Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Abortion is dysgenic

This table reports the results of an analysis of the outcomes of more than 500,000 pregnancies (Social Forces. 1991. 69:1121). The numbers under the heading "Gross" are the percent of women in a particular category who opted for an abortion rather than giving birth to the child. Numbers under the "Net" heading are more important since they are the results after controlling for relevant variables.

I'm interested in the estimates for various levels of education--a proxy for intelligence. You can see that, whether we look at adjusted or unadjusted numbers, the probability of abortion for unmarried women rises dramatically with education. Given a pregnancy and focusing on the adjusted figures, a single women with at least a bachelor's degree is 2.8 times more likely to abort the child than someone who didn't get past the eighth grade.

The chance of an abortion for married women is curvilinear: it reaches its peak of 12.59% among women with 12 years of schooling. Compared to abortions by married women, those gotten by single women are more important since they are by far more common (according to the study, 76% of all abortions are by single women).

So this huge and carefully done study indicates that abortion as it is practiced in the Unites States is dysgenic.


  1. *yawn*

    Yeah... OK. Like what else is new?

    Seriously, what do you think future super-AI's are going to say about the 20th century's blood and guts conflict between nature and nurture?

  2. Similar to the point of this point is the dramatic fall in births within marriage. Just looking at teen births you can see that from the high in 1957 of 96 births for every 1000 women aged 15-19 to the low in 2005 of 41 per 1000, 83 of the 96 births in 1957 were to married women. By 2005 only 9 of the 41 were to married women.

    Legitimate births dropped from 83 to 9 while illegitimate rose from 13 to 32.

    Encouraging smart women to get educated and work in the rat race instead of putting their efforts into their families has also led, I believe, to more divorce because the least likely to divorce, suddenly became the least likely to marry.

  3. Anonymous8:33 AM

    I don't think abortion is dysgenic, even given those statistics. From what I've read, abortion merely shifts the timing of children a woman has, not the number. Basically (adjusted for education) a woman who has never had an abortion, and a woman who has, will still end up with the same number of kids, just the the one who has had an abortion will end up the kids a little bit later in life.

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I had heard that repeated too, but population data including the entire population of Finland showed that women who had ever had an abortion also had a lower average number of children than women who had never had an abortion. Other European countries with national health databases report the same trend.

    This is also why there is disagreement about abortion and breast cancer. Women who have ever had an abortion are more likely to have breast cancer, however they also have fewer children and have them later so it is nearly impossible to say what exactly is going on. Anyway, a British actuarial journal published an article advising actuaries calculating costs of morbidity and mortality due to breast cancer to use the abortion rate in a nation to predict breast cancer rates because it correlated more closely than did metrics based on birthrates and average age of mother at first birth.

    It seems fair to characterize the current abortion/birth control trend as dysgenic because it reduces births to intelligent women more than it reduces the births to mothers of modest intellect.

    According to the UN population database,

    1950 Africa 227,270K
    1950 Europe 547,460K

    1995 Africa 726,285K
    1995 Europe 727,361K

    2000 Africa 819,462K
    2000 Europe 726,568K

    If Africans had used birth control in the same way that Europeans has, they would still have proportionally similar numbers. Instead we see Africa more than tripled while Europe grew by less than a third and actually shrank a little from 1995 to 2000 despite having immigration.

    To get an idea of how the labor force will be affected consider males aged 20-24

    1950 Africa 9 977K
    1950 Europe 23 792K

    1995 Africa 32 589K
    1995 Europe 26 345K

    2000 Africa 38 004K
    2000 Europe 25 617K

    While Africa's population tripled, its young male population more than quadrupled.
    Meanwhile Europe's young males increased by less than 10%.

    The pitiable poor population which was less than a third the size of the white population (if you include Europeans outside Europe) 50 years ago has grown to outnumber the white population. It seems like the guy who gave the snake a ride across the river has got bit after all.

  5. It's just a symptom of the greater problem: religion is dysgenic. The less intelligent&educated, the more religious. The more religious, the more kids. Abortion's just a very small part of that picture.

    You want to make things more eugenic, get rid of religion.

  6. This is an absurd cherry picking of data. Abortion is eugenic.

    "According to the most recent census data, black women make up 12.3% of the female population in America, but account for 35% of all U.S. abortions – that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) puts the percentage of black abortions at 37% of the U.S. total. Similarly, AGI tells us that Hispanic women account for 22% of all U.S. abortions, though they make up just 12.5% of the female population. "


    What? That disproportionate number of minority abortions were the high IQ minorities?

    You say, "Given a pregnancy and focusing on the adjusted figures, a single women with at least a bachelor's degree is 2.8 times more likely to abort the child than someone who didn't get past the eighth grade."

    Therein lies the rub. There's a lot more "given a pregnancy" amongst the undesirables. If you take away abortion, the relatively small number of college educated women with unwanted pregnancies will easily cross state or country lines and continue to get abortions, but the undesirables will be having all those babies. That's dysgenic.

  7. FemX: You're conflating different steps. NAMs are more likely than whites to get pregnant because they are less likely to use effective birth control, and perhaps because of more frequent sex. More frequent, unprotected sex among those with lower IQs is dysgenic because it produces a larger pool of dull pregnant women compared to that of smart pregnant women.

    But among pregnant women--the proper denominator when looking at abortion since non-pregnant women are not at risk of an abortion--more educated (i.e., more intelligent) women are much more likely to get an abortion rather than giving birth to the child. So abortion is dysgenic.

    If abortion were not available, the ratio of smart pregnant women giving birth relative to dumb pregnant women giving birth would increase because smart women would not be able to act on their greater proclivity to abort. That implies that making abortions unavailable would be eugenic.

    Here is a link to four other analyses which show that I am not cherry picking studies. The most recent study I described was based on NCHS data on more than half a million pregnancies. The demographics match Guttmacher data perfectly.


  8. Let me add that mandatory abortion of unwanted pregnancies (if you could identify them) would be eugenic because it makes irrelevant the greater proclivity of smart women to get an abortion, and would kill the larger pool of babies of dull mothers as well as the smaller pool of babies of smart mothers.

  9. It never ceases to amaze me that Christian conservatives never seem to get real enough about child rearing to proclaim, as did the Romans, that killing one's dependents was a legal right of the head of the house.

  10. Just Curious4:58 PM


    It’s odd that you would cry even
    crocodile tears over the aborted
    pregnancies of educated women;
    judging by your prior post on
    women in academia, you are not
    very fond of them.

  11. FeministX, I have just one thing to say to you: Hot legs!!!

  12. How many of those abortions were retards?

  13. Aren't raw numbers a better estimate than percentages? And is educational attainment really that good a proxy for intelligence? Are we seeing such high percentages from educated unmarrieds mainly from NAMs, since NAM females are disproportionately unmarried and have abortions?

    Another objection is that approximating the intelligence of the father from the educational attainment of the mother is almost certain to be quite a poor method. Suppose most of those abortions among highly educated unmarrieds are of fetuses from the proverbial dumb jock, thug, etc.

    In fact, I have a perfect example of this happening. My ex-girlfriend has two sons from a previous marriage, by a highly educated fire Marshall and Navy SEAL. However, at the age of 16 she aborted a pregnancy from an older druggie, high school drop-out who went onto a career of petty crime. Suppose she had kept the first child; how do you think that choice would have changed her future lifepath? Bet she would have been stuck raising that one kid without attracting that subsequent high attainment male.

    Here's an extreme hypothetical:

    Suppose all single women with at least 13 years of education who have abortions abort fetuses from black men. Suppose all future successful pregnancies are from white men. Seems to me that the absence of the first event precludes the second event. Seems pretty eugenic to me.

    We just can't know from the data the only relevant stat, which is the average adult IQ of aborted fetuses.

  14. Another thought I have is that IQ is not the only relevant metric. What are the personality traits of those aborted fetuses? Maybe the fathers have a very low average on the Contentiousness scale. Maybe they are highly aggressive, or prone to some personality disorders.

    Again, who knows.


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