much higher for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. I assume this is due to gravitating toward non-conformist social circles, but welcome other explanations.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Immigration drives some to suicide: Here's a cross-national study abstract that reports a .13% increase in suicide for each 1% increase in immigration (supposedly due to lower social integration and culture shock).
More on family size and IQ: From my recent posts on family size and IQ, you might make the mistake of concluding that you need to keep your family small in order to optimize your children's intelligence. Most of my readers are highly educated people: Let's look at IQ scores of the children of parents who attended graduate school by number of siblings. Dad first:

Mean vocab scores for children of fathers who attended grad school (N = 987)

Only child 7.91
One sibling 7.46
Two siblings 7.47
Three siblings 7.34
Four siblings 7.24
Five siblings 7.41
Six siblings 6.83
Seven siblings 7.07

Mean vocab scores for children of mothers who attended grad school (N = 493)

Only child 7.34
One sibling 7.07
Two siblings 7.46
Three siblings 7.43
Four siblings 7.11
Five siblings 6.87

The second list is shorter because not many moms with seven or more kids went to graduate school. The only-children of graduate school fathers seem smarter, but not those with highly educated moms. When families get really large, there seems to be a bit of a drop-off in IQ, but the overall picture is one of high intelligence across all family sizes.

If you want a smart child, the best thing to do--other than choosing a smart partner--is to have a bunch of kids in order to increase your odds. If you want a high average, well you've got the partner part to focus on.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Malkovich--A right-winger?

I can't deny a certain pleasure when I find out that some Hollywood celebrity leans right, especially if he's talented. I shouldn't, but I even smile if he's a neocon. From Wikipedia:

Politically, Malkovich has described himself as a libertarian, and he is an ardent supporter of the death penalty. When the serial killer John Wayne Gacy was executed in 1994, Malkovich organized a champagne party for himself and his friends. Actor William Hootkins, who worked with Malkovich in BBC Television's Rocket to the Moon, stated, 'In fact, he's so right-wing you have to wonder if he's kidding.'

In a 2002 appearance at the Cambridge Union Society, when asked whom he would most like to "fight to the death," Malkovich replied that he would "rather just shoot" journalist Robert Fisk and British MP George Galloway. Fisk reacted with outrage. When interviewed by The Observer, Malkovich elaborated on his comments: "I hate somebody who is supposed to be a Middle Eastern expert who thinks Jesus was born in Jerusalem. I hate what I consider his vile anti-semitism. This being said, I apologize to both Fisk and Galloway; they seem like good men but if they make such a heinous mistake again, I will not hesitate to murder them brutally by way of the gallows." Malkovich later added: "I'm a Christopher Hitchens fan myself, but no one has thinner skins than journalists, in my experience, and I come from a family of them... They can dish it out but they can't take it. But the reason I don't like the topic, why I don't really say anything about a whiner like Fisk, is it gives them more oxygen."

I wonder if there is a correlation between playing a prick (e.g., Malkovich, Fred Thompson) or a tough guy (e.g., Schwarzenegger, Willis) and having conservative tendencies.

The photo is from the front page of USA Today

Friday, January 23, 2009

Family size, birth order, and IQ: Following Blode's line of thought from the last post, I calculated the vocab means for each category of birth order and family size:

Mean vocabulary test score

Only child 7.11

First of two kids 6.71
First of three kids 6.63
First of four kids 6.09
First of five kids 5.28
All firsts 6.29

Second of two kids 6.82
Second of three kids 6.94
Second of four kids 5.68
Second of five kids 5.87
All seconds 6.47

Third of three kids 6.36
Third of four kids 6.41
Third of five kids 5.14
All thirds 5.91

Fourth of four kids 6.53
Fourth of five kids 5.80
All fourths 6.10

Let me know if you see something else, but the main story here seems to be that smaller family size is correlated with higher IQ. I imagine that much of that is due to smarter parents, but it might also have something to do with resources and time being split among fewer children. There seems to be no intellectual benefit from growing up in a household with lots of people to interact with.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Birth Order and IQ: Some researchers have found that the oldest child tends to be the smartest, but what does the General Social Survey say? It asked 838 people about how many siblings were born before them, and also gave them a ten-question vocabulary test which is highly correlated with IQ.

Mean vocabulary score

Only child 7.11
First 6.27
Second 6.47
Third 5.91
Fourth 6.10
Fifth 5.94
Sixth 5.51

The first kid is not the smartest; the second is although the difference is not statistically significant. The first two siblings are, however, significantly smarter than subsequent children.

On average, an only child is almost a half of a standard deviation smarter than a first child. Is this due to smart parents being more likely to have one kid? Let's look at mom and dad's educational level:

Mean father's years of schooling

Only child 10.16
First 11.28
Second 11.22
Third 10.93
Fourth 10.87
Fifth 10.41
Sixth 8.33

Mean mother's years of schooling

Only child 11.53
First 11.32
Second 10.98
Third 10.30
Fourth 9.83
Fifth 9.19
Sixth 8.73

Moms seem a bit smarter but dads look dumber. Sample size for the fathers with one child is only 25, but that's not terrible for a mean. Does all the attention that an only child gets (or even the first couple of kids) pay off?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Incest is how common? We know that there are good reasons not to be sexually attracted to relatives. But just how many people have sex with family?

The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asked college-age men and women about sexual experiences before age 14. I counted up the number of respondents who said they had some kind of sexual contact with relatives. I divided the counts into those who did it because they wanted to and those who did it against their will.

Percent having sexual contact with a relative before age 14 (N = 2,356)

Consensual 7.3
Consensual plus forced 9.5

Consensual 2.1
Consensual plus forced 2.4

Notice how it's consensual most of the time. Why the gender difference? Part of it seems to be the greater number of older as opposed to same-age family partners for girls, but I'm not sure about the rest of it. Perhaps males who are attracted to family are more likely to have multiple partners. Women might be more willing to talk about these experiences, but I doubt it.

Keep in mind that while the survey doesn't specify, I'm sure that some of these cases, perhaps most, are "kissing cousins."

The numbers, I'm sure, would be higher if the survey had asked about experiences after age 13. I remember my buddy in college telling me how he had just done unspeakable things with his first cousin. This, of course, is a broad definition of incest.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A high IQ for a Prez ain't THAT important

We're getting a new Prez tomorrow: let's look at the issue of IQ again. I looked at a research article by Dean Simonton ("Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership," Political Psychology, 27, 4, 2006). He seems to do a pretty careful job. He uses multiple ratings by multiple experts with multiple methods to estimate the IQs and the leadership performance of 42 Presidents.

So, what is the correlation between IQ and greatness? It ranges between .31 and .35, depending on the measure of IQ. If we average the correlations, R-squared is .11, which means that IQ tells 11% of the story. (This is fairly close to Charles Murray's estimate of 16%).

On the one hand, cognitive ability is not a trivial matter. As Steve Sailer wrote, IQ is probably more important than any of the other factors you can identify. On the other hand, 11% is not impressive up against everything else--the other 89%. Plus, the 11% would probably be lower in a multivariate analysis.

You might respond that this doesn't make sense because it is simply impossible that someone with, say, a 95 IQ could perform well at such a demanding job. But that is not what the results imply. They are saying that within the range of IQs that we've seen among presidents, differences in IQ are not that critical. From the lowest estimate of 107.8 (Harding) to the highest of 175.0 (J.Q. Adams), the range is high enough for other factors to become important. (By the way, the high estimate for Harding is 139.9).

Quoting Sailer again, quoting Greg Cochran, "What really matters in a leader is not being smart, but being right. Who was smarter? Warren G. Harding or V.I. Lenin? I'm sure Lenin could have beaten Harding in chess, but I definitely would rather have lived under Harding than Lenin. Harding was kind of a dumb bunny, but his prejudices and instincts were much more reasonable than Lenin's, who was wrong about everything."

In my judgment, Obama is smart as hell. So what. He's wrong.

While we're at it, the study puts G.W. Bush's IQ somewhere between 111 and 138.5, with a mean of 125. This is close to the 125-130 range given by Sailer.

Also--see any numbers that seem way off in the table? Why is Coolidge about the same as W. and Harding?
We all need to help: As the mainstream media, civil rights leaders, and Barack Obama are all telling us today on MLK's birthday, we need to commit ourselves to service.  I agree.  So I just made a donation to Ward Connerly's American Civil Rights Institute, an organization dedicated to abolishing affirmative action and to erasing race from American public life and law. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Audrey Tautou!

I get the feeling that many readers in the Steveosphere are Netflix subscribers. If you are, Priceless with the lovely Audrey Tautou can be watched instantly. The French make great romantic movies, and this one is very funny as well. If Audrey was not named after Ms. Hepburn, she should have been. And this is the first movie of hers where she radiates sexiness instead of innocence.
More hatefacts: Steve Sailer reports that the racial ranking of STDs is similar to crime with blacks at the top and Asians at the bottom. I couldn't resist finding some completely unacceptable fact (now being called hatefacts) from the same report: 60%, I said 60%, of black women ages 40-49 have genital herpes (compared to 25% of white women of the same age--which is troubling enough).

Now we just have to figure out how the Man gave it to them.

I know, I know. Someone is asking why Ron makes a point of publicizing this stuff. Simple--because everyone is hiding it. If these facts were well-known and nobody cared, neither would I.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth, R.I.P.

I have great respect for any talented artist who gave the finger to "art" of the past century. (Plus, I've always thought of myself as a crippled little girl who can't get back home.)  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Attack an insider, kill an outsider? I've read that animals as a rule exhibit non-lethal violence toward members of the in-group and lethal violence toward outsiders, and I wondered if it might apply to human races.

I found rates of within- and cross-race aggravated assaults and homicides for 2006 and looked to see if assaults turn into murders more frequently if the attacks are cross-race. Here are the ratios of aggravated assaults to homicides for different combinations:

Ratio of aggravated assaults to homicides

White-on-white 172.0
Black-on-black 55.1
White-on-black 148.5
Black-on-white 108.7

Just to make sure you're interpreting those numbers right, using the first one, read it as, "For whites attacking whites, you'll have 172 aggravated assaults for every murder." So the lower the number, the more likely someone ends up dead.

So, you can see that black-on-black violence is the deadliest; white-on-white the least so. The second deadliest is black on white, so the chance of death is highest when the perpetrator is black.

Whites are somewhat more likely to kill a black victim than a white one, so this is consistent with the hypothesis, but a black attacker is much more likely to finish off the victim if he is also black--a non-supportive finding.

I should mention the important fact that a great deal of serious violence is mutual combat. The story here seems to be that black participants in violence--whether they end up the victim or the aggressor--are more intensely violent than whites. Have two whites go at it, and you get few deaths. Insert a black as the victim or especially the offender, you get more deaths. Insert two blacks, and the chance of murder jumps even higher.

Does this seem right, or are there other ideas?
Sometimes, "They're all the same and are different from us" is pretty much correct: We're told in sociology class that there is tremendous diversity within any minority group, and it is a serious error to believe otherwise. And when you calculate the mean, the average minority is going to turn out to be the same as the average majority individual. In fact, you don't need to collect data and calculate the mean: fervent faith is all that is needed.

Jews are an example of this. There are even well-known expressions like, "Two Jews, three opinions," and, "Jews are just like everyone else, only more so."

Well, it is better to take an empirical approach to the matter, because it turns out that on some questions, Jews aren't that diverse, nor are they like the average.

Here are the results (GSS data):

Percent in favor of abortion for any reason
Jews 77.8
Extreme liberals 62.0

Percent who agree that a person should get a police permit to own a gun
Jews 93.2
Extreme liberals 81.2

Percent who agree that the U.S. should take an active part in the world
Jews 85.9
All Americans 67.2

Percent who really like Israel
Jews 90.4
All Americans 34.0

Percent who agree that immigrants improve America by bringing new ideas and culture
Jews 90.6
All Americans 57.0

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trends in church attendance

This chart shows the 1972-2006 trend in church attendance (GSS, N = 50,496). 2006 saw the highest share of people in 35 years who never attend--22.7%. You can see that the decline is in the flesh-colored area (?, I'm a man--I don't know colors, plus "flesh-colored" is racist) which is the percent who attend weekly. It has fallen from 28.8% in 1972 to 18.7% in 2006.

If the same trend continues, in another 35 years over 30% of Americans will be unchurched.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Skinny guys have few children: The last post on sex and weight got me wondering about fertility.  Here are the mean number of children that people 40 and over have had:  

Mean number of children

Men, N = 611
Below average weight 1.08
Average 2.11
Above average 2.23
Considerabily above above 1.83 

Women, N = 717
Below average weight 2.14
Average 2.36
Above average 2.14
Considerabily above above 2.12

The item that jumps out at you is skinny men: they have half the children that others have. What's up with that? 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Damn, dem fat chicks is gettin' some:  I looked at GSS data to see which single people have the most sex partners in a year: skinny or fat ones.  Here's the mean (it's an index, so it's not quite the same as the mean number of partners):

Mean sex partners score

Males, N = 936
Below average weight 1.44
Average 1.80
Above average 1.44
Considerably above average 1.11

Females, N = 1,099
Below average weight 1.38
Average 1.24
Above average 1.09
Considerably above average 1.50

Average guys do the best, while the really fat ones come in last.  Seems about right.  

But the chicks.  When I say big sluts, I mean big as much as I mean sluts.      

Eastwood rocks: I've got to give a thumbs up to Clint Eastwood's Grand Torino. What a pleasure it was to hear every vile ethnic slur you can think of on the big screen. Everyone is interpreting it as a anti-racism film, but it seemed to me to be saying that it's not really a big deal if you run across old men who speak like that. Most rough talk is just that, talk. It's okay to not get too worked up about it; in fact, it can be funny as hell. The movie said, lighten up ya tight asses.

Government workers are not liberal

N = 11, 827

N = 2,835

N = 15, 072

I assumed that government workers lean left. The GSS disagrees with me. The top chart shows that the political orientation between government and private employees differs little. Well, maybe public employees are not liberal but vote for Democrats nevertheless. You can see that in the middle graph that, once again, the difference is slight.

As a side note, look at how the percent of workers employed by the government has not grown much in the past two decades. I thought it had.

Friday, January 09, 2009

That is SO barrio!  Agnostic has an insightful analysis up at Gene Expression on teen births. Let me add to it the perspective of a dirty racist blogger. 

I read the National Vital Statistics Report he linked to and found the birth rates for girls ages 15-17 for tbe most recent year available (2006):

Births to 15-17 year old girls per 1,000  

Mexican Americans 53.9
Blacks 36.6
Whites 19.4
Amerindians 30.7
Asians 8.8

Now, I'd rather see teen births than abortions, but still.  Slummy behavior is sometimes referred to as "ghetto."  Maybe it's time to say, "That is SO barrio!"

It's now the norm for liberals to be extremists on abortion



These graphs show trends in favoring abortion for any reason since 1977 (GSS data). Liberals and extreme liberals were combined in the the top chart, and it shows that this radical position has increasingly become a part of a liberal orientation. Back in the 70s liberals were split on the issue. It's the norm now to be an extremist.

The bottom graph combines conservatives and extreme conservatives. For them, licentious abortion has always been a minority view. There has been a decrease, but it's not as noticeable.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zimbabwe is more accepting of atheists than America:  There's been a lot of talk about Obama's religious faith.  Some have speculated that he is actually a non-believer.  How many Americans are strongly against an atheist President, and how does that compare with the rest of the world? 

The World Values Survey asked respondents in many countries if they agreed that an atheist is unfit for high public office.  Here are the percentages who strongly agree:

Percent who strongly agree 
Pakistan 82.4
Morocco 72.4
Egypt 70.1 
Jordan 66.6
Iraq 66.1
Indonesia 59.2
Nigeria 56.8
Tanzania 53.4
Algeria 51.7
Puerto Rico 36.5
Venezuela 35.5
Bangladesh 30.2
Turkey 28.4
Philippines 26.8
Uganda 25.2
Romania 23.0
South Africa 22.9
Macedonia 17.7 
USA 17.6
Greece 17.5
Albania 16.1
Zimbabwe 14.9
Mexico 14.9
India 14.5
Chile 14.0
Argentina 13.7
Moldova 11.7
Ukraine 11.7
Malta 10.7
Kyrgyzstan 10.5
Serbia 8.7
Slovakia 8.7
Croatia 8.5
Bulgaria 8.1
Lithuania 7.2
Poland 6.7
Belarus 6.7
Canada 6.6
Russia 6.4
Hungary 5.5
Latvia 5.3
Luxembourg 5.1 
Bosnia 5.1
Austria 4.6
Vietnam 4.5
Italy 4.4
Ireland 4.0
France 3.9
Finland 3.5
Estonia 3.5
Great Britain 3.3
Belgium 3.3
N. Ireland 3.2
Iceland 2.6
Portugal 2.6
South Korea 2.6
Germany 2.4
Slovenia 2.4
Czech Rep 2.4
Japan 2.2
Spain 2.2
Sweden 1.7
Denmark 1.3
Netherlands 0.6

No big surprises here.  The United States is above average, and sits with with non-Muslim, less developed countries.  That's not exactly right since America is not as tolerant as former Soviet countries.  It is very different from First World Europe.  

I don't get this.  I'm in the pews every week, but whether the Prez is a believer is simply not the question.  The question is whether his politics match mine.  Any person with my political views who would vote for Nancy Pelosi because she is a fellow Catholic over Newt Gingrich because he doesn't seem to be religious enough is a retard.  If a candidate is pro-life, what do I care if he doesn't believe in the Bible?  

Perhaps I should give people more credit and assume that they believe that an atheist is very likely to be a liberal, but doing even a little bit of homework will get beyond the stereotype. Unfortunately, too many religious people believe that atheists must be bad people--that is pure stupidity.  

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dawkins gets his bus ad exactly wrong:  The New York Times informs us that Richard Dawkins, A. C. Grayling, and the British Humanist Association have supported a campaign that has raised more than $200,000 to advertise the following on 800 buses across Britain: "There’s probably no God,” the advertisement says. “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

They may nor may not be right about the first part, but it looks like they're wrong on the second part.  The World Values Survey asked 2,042 Brits about their religious attendance and their satisfaction with life. Both questions were on scales from 1 to 10, 10 being the most churchgoing and the most satisfied.  Let's look at percentages for the top three and the bottom three:

Percent giving a particular answer

Most satisfied with life--10
Those attending more than weekly 18.9
Those who never or rarely attend 11.3

Satisfied with life--9
Those attending more than weekly 30.1
Those who never or rarely attend 14.8

Satisfied with life--8
Those attending more than weekly 31.2
Those who never or rarely attend 24.3

Most unsatisfied with life--1
Those attending more than weekly 0.0
Those who never or rarely attend 1.3

Unsatisfied with life--2
Those attending more than weekly 0.0
Those who never or rarely attend 1.5

Unsatisfied with life--3
Those attending more than weekly 0.0
Those who never or rarely attend 4.1

The advertisement should read, "Stop worrying and stop enjoying your life."

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sibs and offspring:  Reading R.A. Fisher's ideas about the heritability of fertility as summarized by David B. over at Gene Expression, it made me wonder to what extent your own completed family size is associated with that of your parents.  I was surprised to find that, according to GSS data, it's only .13. People depart from their parents more than I thought.  

To look at it in a more detailed way, here is the distribution of completed family size for people who grew up with two siblings:

Percent in each category

No children 17.2
One 12.2
Two 29.9
Three 19.9
Four 10.4
Five  4.7
Six 2.5
Seven 1.4
Eight or more 1.8

The modal category is two children, so the tendency here is more to follow the current norm of two kids rather than to imitate one's parents.  People are really all over the place here. 

I also wondered if the correlation has changed at all over the past six decades, but I saw no evidence for it.  It doesn't seem to vary across gender either.  


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Perceived weight by ethnic group:  General Social Survey interviewers recorded perceptions of their respondent's weight, ranging from "below average" (=1) to "considerably above average" (=4).  In contrast to scales, measuring weight in this way allows us to see how people are perceived by others.  I calculated the means for all ethnic groups with at least 30 respondents in the sample:

Mean weight score
Mexican 2.37
Blacks 2.33
Italian 2.32
French 2.32
American Indian 2.29
English/Welsh 2.22

USA 2.21

Irish 2.23
German 2.19
Polish 2.14
Scottish 2.10
Jewish 2.02
Chinese 1.83

SD 0.63

As we saw in a post on scale-measured weight, Mexican Americans are the heaviest group. The objective and subjective match up.  Blacks, the other large NAM, are next; American Indians are fifth.  Next heaviest are those of southern European descent.  Northern and eastern Europeans are next, followed by Jews.  Chinese Americans--no surprise--are the skinniest.  The pattern follows social class ranking. The difference between Mex-Ams and Chinese folks is almost one standard deviation.   

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What ever happened to John Henry?  When you think of a really hardworking NAM, who comes to mind?  I've been conditioned to imagine a Mexican guy who earns minimum wage but works two or three jobs in order to put food on the table. 

The Gambling Impact and Behavior Study asked 1,440 men ages 30-64 about their work status. Here are the percent who reported working a full-time job and a second job. 

Percent with second job--males

Non-Hispanic whites 4.7
Non-Hispanic blacks 10.2
Non-Hispanic others 3.9
Hispanics 4.6

The stereotype should be of the hardworking black man.  Along with Hispanics, whites and others--mostly Asians--have low numbers, but this is due to the fact that members of these groups are more likely to have a really good job that obviates the need for two. 

And for women:

Percent with second job--females

Non-Hispanic whites 3.8
Non-Hispanic blacks 4.9
Non-Hispanic others 1.8
Hispanics 2.4

Same thing. 

Now, don't get me wrong. Blacks have higher unemployment numbers, but the focus in this post is on the high end:

Percent unemployed or not in the labor force--males aged 30-64

Non-Hispanic whites 15.6
Non-Hispanic blacks 21.9
Non-Hispanic others 18.0
Hispanics 11.3

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Which region is the most corrupt? The Blagojevich scandal has reminded us how corrupt Chicago politics is, but is it a problem endemic to the region?

The General Social Survey asked 1,513 people, "In the last five years, how often have you or a member of your immediate family come across a public official who hinted they wanted, or asked for, a bribe or favour in return for a service?" Answers ranged from "never" (1) to "very often" (5). Here are the means by region:

Corruption mean score

West South Central 1.31
East South Central 1.29
New England 1.26
Mountain 1.23
Middle Atlantic 1.21

USA 1.19

South Atlantic 1.16
Pacific 1.16
East North Central 1.16
West North Central 1.10

SD 0.59

First, 87% of respondents answered "never" (number not shown) which backs up the idea that the U.S. is a low-corruption country.

You can see that the Midwest, especially the western half, has the lowest levels of corruption. States from Texas and Oklahoma to Kentucky and Alabama have the biggest problem, and yes, New Orleans immediately came to mind. The difference between the best and worst regions is a third of a standard deviation.

These numbers match up with this USA Today corruption conviction map to some extent, but the conviction data show the Dakotas to be corrupt.

The state-by-state map, of course, gives a more detailed picture, but I trust survey data more since convictions depend on many factors and thus are a more indirect measure of corrupt behavior.

There's the stereotype of the "old boys network" in the South, but I've heard that a lot of those little Mexican towns in Texas are notoriously corrupt.

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 ...