Monday, August 29, 2011

Liberals and family traditionalism

The verbal tricks of liberals show real audacity. You always hear how conservatives are divisive because we oppose things like abortion and gay marriage. Up until 40 years ago, practically everyone--even the irreligious--believed that traditional views of marriage and family were authoritative. Everyone took them for granted.

Then liberals came along, claimed that the institution was oppressive and antiquated, and they proceeded to tear it down. The truth is only obvious: THEY are the aggressors here. And when we start fighting back after getting smacked around, we're called divisive. Only verbal tricksters as deceptive as liberals could get away with walking up to you, punching you, and then crying about what a bully you are.

Gender and creativity

In a study of almost 1,000 Hong Kong children from the 5th through 7th grades, researchers found that while boys and girls had similar means on all ten sub-scales of creativity, the variation for boys was significantly higher for the overall score and for five out of ten sub-scale scores. Boys were particularly diverse on the boundary-breaking sub-scales.

These findings are similar to IQ research which shows higher variation among males. More of the dummies and the uncreative are found among boys, but so are geniuses and the highly creative. This lab research is consistent with history which is a tale of male accomplishment.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Born-again political clout

Ralph Reed makes the case that those who say that the powerful evangelical social conservative wing of the Republican Party is a thing of the past are flat wrong.

I did my own check. Of white GSS respondents polled in 2008 and 2010, 46.4% who describe themselves as slightly conservative, conservative, or extremely conservative also say they are born-again (sample size = 1,097). That sounds pretty powerful to me.

By the way, one-third of self-described moderates are born-again. This ain't no fringe group, and I see no signs that it is a passing fad.

Richard Lynn's second revised edition of Dysgenics

From a review in the journal Intelligence of Richard Lynn's second revised edition of Dysgenics:

The second edition contains two new chapters. The first of these documents the decline of the world's IQ arising from the high fertility of low IQ populations worldwide, compared with the low fertility in high IQ populations. Lynn calculates that the effect of this is that the world's genotypic IQ is deteriorating by 1.3 IQ points a generation. Thus, genetic deterioration of intelligence is taking place both within and across counties.

The second new chapter is concerned with the effects of immigration on the intelligence of the populations of the United States and Western Europe. Lynn argues that most of these immigrants have lower IQs than the host populations and, hence, that as their percentages in the host populations increase, the IQ of the populations will inevitably decline. For the United States he adopts the estimate of the Bureau of the Census that in the year 2050 non-Hispanic whites will be 45% of the population. He calculates that this will entail a decline of 4.4 IQ points of the American IQ over the fifty-year period from 2000 to 2050.

Lynn argues that immigration will also bring about a decline of intelligence throughout Western Europe during the course of the twenty-first century. For Britain, he adopts Coleman's (2010) estimate that the indigenous population will decline to 56% of the population by the year 2056, and the other 44% will consist of largely of South Asians and Africans from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. He calculates that this demographic change will entail a decline of 2.5 IQ points over the fifty-year period from 2006 to 2056. He calculates that similar declines will take place throughout continental Western Europe.

Looking further into the future, Lynn argues that the percentages of non-Europeans in the populations of the United States and Western Europe will inevitably continue to increase in the second half of the twenty-first century and beyond as a result of their continuing immigration and higher fertility. He argues that this will entail further declines in the IQs of the populations.
Some readers may be disappointed that Lynn does not spell out the geopolitical consequences of this, perhaps because he does not want to appear too controversial, but it must be questionable whether the world leadership of the United States and Western Europe in science, technology and economic development can be retained as the IQs of the populations fall and the populations come to resemble those of most of Latin America, in which European peoples are a minority.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More on Indians and environmentalism

As a follow-up to the last post, I wanted to see if contemporary American Indians (AIs) are more liberal on the environment than others. The GSS has asked respondents over the years if the federal government should spend more on protecting the environment. Sixty-one percent of AIs said we don't spend enough. Sounds like a lot? It's not: 62 percent of all Americans say we don't spend enough (N = 24,270).

Those numbers are based on data going all the way back to the 70s, however. If we limit it to just the past decade, 63 percent of both AIs and all Americans together feel we don't spend enough.

AIs are not currently liberal on the environment; they haven't been over the past 40 years; and I doubt they ever were. That crying Indian in the anti-littering commercial I saw as a kid is typical liberal anti-white propaganda. (Mexican Americans have a lot of AI ancestry and litter, on average, more than others.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The myth of the Indian environmentalist

From pages 404-405 of A Patriot's History of the United States:

Even before the introduction of the horse, Indians had hunted bison, though not nearly as effectively. They tracked herds on foot, often setting fire to the grasslands in a massive box, surrounding a herd, except for a small opening through which the panicked animals ran--and were laughtered by the hundreds.

Frequently, though not universally, Indians destroyed entire herds, using fire or running them off cliffs. One Indian spiritual belief held that if a single animal escaped, it would warn all other animals in the region, and other Indian concepts of animals viewed the animal population as essentially infinite, supplied by the gods. Ecohistorians agree that although hunting by the Plains Indians alone did not threaten the bison with extinction, when combined with other natural factors, including fire and predators, Indian hunting may have put the buffalo on the road to extinction, regardless of the subsequent devastating impact of white hunters.

The fatal weakness of the Plains nomads regarding the buffalo was expressed by traveler John McDougall when he wrote of the Blackfeet in 1865, "Without the buffalo they would be helpless, and yet the whole nation did not own one." The crucial point is that the Indians did not herd and breed the very animal they depended on. No system of surplus accumulation existed. Since the entire source of wealth could rot and degrade, none could exist for long. Moreover, the nomadic life made it impossible to haul much baggage and therefore personal property could not be accumulated. This led fur trader Edwind Ding to conclude that this deficiency prevented Plains nomads from storing provisions and made them utterly dependent European trade goods.

A great ecomyth has appeared, however, about the Indians and their relationship with the buffalo, wherein Indians were portrayed as the first true ecologists and environmentalists. Nothing could be further from the truth. Traveler after traveler reported seeing rotting carcasses in the sun, often with only a hump or tongue gone. While the bison was, as Tom McHugh claimed, "a tribal department store" with horns used for arrows, intestines for containers, skins and hides for teepee coverings and shields, and msucle for ropes, it is misleading to suggest that Indians did not wantonly slaughter buffalo at times. Father Pierre De Smet observed that an Assinboin hunt in which two thousand to three thousand Indians surrounded an entire herd of six hundred bison and killed every one. Aside from their own deprivation--which they could only notice when it was too late to prevent--the Indians had no way of estimating or tracking the size and health of the herds, and even if they could, nomadic lifestyle "made it difficult to enforce mandates against waste."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ron Paul could beat Obama?

According to an August 18th Gallup poll of registered voters, a head-to-head between Ron Paul and Obama gives Paul 45% and Obama 47%. (By the way, "don't knows" usually break for the challenger).


Elites would never let Paul become President. If lack of financial support, media discrediting, or pinning a scandal on him failed to do the trick, somebody would put a bullet in his head.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the week

"The war of the sexes is over, and we won. We won when women started doing pole dancing as exercise."

~Ryan Gosling's character in Crazy, Stupid Love

(Is it just me, or are we seeing Game being taught--like it is in the movie--more now in popular culture?)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parasite load, race, and IQ

In this study of the 50 states, parasite prevalence (measured as the infectious disease rate) is strongly associated with lower mean IQ for all races combined (it explains almost half the variation in mean IQ). The authors interpret this to support the view that a distressed immune system during periods when the brain is developing results in a tradeoff that hurts IQ.

The problem is that, according to their data, the correlation between the infectious disease rate and percent black in a state is .90--the two measures are highly collinear. Childhood infectious disease rates are much higher among blacks, but in the U.S. the number of cases of cholera, measles, meningitis, pertussis, rubella, tetanus, or TB even among blacks is low. If parasite prevalence was a major cause of low IQ, the distribution should not be a bell-shaped curve but a small percentage of low-IQ individuals and a high percentage of people with normal IQs. Parasite prevalence could contribute something to low IQ, but I don't see how it could explain almost half of the U.S. variation in cognitive ability. The researchers should have examined race-specific data.

Parasite prevalence that the authors make such a big deal about looks to be simply a proxy for race.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blacks, dopamine, and IQ

In this new study in Intelligence, Add Health Study data is used to compare the average level of dopamine-related alleles among students of 36 different middle and high schools. This measure is strongly associated with lower mean IQs (Beta = -.47). The relationship is weakened substantially (to Beta = -.35) when the percent of the school that is black is added as a control in the OLS regression model.

What's the interpretation of this in plain English?  It is this: Some schools have a higher percent of students with genes associated with a low IQ. These schools tend to have a low average IQ. So one important cause of low-IQ schools is having more kids with the bad genes. What the percent black predictor tells us is that: 1) schools with more blacks tend to have more students with the at-risk genes; 2) schools with a higher percent of blacks have lower intelligence levels; and 3) evidently an important reason why some schools are smarter than others is due to having fewer blacks--a group which has a higher prevalence of the bad genes.

This study contradicts the view that: 1) race is a social construction, and 2) the black-white gap in IQ has nothing to do with differences in genes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Human ability, sex, and intelligence

An interesting article by Gil Greengross and Geoffrey Miller:
A good sense of humor is sexually attractive, perhaps because it reveals intelligence, creativity, and other ‘good genes’ or ‘good parent’ traits. If so, intelligence should predict humor production ability, which in turn should predict mating success. In this study, 400 university students (200 men and 200 women) completed measures of abstract reasoning (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices), verbal intelligence (the vocabulary subtest of the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery), humor production ability (rated funniness of captions written for three cartoons), and mating success (from the Sexual Behaviors and Beliefs Questionnaire). Structural equation models showed that general and verbal intelligence both predict humor production ability, which in turn predicts mating success, such as lifetime number of sexual partners. Also, males showed higher average humor production ability. These results suggest that the human sense of humor evolved at least partly through sexual selection as an intelligence-indicator.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gender differences in sexuality

According to this meta-analysis, gender differences in sexuality have shrunk over the past 20 years. Here are some of their results. A positive statistic indicates a male advantage:

Gender differences--Cohen's d

Heterosexual intercourse frequency .16
Number of sex partners .36
Age at first intercourse .20
Oral sex .06
Anal sex .09
Extramarital sex .33
Masturbation .53
Pornography use .63
Attitude toward premarital sex .17
Attitude toward extramarital sex .01
Attitude toward masturbation .02
Feelings of guilt -.19
Sexual satisfaction .17
Attitude toward homosexuality -.18
Same-sex sexuality -.05

Except for masturbation and pornography use, the differences now appear to be fairly small or even non-existent in some areas. Findings suggest that gender differences in sexuality can be shaped substantially by environmental factors. Women can be influenced to be more or less like men.

Predictors of cleanliness

I looked at the relationship between eleven predictors and the cleanliness of one's home as assessed by the GSS interviewer (sample size = 1,041):

OLS standardized regression coefficients

Age .15*
Male v female .02
Black v white -.12
Other v white .01
Size of city .00
South v North .00
Number of children -.04
Education .10*
IQ .08*
Church attendance .13*
Conservatism .06*

*statistically significant

The following predicts household cleanliness: being older, being more educated, higher intelligence, more frequent church attendance, and being more conservative poltically. The strongest significant predictor is age, while conservatism is the weakest.

You might see something different, but the image that emerges here is an establishment person--smart, educated, religious, conservative, and mature.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Religious affiliation and cleanliness

GSS interviewers rated the cleanliness of the homes of the people they surveyed. Cleanliness ranged from dirty (1) to very clean (5). Here are the means by religious affiliation (sample size = 1,893):

Mean cleanliness

Protestants 4.19*
Catholics 4.25*
Jews 4.37*
No religion 3.98

*significantly cleaner than those with no religion

People with a religion are cleaner than those without one. The means for Protestants and Catholics rise to 4.24 and 4.28 if I remove non-whites.

The correlation between church attendance and cleanliness is .15--a small but statistically significant relationship. And anti-religion people can't claim here that religious people are just lying about the behavior in question.

One more indicator that religious people tend to behave better than the irreligious.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Who visits mom?

I had a family studies professor who informed us students that Democrats are the people who care about others.

The GSS asked respondents how often they visit their mother (sample size = 355). I calculated the percent who visit at least monthly. The estimate is 72 percent for whites who voted for Bush in 2000. It is 63 percent for whites who voted for Gore or Nader. Among women, the respective figures are 74 and 62 percent.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Religious affiliation and group identification

This table is taken from Gallup. It shows the percentages of Americans who strongly agree ("very" or "extremely") that they identify with the listed group. It was apparent to me that identifying with one group is correlated with identifying with others groups, so I calculated correlations across the six religious categories:

Pearson Correlations

U.S./ethnicity .45
U.S./religion .48
U.S./worldwide religion .66
ethnicity/religion .96
ethnicity/worldwide religion .88
religion/worldwide religion .92

First, there is an strong, general tendency to identify with multiple categories. (The average of the six correlations is .73 which is very high.) For example, Mormons have high levels of patriotism and ethnocentrism as well as religious identification. All groups tend to be patriotic, but comparatively speaking, the non-religious groups (atheists, agnostics, and those with no religion) are less patriotic, and they have low absolute levels of identifying with their ethnicity or any religious group. (You might respond that not identifying with a religion is obvious for an atheist or someone with no current religious affiliation, but John Derbyshire, for example, has expressed a fondness for the church of his youth. I have always identified with my childhood faith, both when I was a non-believer, and even now after switching denominations.)  

You can also see that, among the groups, ethnic solidarity and religious identification really go hand-in-hand. The correlations are through the roof.

If you're looking for group lovers, search among Mormons, not atheists.    

Another point--isn't it interesting that the most conservative groups are the most group-oriented but the least collectivist--in the political sense. Atheists and Jews are the most liberal, but are at the bottom on group-orientation. (This finding for Jews deserves its own post.) Mormons are the most conservative but identify with groups the most. Evidently, hunger for belonging is expressed by liberals in love of the State.

Measures of religiosity

I often use attendance at religious services as a measure of religious commitment (because it is usually the only question available) but there could be many reasons to go church: to please your parents, because you like some girl there, to find business opportunities, etc. How well does the measure actually tap sincere commitment?

Teenagers--individuals who are often forced to go to church--were asked in the Add Health Study: 1) frequency of church attendance, 2) frequency of prayer, and 3) importance of religion to self. I correlated the measures for 6,504 individuals:

Pearson Correlations

Church attendance-Importance .69
Church attendance-Prayer .66
Importance-Prayer .76 

Getting correlations this high from survey data is rare (frankly, it feels good when it happens). Cronbach's alpha--a measure of how well the measures hang together--is .88 which indicates that the measures are tapping an underlying concept--religiosity.

The numbers are this high even though some of the teenage religious involvement is coerced. I conclude that any one of these questions is an adequate measure of religiosity.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gender-atypical behaviors in kids and homosexuality

If a child shows gender-atypical behaviors, how well does that predict that he will develop a homosexual orientation?

According to a study by Sandberg et al., 23 percent of boys and 39 percent of girls act in at least 10 different ways that are categorized as gender-atypical. Since research puts gay men at about 3 percent of the population, and lesbians at about half that, most boys and girls who at times act like members of the opposite sex will not become homosexuals.

Monday, August 01, 2011

White attitudes toward multiculturalism

In this new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers report that whites implicitly associate multiculturalism with exclusion. They are less likely to see it as being something they are a part of. Whites with a high need to belong are less attracted to multicultural organizations. I interpret this to mean that socially independent whites are more enthusiastic about organizations that devalue their race. Overall, whites as a group do not buy the propaganda that multiculturalism is inclusive.

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 ...