Friday, July 31, 2009

Black and Mexican-American men have higher verbal IQs than the women? Looking at GSS data, I see that the mean Wordsum score for Mexican Americans born here is 5.70 for men and 5.44 for women (N = 173). There is also a slight advantage for black men born in the country over black women (4.93 versus 4.86, N = 2,961). This reverses the sex pattern seen among whites (6.21 for men and 6.38 for women born in the U.S., N = 16,236). The differences are small (only the white gap is statistically significant) but, still, it's weird.

It's not due to education since Mex-Am and black women stay in school longer than their male counterparts. And it's not work. NAM women work more hours per week than white women, and the work gender gap (men of all three groups work more) is smaller among NAMs. What's the explanation? Just a fluke?

UPDATE: It looks like there is an explanation for blacks, anyway. Only 37% of the black sample is male. The GSS does not sample institutionalized or homeless people, and as the reader suggests, more low-IQ black men may refuse to participate in the survey.

But this doesn't seem to explain Mexican-American men who make up as much of the Mex-Am sample as do white men the white sample--45.8% and 44.5%, respectively.

Wanting to take another look, I used ETHNIC instead of HISPANIC to identify Mexican Americans because ETHNIC has been asked many more years. Yielding a sample of 393 people born in the U.S., the male Wordsum mean is 5.07, and for females it is 4.82. (HISPANIC produces a much higher average than ETHNIC because Mex-Am scores have been on the rise for the past 20-30 years--thank God). The male advantage is still there for the larger sample, but again it fails to reach statistical significance.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

American IQ in 2050: In terms of IQ, how will the United States look in 2050? I got population projections from the Census, then made simple assumptions about the mean IQs of racial groups: Asians 105, whites 100, Hispanics and Amerindians 90, and blacks 85. The mean IQ for 2050 is projected to be 95.5.

To get some context, which counties have IQs in the same range? Vietnam, Uruguay, Slovenia, Israel, Portugal, and Romania. Nice countries, but hardly world leaders.

UPDATE: One Standard Deviation has calculated a 2050 estimate as well, and puts the IQ mean at 96.2.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

IQ, marriage, and fertility for men and women: Is it true that dumb guys and smart women are less likely to marry and have kids? And I don't mean each other--I mean at all. The idea is that women like a man who is a bit smarter than them. I generated GSS graphs based on over 3,000 of each sex, white and ages 40 to 60. This first graph is for men.

There are only 17 men who scored a zero on the vocabulary quiz, so if we ignore that category, low-IQ guys have a higher share of never-marrieds (shown in gold). When I say low IQ by the way, I'm talking 60s through about 80. Guys smarter than that but below average have high marriage rates. Notice how the percent single is high among the smartest categories.

The graph above is women. The percent unmarried rises with Wordsum scores for those who are above the average (which is roughly 6).

Back to the men, you can see in this graph that while unintelligent guys are more likely to be childless, so are the highly intelligent (once again, it might be a good idea to ignore the zero group). You might be tempted to conclude that those scoring a one might be more likely to have a lot of kids too, but the sample is too small to have any confidence in that.

The pattern here is pretty clear. Really smart women are more likely to be childless and less likely to have large family. The only eugenic trend seen in all these graphs is the larger share of dull men with no kids.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sex and personality

I scanned pages 128 and 129 from Sex Differences in Antisocial Behavior by Terrie Moffitt et al. Over 900 males and females aged 18 completed the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), and the researchers correlated various dimensions of personality with a measure of antisocial behavior. As you can see for both sexes, a willingness to take advantage of others and cause them discomfort (Aggression) was most predictive of the list of measures. The sex differences in these predictors explain over 90% of the sex difference in antisociality. Keep in mind that research shows sizable heritabilities for many of these traits.

But I was most interested in two other items. First, see how traditional/conservative folks are less likely to be criminal. Second, look at the sex differences in personality. Let's list the differences from largest to smallest in terms of standard deviations:

Female advantage

Harm avoidance .72
Social closeness .43
Prone to over-react .41
Self-control .34
Traditionalism .21

Male advantage

Aggression .87
Suspicious/persecuted .32
Achievment .22

Women are more cautious, controlled social, sensitive, and in need of a predictable environment. Men are more willing to take advantage of others; they are more likely to feel mistreated; and they are more achievement-oriented.

These findings square with my perception of the sexes: Women are the good sex; men are the interesting sex. Women seem like social anchors, but most of the interesting people I know or read about are men. Some of them are good people, and some are bad.

We can see a similar pattern with the major races, but IQ is important as well as personality. Asians are a smart and good race, but since they have a feminine personality, they are less interesting. Blacks are the "male" race and are thus interesting, but whites are smart and less feminine than Asians, and so arguably have produced the greatest number of interesting people.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Race to the top of the pile of bullshit

Obama unveils four-billion-dollar education plan

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama launched a competition to improve US educational standards, a key part of his campaign promise to make the country's school system the best in the world.

The program, dubbed the "Race to the Top," will encourage US states to compete for 4.35 billion dollars in federal grants with the goal of encouraging them to improve school systems.

Obama said he was "issuing a challenge" to education professionals, state and local officials, even parents and students throughout the country to meet "a few key benchmarks for reform" to obtain the grants.

"If you set and enforce rigorous and challenging standards and assessments; if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom; if you turn around failing schools -- your state can win a Race to the Top grant." ...

Is "Race to the Top" meant to be a double entendre?

It is so difficult to read material about improving education because it is so hackneyed, and I have to live with it every day at work. When I hear a new round of enthusiasm about bringing up the left hand of the bell curve to match the right hand, I think of the study I read about in Straight Talk about Mental Tests in which it was found that the standard deviation among children raised in an Israeli kibbutz was 15 points. Are you getting the meaning of that? Children who were raised communally were no more similar to each other on IQ than if you picked two random children out of the general population. Something as radical as the kibbutz can't even reduce IQ inequality.

By the way, if you're short on cash and don't have access to academic journals, buy the old classics online--I like for this kind of thing. You can get a beauty like Bias in Mental Testing for like a buck if you look. You might think that it's a waste of time to read old stuff, but trust me, Arthur Jensen 30 years ago is ten times better than any sociology research from 2009.

And tell friends and family about these kinds of facts. Over the years, I've talked to most of my relatives and friends, and unless they're hardcore liberal, white folks will accept this stuff. (I'm sure other non-whites will too.) Just recently I told my mom that the black mean IQ is around 85, and she about fell off her chair. She couldn't believe it was that low. It was hard for me to believe that a 63 year old woman had never heard that before, but I imagine the percentage of people who have is low.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another study: Here's a more recent study showing no criminal justice system bias against blacks:

Although blacks are arrested disproportionately for most types of violent crimes, disagreement persists as to the extent to which official arrest data are indicative of differential offending behavior or selection bias on the part of law enforcement personnel Using data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), we assess the effect of an offender's race on the probability of arrest for 335,619 incidents of forcible rape, robbery, and assault in 17 states during 1999. The baseline model for these comparisons is the equiprobability hypothesis that relative to violation frequency as reported by crime victims, the likelihood of arrest for white and black offenders is roughly equal. Multivariate logistic regression results show that the odds of arrest for white offenders is approximately 22% higher for robbery, 13% higher for aggravated assault, and 9% higher for simple assault than they are for black offenders. An offender's race plays no noteworthy role in the likelihood of arrest for the crime of forcible rape. These findings suggest that the disproportionately high arrest rate for black citizens is most likely attributable to differential involvement in reported crime rather than to racially biased law enforcement practices (Race and the Probability of Arrest, D'Alessio, Stewart J., and Stolzenberg, Lisa. Social Forces; Jun 2003, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p1381-1397).

Notice how this study was so well done, even the very liberal sociology journal Social Forces couldn't reject it. I have to give the journal credit for publishing something that contradicts a cherished belief. Look how I'm applauding a publication for managing to do what it is supposed to do.
Data on bias: I can anticipate the liberal whine about how my last post failed to understand that black anger at the criminal justice system is justified since it is so racially biased. Here is the abstract from one of the first of a long number of studies which show that that system is not perfect, but is basically not biased against blacks.

Most contemporary sociological theories of crime predict that blacks will be overrepresented among arrestees in common law personal crimes. These theories differ, however, in the extent to which this overrepresentation is attributed to disproportionate involvement in criminal offenses vs. criminal justice system selection biases. Studies that have relied upon official data have generally supported the differential involvement hypothesis, whereas studies relying on self- report techniques generally have supported the differential selection hypothesis. National victimization survey data on victims' reports of racialcharacteristics of offenders are introduced as a third measurement technique in order to shed additional light on this controversy. These data for rape, robbery, and assault, are generally consistent with official data on arrestees and support the differential involvement hypothesis. Some evidence of differential selection for criminal justice processing is found; however, most ofthe racial disprportionality in arrest data is shown by victimization survey data to be attributable to the substantially greater involvement of blacks in the common law personal crimes of rape, robbery, and assault. These results suggest that traditional admonitions against using arrest data as an index of involvement in these crimes may be overly cautious. In fact, the results imply that more caution should attend the use of self-report data in this vein and that more attention should be given to sampling and instrument concerns in self-report techniques. As currently used, the method may not be adequate for assessing the correlates of serious illegal conduct. The results also suggest that research emphasis be placed on those theories, such as the subcultural and differential opportunity perspectives, which attempt to explain differential racial involvement in these common law personal crimes. (RACE AND INVOLVEMENT IN COMMON LAW PERSONAL CRIMES, MICHAEL J. HINDELANG, American Sociological Review 1978, Vol. 43 February: 93-109.)

For those who would like a translation from sociologese to English, Hindelang found that data from victims gathered by research interviewers matched arrest data; in other words, there was no targeting of blacks. The victim data did not match self-report data very well, however, indicating that blacks were underreporting their crimes. In a later study reported in Measuring Delinquency, Hindeling asked teens if they had ever been taken in by police, then checked law enforcement records to see if they were lying. All demographic groups were honest except black males.

By the way, did you notice that this guy is (actually was--he died young) a liberal? He suggests that we look at differential opportunity theories to explain why blacks are so violent. Since the system denies them equal opportunities, they get really angry and shoot at their neighbors. This guy was no conservative who went into this research with the goal of getting the system off the hook. The same can be said for most researchers who find no bias.
A teachable moment: President Obama tells us that the Professor Gates incident is a teachable moment. "Let's have a dialogue on race" is always code for another opportunity to lecture whites on how racist they are.

But it turns out that the present controversy is a perfect moment for blacks to learn something that white people get. Police work is dangerous. At any moment, an officer can be attacked. Dozens are killed each year by citizens, and many more are assaulted. Because of the inherent danger of the job, officers are trained to establish and maintain control in any police-citizen encounter.

Blacks are completely self-absorbed on this issue. They seem to imagine that when white officers approach white citizens, it is to invite them out for coffee and donuts. News flash: I've been stopped by cops 8 or 9 times and each time was treated in a cold, controlling, insensitive manner. But white first graders get it that law enforcement is to be treated with respect even if they are acting like jerks. If you think they've gone over the line, you give them what they want and then go down to the station to file a complaint. Blacks--even Harvard professors--seem too stupid to understand this basic fact. Out of concern for control and safety (and frankly respect too--something a black man should understand) police often arrest people because of their inappropriate demeanor.

Once again, even black men as smart as the President start foaming at the mouth when it comes to the police. Just two days ago, a black male student freaked out in class over the issue and would not shut up about it. He sleeps through most of the material, then grandstands when the topic turns to the criminal justice system.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Suckiologists II: This is how idiotic sociologists are. I was just reading in an undergraduate-level sociology textbook the reason why gay men are more promiscuous. (I was surprised that they conceded the fact). You see, men in general have a sex drive because society teaches them that men are sexual. Presumably, society instructs straight guys to have sex with a lot of women, while it teaches gay men to screw as many guys as possible. In an earlier section, the author also wrote that the sociobiological view that gender differences in sex drive are mostly biological in origin is simply propaganda intended to support a patriarchal society; in other words, to justify male privilege and to keep women in their place.

Do you pay to have your children subjected to this crap? Send them here; they can get crap for free. You've got to innoculate your kids against this nonsense before they get it in school. Nowadays, homeschooling of a certain sort is absolutely mandatory.

UPDATE: It just gets better and better. Now I read that homosexuality is caused by an abundance of physical affection from mom, and lesbianism from a lack of it. I guess a distant mom produces a masculine child regardless of sex. Why am I not surprised that no data is presented?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rushton's general personality factor: Have you guys been following Rushton's latest work? He's conducted several studies suggesting that there is a general social ability factor, just like there is a general factor for mental ability.

From one of his studies:

The position to be presented here grows directly out of Darwin’s (1871) view that natural selection endowed modern humans with larger brains, increased levels of general and social intelligence, and a more ethical and prosocial personality than ‘‘primeval man and his ape-like progenitors” (p. 159). Darwin wrote of increased levels of human qualities such as ‘‘courage, sympathy, and faithfulness,” and a ‘‘need for approval by others,” with a concomitant decrease in the frequency of ‘‘selfish and contentious people” who ‘‘will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be effected” (p. 159). Darwin described how moral and inter-personal skills go hand in hand with the greater intelligence modern people possess.

Using structural equation modeling, he shows that personality traits are not orthogonal, and that a general factor can explain more than 50 percent of the variation in the lower-order traits.

To be really reductionist about it, people can be classifed into one of four categories: 1) smart-good; 2) smart-bad; 3) dumb-good; and 4) dumb-bad. And since intelligence and pro-social behavior are positively correlated, as Darwin suggested, there may be more people in categories 1 and 4 than in 2 or 3. This does seem consistent with a rough folk psychology. You could get even more reductionistic and say there are two categories: competent and incompetent, or something like that.

Rushton thinks of the general trait as "social efficiency." Another quote:

In a competitive world, there are always rewards (personal and professional) for more efficient persons—those who are more level-headed, agreeable, friendly, dependable, and open. We close by noting Tolstoy’s (1875/1918) famous opening in Anna Karenina, ‘‘All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Perhaps a similar principle applies to individuals: ‘‘All happy [or efficient] people resemble one another; each unhappy [inefficient] person is unhappy [inefficient] in his or her own way.”

Sunday, July 19, 2009

East Asian IQ: Cavalli-Sforza hypothesized in The Great Human Diasporas that East Asians have high IQs scores because: 1) parents push their children more in academics; and 2) the children have to learn Chinese characters which boosts performance on IQ tests.

We can test the idea by comparing the IQs of East Asians in their own countries with children educated in an English-speaking country. We would expect Asian parents to encourage their kids in both kinds of countries, but we wouldn't expect Asian children to be mastering Chinese characters in English-speaking schools in Western countries.

According to the averages of several studies summarized by Richard Lynn in IQ and Global Inequality, people in China and Japan average IQs of 105; the mean is 106 in South Korea. The first study I found on Asian IQ was an Australian study (Justine Dandy and Ted Nettlebeck. Educational Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2002. The Relationship Between IQ, Homework,Aspirations and Academic Achievement for Chinese, Vietnamese and Anglo-Celtic Australian School Children.) Chinese Australians had a mean IQ between 108 and 109.

Now one would expect immigrants to have IQs higher than the average in their mother countries, but we would also expect to see regression toward the mean among their children. I don't see evidence here that failing to learn Chinese characters is hurting anyone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Assortative mating and IQ: Assortative mating for IQ spreads out the range of IQs, producing more high-end individuals. Estimates in the 1970s indicated that the American level of assortative mating accounts for more than 50 percent of the population with IQs over 130, and 80 percent of the people with IQs beyond 145 (Jensen. 1981. Straight Talk about Mental Tests, p. 90).

Has assortative mating increased since that time? The GSS gives us a good measure of a respondent's IQ (WORDSUM); unfortunately, the best we can do for the spouse is educational level. I looked at people in their 30s. All correlations are based on samples of at least 1,000:

Correlation between IQ and spouse's education

1970s .47
1980s .39
1990s .37
This decade .30

At first glance, this looks terrible. We see a big drop in assortative mating over the past four decades. But upon closer inspection, I suspect the shrinking correlation is due to the declining validity of education as a measure of intelligence. Here are the correlations between Wordsum and respondent's level of education for people in their 30s for each of the past four decades:

Correlation between IQ and one's own educational level

1970s .59
1980s .54
1990s .48
This decade .38

Wow. Schooling used to be indicative of intelligence. The validity coefficient for this decade is low: one's educational level just doesn't mean much anymore. Evidently, the decline in the correlation between the spouses' IQs we are observing is due to educational level becoming a lousier and lousier proxy for intelligence. Perhaps real assortative mating hasn't changed much.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gender, sexual orientation, and forced sex: The National Crime Victimization asks tens of thousands of Americans each year if they have been the victim of crime. Among the many different types, both males and female are asked if they have been forced to have sex. I looked at the 1992-2005 sample that included 924 cases of forced sex. The percent distribution by sex of offender and victim looks like this:

Percent distribution

Male-on-female 80.5
Male-on-male 10.5
Female-on-male 3.6
Female-on-female 5.4

First, I don't know how men are forced to have sex as in sexual intercourse with women since I would think an erection shows cooperation. It sounds like a situation where a man could get excited by the woman and in the particular situation; he didn't want to do it for some reason, but was pressured into it or something like that. Or by "sex" the respondents mean something less than intercourse.

You can see both gender and sexual orientation at work here. Guys--straight and gay--are less than 50 percent of the population but commit over 90% of the sex crimes. No news there. Homosexual offenders commit more acts on male victims than straight females even though they are a tiny group. Lesbians attack half as many victims as gay men, but then again they are roughly half as prevalent as male homosexuals.

Of course I'm oversimplifying because there are people who commit same-sex assaults who say they are not homosexual. This fact has been observed in prison, but it is not expected to happen much in free society where straights have access to members of the opposite sex.

I'm sure someone will comment that sexual assault has nothing to do with sexual attraction, but we HBD-ers don't go for that PC nonsense.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ricci and me: Sotomayor's hearing and the Ricci case has got me thinking about my own experience with testing. I thank God for tests. I come from a rural, working-class family. My parents are high school graduates. My dad is a retired maintenance man. I didn't know many college graduates growing up. No connections of any sort.

We often hear about how a special teacher makes all the difference in the life of a kid from a humble origin. My teachers were fine, but I am not where I am today because of their special efforts. I don't know--some kids might have a Mr. Smith or a Ms. Thompson to thank, but I owe everything to Mr. SAT and Ms. GRE. The SAT got me into a good university with a full-tuition scholarship. My GRE was certainly the reason why I got a teaching assistantship and a tuition waiver in grad school.

Sotomayor will say that tests cannot measure the cultural assets that one brings to the table. And I say bullshit. We're equal there, lady. Your Puerto Rican experience gives you a fresh angle on things. My experience as a rural, working-class kid of a particular region and religion, with a particular personality gives me a unique perspective. So what. We all see things from a unique place, so no one has an advantage there. Aptitude tests predict better than anything we know whether a person will succeed or fail, so unlike skin color, testing tells us something valuable.

Testing has been a way to make social class barriers more porous--a pretty progressive idea. Liberals have turned their backs on working-class white guys like Ricci and me. So we turn our backs on them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where victims of domestic homicide are killed tells us a lot about the battle of the sexes. In the 1950s when Marvin Wolfgang did his classic study, women killed their husbands in the kitchen. It happened there because women actually cooked back then. Now, it's moved to the living room. The typical male victim is found with a beer can in one hand, the remote in the other, with a look of, "Hell no, I'm not going to fix that now," on his face. A female victim, in contrast, is usually found in the bedroom. Her last words were, "I have a headache again, dear... Why are you picking up that lamp?"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Race and violence II: Here are racial coefficients seen in the last post with all of the controls removed except for sex:

Carrying a gun to school in past year

Male 1.17*
Hispanic .39*
Black -.01
Amerindian .60*
Asian -13

Pulling a knife or gun on someone in the past year

Male 1.16*
Hispanic .69*
Black 1.01*
Amerindian .62*
Asian -.03

Armed robbery in the past year

Male .92*
Hispanic .61*
Black .53*
Amerindian .50*
Asian -.93*

Seriously injured someone in the past year

Male 1.07*
Hispanic .34*
Black .41*
Amerindian .47*
Asian -.37*

The biggest difference is that Amerindians become significantly more violent than whites when we remove controls. Including such factors as bad grades, repeated grades, suspensions, trouble with teachers, etc., elminated the association between race and violence for Amerindians but didn't affect the other groups much. Based on Cochran and Harpending's argument, I would expect more violence from Indians since the lack of a long history of agriculture should make them less submissive.

My other main point is to compare the racial effects with the sex effect. The estimates show that the gender violence gap is larger than the racial gap. But I am setting a high standard here: serious violence is basically a male thing. Something like 90% of inmates are guys.

This proves feminist theory to be correct. Men use society's institutions to keep women in their place. The criminal justice system, like every other institution, is just a male tool to enslave women. The law criminalizes female behavior. Hold it--that doesn't work....

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Race and violence: When you use arrest statistics as evidence for racial differences in crime, liberals claim that police data cannot be trusted because they're out to get blacks. Next, when you use victim-reported data collected by Bureau of Justice Statistics interviewers (NCVS) to identify the race off the offender, liberals will claim that white victims hate blacks so much, they will lie about the perp's race to the interviewer. They hate blacks more than they hate the person who actually victimized them.

So, we patiently move to the next step and look at what self-report data have to tell us. I looked at The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health where adolescents were asked about their violent activities. Going more in-depth than I usually do, I estimated a logistic regression model with 22 predictors, including four dummies: Hispanic, black, Amerindian and Asian. Whites, then, are the comparison category. All models are based on well over 6,000 kids. Here are the racial coefficients for four different types of violent crime:

Carrying a gun to school in past year

Hispanic .43*
Black -.03
Amerindian .37
Asian .04

Pulling a knife or gun on someone in the past year

Hispanic .50*
Black .97*
Amerindian .24
Asian .03

Armed robbery in the past year

Hispanic .47*
Black .38*
Amerindian .08
Asian -.90*

Seriously injured someone in the past year

Hispanic .39*
Black .32*
Amerindian .19
Asian -.28

*p < .05, one-tail

Hispanics are more likely to be violent than whites for all types of behavior. Blacks are too, except for carrying a weapon to school. Amerindians do not differ significantly from whites. Asians are the same, except they are less likely than whites to commit a robbery. Keep in mind that I tried to eliminate the racial effects with many controls, but race proves to be powerful in this analysis. So, blacks admitted committing more of these crimes, even though delinquency research by Travis Hirschi and Michael Hindelang--two leading criminologists--has shown that black males underreport their criminal activities to interviewers.

Let me guess: whites hate blacks so much, they convince them that they have committed crimes that they didn't actually do.

And I won't mention anything more about Hispanics--I sound like a broken record.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lott on affirmative action and crime: I ran across an interesting study by John Lott (DOES A HELPING HAND PUT OTHERS AT RISK?: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, POLICE DEPARTMENTS, AND CRIME. By: Lott Jr., John R., Economic Inquiry, Apr2000, Vol. 38, Issue 2). Here is the conclusion:

A massive experiment has been conducted with law enforcement during the last couple of decades, with more minority and women officers being hired. But does increasing the number of minority and women police officers raise effectiveness by drawing on new untapped abilities, or are standards lowered too far in order to hire large numbers of minorities and women? I have argued here that the effect depends on the type of crime. The evidence for rape is mixed, with most results implying essentially no difference between male and female officers, though some estimates indicate that the actual changes in the composition of police departments helped reduce the number of rapes. However, for all other crimes, more black officers are associated with more crime, not less. But it would be a serious mistake not to realize that this simple relationship is masking that the new rules reduce the quality of new hires from other groups.

This does not say that there are not large potential benefits from minority police officers, but only that the new rules under which new officers have been hired have costs that outweigh the benefits.

So why do we observe different findings for minority and female officers? At least part of the difference appears to arise from how the hiring rules have been altered for the two groups. Physical strength tests involve norming, whereas written tests have been altered so as to produce equal pass rates across different groups. Norming
may allow lower-quality applicants in the protected category, but it at least does not lower the quality of all new recruits. The results suggest that if affirmative action is to be practiced, norming is the less costly way to go.

This raises a question that economists have thus far ignored: why are different types of affirmative action used in different settings? Why does academia use norming for admissions but police forces choose to alter the testing?

Changes in the composition of police departments have been accompanied by changes in the organization of police departments. Some of these changes--such as an increasing movement away from single-officer patrol units--is likely due to the presence of more female officers with less physical strength. Women officers are more likely to be assaulted than men, though their overall probability of death on the job is the same. Some preliminary evidence indicates that white women officers are more likely to shoot civilians and that black male officers are the least likely. The evidence is not consistent with the hypothesis that black officers are more effective at dealing with crime in predominately black areas. Instead, surprisingly, the results suggest that it is the most heavily black communities that are the most at risk from the increased crime produced by affirmative action policies.

Other recent research confirms the basic finding in this paper. While Donohue and Levitt [1998] examine the issue of how nonwhite and white officers impact crime by members of their own group and by the other group, taking their sensitivity estimates of "crime rates to racial composition of the police force" and instead asking what happens to the total crime rate when a white officer is replaced by a nonwhite officer implies a large increase in violent crime in eight of their ten specifications. While they claim that nonwhite officers relatively reduce white crime and white officers relatively reduce nonwhite crime, the perverse effect that they find of nonwhite officers on nonwhite crime dominates in eight of their ten violent crime specifications.

As a warning for anyone doing future research: the evidence suggests that a great deal of caution needs to be exercised in aggregating different racial and/or gender groups. Not all nonwhite racial groups are the same, and not all men and women in a particular group are the same. Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians do not have the same impact on crime. Many differences between men and women on crime also disappear once different racial groups are subdivided by sex. The different results obtained from aggregated and disaggregated classifications strongly suggest that the most disaggregated classifications should be used whenever possible.

This article was initially motivated by the Supreme Court's recent rulings on affirmative action. Prior to consent decrees, the "best" police officers might not always have been hired, but the imposition of consent decrees appears to have increased crime, and the longer the decree was in effect the greater was the increase in crime. The hiring of minority officers thus does not appear to meet the difficult strict scrutiny standard set forth by the Supreme Court. There may be strong moral arguments for affirmative action, but crime reduction is not one of them. The results do suggest that if preferential hiring is to be practiced, changing testing standards is much more costly than norming.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dumb people are more likely to have place burglarized: GSS respondents were asked if they had been victims of a burglary in the past year.

Percent who have been burglarized

High IQ 5.1
Medium IQ 6.2
Low IQ 7.1

Yes, this is a little too simple because low IQ people live closer to burglars, while smart people probably have more to steal, etc. etc. But it's a start, and it makes sense that intelligent people can better anticipate problems and thus are more likely to take precautions like home security systems, guard dogs, careful selection of residence, etc. Nerd alert: I look at the neighborhood data before choosing a new place to live. What sensible person doesn't?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Are smart Jewish women having fewer kids? I looked at GSS data to see if high-IQ Jewish women are having fewer children than less intelligent Jews. Here are the mean number of children for women ages 40 and over for two time periods.

Mean number of children


High IQ 2.03
Low IQ 1.97


High IQ 1.88
Low IQ 2.10

The total fertility rate has slipped a bit among smart Jewish women, while it is now a bit higher for less intelligent woman. So the trend over the past four decades has been slightly dysgenic.

UPDATE: To focus on recent trends, we need a much narrower age range--let's look at women ages 40-59. This reduces our N quite a bit, but these are the tradeoffs.

Mean number of children--Jewish women ages 40-59


High IQ 2.24
Low IQ 2.44


High IQ 1.42
Low IQ 2.42

The picture that emerges when we remove older cohorts from the analysis is much more dramatic. These numbers show a much sharper dysgenic trend. The total fertility rate for smart Jewish women has dropped significantly over the past four decades, while the rate for dull women has held steady.

The mean IQ of American Jews will decline if this continues over enough generations.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

America: My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills; my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song; let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake; let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing; long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light; protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

~Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895

Friday, July 03, 2009

4th of July stuff: Rasmussen asked some interesting Independence Day-related questions:

As America prepares to celebrate its 233rd birthday this weekend, 82% of American adults say that if given the choice of living anywhere in the world, they would still choose to live in the United States.

I've got my criticisms of the country, and certainly there are parts of America where I wouldn't want to live, but there is no place I'd rather be. Yet.

Most Americans (54%) also believe the United States is a nation of liberty and justice for all, as the Pledge of Allegiance states, up three points from last year. Forty percent (40%) do not believe this is true.

Slightly more men than women believe America is a nation of liberty and justice for all. About the same percentage of African-Americans (55%) and whites (54%) agree on the question.

Now that is just plain cool. Blacks might express criticism on specific issues, but give them a generalization like "land of liberty and justice" which gets at one's gut feeling and they're just as positive as whites. Awesome. (Maybe there is some optimism in there because of Obama, too). I wish they had data on Hispanics. I imagine their numbers would be high too.

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans believe hate is growing in America following the murders of a doctor who performed late-term abortions, a military recruiter and a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree.

Hold on. With each passing year, the country becomes more diverse, so hate should be on the decline and love on the rise. Differences bring us together, people. I'll like you best if you're nothing like me.

This is a good moment to push patriotism. With all the differentiating going on, we need some commonality to draw us together. We're all Americans, and that should mean something. Jamie Foxx claimed that a certain talented singer who recently died was one of theirs, but the truth is, for good or bad, he was one of ours.

Only 31% now believe the United States will be the most powerful nation in the world by the end of the 21st century.
We will certainly end up in the dustbin of history if we continue to delude ourselves with blank slatism. Science, not wishful thinking, is the answer, man.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Amerindians vs. Americans of English descent: In the 10,000 Year Explosion, Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending argue that centuries of agricultural life selected for self-denial, selfishness, and industriousness. Groups like American Indians that do not have long histories of farming should have fewer people with these traits. Let's take a first stab using the GSS to see if the idea is supported.

With so much financial aid and such low academic standards, pretty much anyone who is not really slow can not only graduate high school, but can get years of education beyond that. Nowadays, the real question seems to be, do you have the patience to sit through more years of boring classes before you start making money. The mean years of education for Amerindians ages 30-49 measured in this decade is 11.7. Let's take Americans of English or Welsh background as the comparison group: the GSS sample for this group is large, and the English have practiced farming a long time. Their mean is 14.4 years.

For selfishness, let's use the question of whether you've given any money to a homeless person in the past year. For Amerindians it's 68%, and for the English/Welsh it's 33%. Selfish bastards.

For industriousness, let's use employment status for men ages 30-49. Measured as unemployed, laid-off, or not working temporarily, 11.4% of Amerindians are in the category, compared to 6.9% of men of English/Welsh ancestry. Three for three.

Let me know if you can think of other GSS measures.

UPDATE: I was concerned that the education measure tapped IQ much more than a future orientation, so I looked only at people in the middle range of IQ. I had to merge the last three decades to get enough cases, but the mean years of education for these Amerindians is 11.8; for the English/Welsh group, it's 14.2.

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 ...