Sunday, January 31, 2010

Race and cheating on spouse

The National Couples Survey asked 593 people if they've slept with someone else since being married. Here are the percentages answering yes by race/ethnicity:

Whites 6.2
Blacks 17.8*
Hispanics 9.1
Asians 15.4
Amerindians 10.0

* p < .05, two-tail test, compared with whites.

Samples sizes for minority groups are small--only blacks have significantly higher rates. (I know that someone having multiple partners in an open marriage would be included with the cheaters, but this type of arrangement is rare, I think.) 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Political party and favoring more Haitian immigration

This Gallup graph shows a 30 point split (57% versus 27%) between Democrats and Republicans on favoring more Haitian immigrants.

Hispanic gang membership

In his American Conservative article "His-Panic" (the same title used in Geraldo Rivera's recent book), Ron Unz suggests that criminal justice officials have invented the Hispanic gang problem in order to secure federal anti-gang dollars.

As was shown in the last post, the best approach to such questions is to seek out the best data. I found two studies in which researchers surveyed adolescents about membership in a gang. Descriptions of each are found here. In the Esbensen and Winfree study (1998) of a large sample of eighth graders in 41 schools in 11 cities, the percent in gangs was as follows:

Percent in a gang

Blacks 12.3
Hispanics 12.3
Whites 6.4

Results are similar in the main study (2001) of 15,292 teens (from 313 secondary schools across the country).  The following lists the percentages who admitted they were in a gang:

Percent in a gang

Blacks 13.4
Hispanics, 10.4 
Whites 5.7
Asians 4.7 

Blacks 6.8
Hispanics 7.2
Whites 2.2 
Asians 1.2

Gang membership prevalence among Hispanic males approaches that of blacks, and is roughly double that of whites. Compared to white females, Latino girls are more than three times as likely to belong to a gang.

Affiliation with a gang ranges all the way from a wannabe to a hardcore thug, and these surveys certainly include plenty of the former. But they are consistent with media and criminal justice depictions of violent gangs--both on the streets and in the prisons--being dominated by blacks and Hispanics. It is not imaginary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The myth of the myth of Hispanic lawlessness

Ron Unz has an analysis of criminal justice data in the American Conservative which finds that Hispanics don't really differ from whites in their levels of crime.

One limitation of the analysis is that it relies on data gathered far down the line from the actual criminal behavior. Between the act and incarceration rates are many steps: reporting the crime, arresting, prosecuting, convicting, and sentencing the defendant as well as deciding when he gets paroled from prison.

The data closest to the act is self-report data. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12.  In the study, 3,911 whites and 719 Hispanics answered if they had committed the crimes listed in the table below. Percentages are displayed as well as the ratio of the Hispanic to white rates.

Of the 15 delinquent acts listed, Hispanics have the higher rate 14 times. Ratios range from 0.95 to 2.33. 

Critics might respond that surveying adolescents captures minor crimes, while data on prisoners, for example, captures serious criminality. But you can see that respondents were asked about very serious crimes as well as about less serious ones. For example, Hispanics are 2.33 times more likely than whites to have stabbed or shot someone (and the difference is statistically significant).

Less sex among educated not due to age

Some readers thought that the less frequent sex by educated people reported in the last post was due to differences in age. I limited the sample to married whites ages 30-35 (N =173):

Mean frequency of sex in past 30 days

No degree
GED 8.80
High school 6.33
AA 5.27
BA 4.88
MA 5.38
PhD 4.72

Same pattern. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Education and sexual frequency

Reader FeministX suggested that I take a look at the frequency of sex among white married couples by education. Here are the means for the past 30 days (N = 852):

Mean frequency of sexual intercourse in past 30 days

No degree 16.27*

GED 12.00*
High school 8.08*
AA 9.14*
BA 6.30
MA 5.97
PhD 5.62

Those with less than a BA have significantly more sex than couples with 4 or more years of education. At the extremes, married whites with no degree have three times as much sex as PhDs. Educated folks prefer the bookie to the nookie.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Education and anal sex

Reader SFG suggested that I examine the claim that smart people are more likely to have anal sex because they are kinkier. Education will have to serve as a proxy measure. Here are the results for married whites from the National Couples Survey data (N = 903): 

Percent having anal sex in past four weeks

No degree 28.3*
GED 19.4*
High school 10.4
AA 9.9
BA 7.4
MA 6.9
PhD 4.9

* p < .05, two-tailed test, compared with BA.

Just the opposite. Anal is prolish behavior. Educated women don't go for that.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Race and anal intercourse

The National Couples Survey asked married people if they've had anal intercourse in the past four weeks. Here are their responses by race/ethnicity:

Whites 12.1
Blacks 23.6*
Hispanics 29.6*
Asians 12.2
American Indians 30.4*

*p < .05, two-tail test, compared with whites

The numbers are much higher for NAMs (non-Asian minorities). Would this be an indication of male dominance as well as of freakiness?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Race, class, and domestic violence

According to the conventional wisdom, blacks are more violent than whites because of poverty.  Researchers, who are supposed to get beyond the cliches, have rarely tested this idea, and it doesn't help that the relevant data is scarce.

The National Couples Survey asked married people (N = 1,181) if they had ever had a "physical argument." I limited the sample to respondents who had graduated high school--but who had gone no further--in order to eliminate variation in social class. Here are the percentages saying there has been physical fighting in the marriage:

Whites 10.9
Blacks 28.6*
Hispanics 23.2*
Asians 17.9
American Indians 20.0

* p < .05, two-tailed test, compared with whites.

Married blacks at the same level of education as whites are almost 3 times more likely to be violent. Hispanics are more than twice as likely. Sample sizes are so small, the Asian/white and Amerindian/white differences are not significant.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Childhood religion and political orientation

I'm currently reading Witness by Whittaker Chambers. He was an intelligent boy who grew up with no religion. Despairing over the world that was dying in the 1920s, he joined the Communist Party as a young man. Also despairing, his brother ended his life with his head in an oven.

These were sensitive boys, but it made me wonder if being smart and growing up with no religion is a risk factor for radical politics.

The graph shows current political orientation by religious affiliation when the respondent was age 16. I limited the analysis to whites and to those with a perfect score on a vocabulary test--a decent measure of IQ.

Those who were either Jewish or nothing as teens are more likely than Christians to be extremely liberal. (I'm afraid "communist" is not an option.)   

(It's stunning that only 9 percent of smart people raised Jewish are slightly conservative, conservative, or extremely conserative.)

But notice how people growing up with no religion are also more likely than others to be extremely conservative. The difference is not statistically significant, but it is possible that being raised Christian has a moderating effect on one's politics.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blacks least likely to smoke crack??

Huh? According to self-report data from the 2008 Monitoring the Future (N = 11,702), white (and Hispanic) high school seniors are significantly more likely to have smoked crack than blacks.  The precise estimates are like this: Hispanics, 3.4%; whites, 2.7%; and blacks, 1.2%.

I've got to finish reading the article, but I will soon describe another study showing that blacks are more likely to give socially desirable answers to survey questions. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Among high school seniors, Hispanics are least likely to have a job

We saw in a recent post that Hispanics in high school skip classes more than others. Well, it's because they're working, right, which might not be ideal, but hey, at least it's not hanging out on the street corner or something. The only problem is that Hispanic teens attending school are less likely to have a job than whites.

The graph (N = 11,758, 2008 Monitoring the Future) shows that 73 percent of white seniors have some kind of part-time work. This is compared to only 61 percent of Latinos (and 62 percent of blacks). Whites get better grades, even though they spend more time working.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kids who go to church are less likely to smoke pot

We saw in a recent post that high school seniors who are Democrats are more likely to use marijuana than Republicans. The above graph shows the same pattern for seniors who never go to church (N = 1,606, 2008 Monitoring the Future). Twenty-two percent of them have smoked pot 40 or more times, compared to only seven percent of those who attend religious services at least weekly. The difference is statistically significant.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

From Gallup:
When Gallup analyzed in detail the migration desires of citizens around the world, so many Haitians told us they would move permanently to another country if given the chance that the country would, in theory, lose 50% of its population if those wishes were fulfilled.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pot is for losers

 Monitoring the Future (2008) surveyed 6,873 high school seniors. You can see in the graph that smoking pot is associated with being a Democrat. For example, a strong Democrat is 1 1/2 times more likely than a strong Republican to have used marijuana 40 or more times (15 versus 10 percent). The difference is statistically significant.  So for every 100 conservative potheads, you get 150 who are liberal (if the two groups were equal in size). Democrat dissipation starts early.

While were at it, look at how use varies by GPA:

Pot is for losers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hispanic seniors are more likely than blacks to skip class

This graph is based on data from the 2008 Monitoring the Future sample of 11,295 high school seniors. The title of the graph is not clear: it is the number of times that a student skipped a class in the past 30 days.

You can see that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to skip than whites. Black attendance is actually better than that of Latinos. And the sample is of students present the day of the survey, so it omits many who attend irregularly or who have dropped out completely. (Roughly half of Hispanics drop out). Hispanic commitment to education is clearly lower than for other groups.

In connection with the last few posts, truancy data also point to lower conscientiousness among NAMs. Or is it those nasty, hate-filled white teachers that make the kids not want to go to class?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wouldn't you agree that Kai-Lan's head is bigger than Dora's?

More indicators of conscientiousness

Here are more indicators from the National Health Interview Survey (2008) of greater conscientiousness among Asians:
  • When results are considered by single race without regard to ethnicity, 10% of Asian adults were current smokers compared with 21% of black adults, 21% of white adults, and 23% of American Indian or Alaska Native adults. 
  • Asian adults were more likely to be lifetime [alcohol] abstainers compared with other single race groups (excluding Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander).

And of lower conscientiousness among blacks and Hispanics:
  • Regarding vigorous leisure-time physical activity, 55% percent of non-Hispanic white adults never engaged in periods of vigorous leisure-time physical activity compared with 66% of non-Hispanic black adults and 69% of Hispanic adults (no number was given for Asians).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Race, ethnicity and obesity

According to a CDC report:

When results are considered by single race without regard to ethnicity, 55% of Asian adults were at a healthy weight compared with 37% of white adults, 29% of American Indian or Alaska Native adults, and 29% of black adults.

Black adults and American Indian or Alaska Native adults were about 3-4 times as likely to be obese as Asian adults. White adults were about three times as likely as Asian adults to be obese. When results are considered by single race and ethnicity, 36% of non-Hispanic black adults were obese compared with 31% of Hispanic adults and 26% of non-Hispanic white adults. Hispanic adults were more likely to be overweight (but not obese) than either non-Hispanic white or non-Hispanic black adults.

The last comparison is consistent with a comment made on this blog some time ago that Hispanics are more likely to be overweight, but not REALLY fat.

UPDATE: I know there are other reasons why people are overweight, but the racial ordering is consistent with other facts that suggest greater conscientiousness among Asian Americans.

The IQs of actors

I've seen discussions in the HBD community before about the IQs of actors. Actors certainly seem to think they're smart, but what does the GSS say?

In a sample of 20 actors and directors (who certainly boost the average) the mean IQ is 107.5.

I'm not impressed.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

It's almost a law that in a debate over some public policy, as soon as it becomes obvious that the one side's position has all the practicality and common sense, the other side condemns it as unconstitutional.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Christians, Buddhists, and Infidelity

Brit Hume's comment about Tiger Woods made me wonder who is more likely to cheat on a spouse: Christians or Buddhists. According to General Social Survey data, 15.7% of white ever-married Christians have strayed compared to 28.6% of their Buddhist counterparts. That's 1.8 times more likely. (The difference is not statistically significant, however, because there are only 21 Buddhists in the sample).

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I didn't have anything to say about Brit Hume's comments about Tiger Woods other than "awesome," but as usual, Ann Coulter has plenty to say. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Robert P. George on embryos

Although Embryo offers an argument against killing embryos as part of scientific research, many of its points can be applied to the issue of abortion. It is written by Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, the same university where the odious Peter Singer is employed.

His arguments go something like this--I hope I don't butcher them:

1. Ontologically, we are human animals.

2. The merging of male and female gametes creates a new human organism, a new member of the species Homo sapiens.

3. There is a transformation in kind--in category--as we move from gametes to embryo. An embryo is a new human organism--a gamete is not. An embryo is thus an ontologically different kind of entity than a gamete, but there is no change in kind for the rest of this embryo's life. There are different stages of maturation--fetus, infant, child, adolescent, adult--but there is a scientific consensus that there is no change in the kind of organism being discussed. It is a human organism and no other kind of organism at all stages. How far back do "I" go? To the moment of fertilization. All other points are arbitrary.

4. Embyros are categorically different from somatic cells. They are not part of a human organism; they are a human organism. If a somatic cell were turned into an embryo, it would be a human organism.

5. What gives an embryo its humanness is its nature. Its nature is programmed into it from the moment of its existence. It does not become human when it develops sentience, or the immediately exercisable ability to think, or when it develops self-awareness. These are all arbitrary points (not to mention that they imply moral status for sentient beings all of species, or they remove moral status for babies who have not developed the mental abilities yet). The nature that leads to self-awareness, for example, is in the embryo in the same way that it is in the newborn.

6.  People who privilege sentience, self-awareness, etc., are mind-body dualists. They say, "I am a mind who possesses a body, and I do not exist unless my mind exists." Others will argue, "I am my brain."  That is brain-body dualism. The truth is that humans are animals. The correct statement is, "I am a body--an integrated system." We are integrated organisms--not minds or brains. When I look in the mirror, I don't see a mind. I don't see a brain. I see a naked ape with glasses.

7. Since there is nothing but non-essential differences between embryos and more mature humans, they deserve moral status like mature humans. They thus certainly deserve the most obvious of all human rights--the right not to be killed. These embryos are humble: they're more than willing to dispense with the right to a living wage.

UPDATE: George does not make this point, but I would also argue that psychological biases lead people to view an embryo as less than human. First, since we can't see it, we reduce it to something less than a human organism. Second, we have a bias which says, "If it looks like a human, it is one; if it doesn't, it isn't." This bias enables people, for example, to have sex with plastic dolls or to think the female alien in Avatar is hot.

In college, I worked nights as a security guard and occasionally felt certain that there was some evil presence in the dark, empty building I watched. The reasonable thing for me to do was to recognize and ignore the bias. It would not have been reasonable to call the Ghostbusters.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Disturbing illegal immigration numbers

From Chris Brand's website:

Detective Ben Cardoza revealed ( the following information he compiled from Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security reports:

* 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

* 83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.

* 86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.

* 75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

* 24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

* 40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

* 48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

* 29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually

* 53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated byillegal aliens.

* 50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border.

* 71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or "transport coyotes".

* 47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens.

* 63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens

* 66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66%, 98% are illegal aliens.

* 380,000 plus "anchor babies" were born in the US to illegal alien parents in just one year, making 380,000 babies automatically US citizens.

* 97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayers.

* 66% plus of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers

More on recklessness

Here's more evidence that southern whites are more reckless than white northerners. The map (CDC data) shows motor vehicle mortality rates for people living in non-metropolitan areas. The North/South divide is even clearer here than with fatal firearm accidents. It's striking, given that northerners experience much worse weather conditions.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Recklessness among northern and southern whites

Figure 1. Fatal gun accidents

As a follow-up to the last post on racial differences in recklessness, I generated a map of fatal gun accident (FGA) rates by state. On many behaviors (e.g., violence, IQ, and education) southern whites seem to be between northern whites and non-Asian minorities (NAMs).

You can see from the map that the highest rates of FGAs among whites are concentrated in the non-coastal southern states. Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana--big hunting states--are the exceptions. According to the General Social Survey (GSS), the highest percentage of people who hunt are those who live in the mountain states.

High hunting rates might help explain the high FGA levels in the South, but people are just as likely to hunt in the north central region of the country (GSS), and their FGA rates are low.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fatal gun accidents by race

Using self-report data, we haven't gotten very far in identifying racial differences in personality. (Maybe there aren't many differences, but I doubt it.)  Let's try to infer traits from behavior. Fatal gun accidents (FGA) are an interesting first step. People usually kill themselves or others accidentally with guns when they are fooling around. A typical scenario is one drunk guy trying to shoot a beer can off the head of another drunk guy. Rates are highest for teenage males which supports the claim that the behavior measures recklessness.

The graph for the United States 1999-2006 shows that rates of fatal gun accidents vary across racial groups (raw data is available here). Amerindians and blacks have the highest numbers. Whites are in the middle, while rates for Asians are very low.

The incidence of FGAs should be affected by gun ownership prevalence and the popularity of hunting among groups. Amerindian numbers might be elevated a bit, but according to the GSS, they are not really much more likely to own guns or to hunt than whites. Blacks are less likely to hunt and possess firearms, so their high rates of FGAs must be due to more improper handling. According to the GSS, few Asians hunt or have guns, so this might lower their rates. (High rates of drunkenness among Indians might also raise their numbers, but self-report surveys indicate that blacks drink less or no more than whites).

I take this as evidence that, on average, Amerindians and blacks are more reckless than whites and Asians.

UPDATE: I checked, and Hispanics have rates similar to whites, but they are less likely to hunt and own guns (GSS)).

Friday, January 01, 2010

A choice between two religions

It's my impression that most people need a psychological connection to something much bigger than themselves. A libertarian worldview will never become popular because few people are attracted to atomism and isolation. So it's simply a matter of which collective becomes important for a person. One possibility is to feel tied to all of humanity, but such a vast number seems too remote.

Family is an obvious community, but since it's been stripped to a bare minimum--a nuclear or single parent type--it doesn't offer the bigness that people crave.

Some people are attached to their local community, but American society is so mobile, many aren't able to grow deep roots in one place. Plus, our gigantic, sprawling cities are not conducive to a sense of community. A large number of ethnic and racial minorities turn to their tribe for meaning, but that's not a respectable option for the majority.

It looks like the main options white folks have is either God or the State. Of course, a person could love Americans without loving the government, but many citizens seem to conflate the two. Empirically, there is something of a choice between two types of religion: the traditional type and the modern one with the Holy Trinity of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and King. (One has got to go to make room for Obama--I put my money on the dusty old white guy).

This table based on GSS data shows some support for this idea:


It shows that atheists are more than one standard deviation more liberal than Americans who say they know God exists. (Cohen's d is the difference between means as a propoertion of a standard deviation). That is a huge gap.

It looks like there is a tendency to substitute one form of bigness or crusade for another. Christians want to save souls; atheists want to save the planet.

You can see the same pattern with level of religious involvement (measured as church attendance):

Religious people tend to see government as the problem, not the solution, while the irreligious place their faith in it. Of course, there are exceptions: liberal Christians, for example. But there is a tendency among Americans today to place their deepest hopes in either a church or Washington. If we want a more conservative country, we need a more religious one.

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 ...