Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Data: Is anti-black discrimination rampant in the US?

General Social Survey respondents were asked, "Do you feel in any way discriminated against on your job because of your race or ethnic origin?"  Here are the percentages (in red) of blacks who answered yes for various years (sample size = 1,031):

America is supposed to be a fatally flawed country because of its deep, omnipresent racism.  It's supposed to be so awful, some people call for a fundamental restructuring--perhaps socialism will fix it.

And the number of blacks who perceive or claim job discrimination (discrimination is hard to be sure about, and some are certainly wrong)?  A whopping 7.7% in the latest year polled.

Gimme a damn break.

Interpreting Your Genetics Summit

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Key facts about the Catholic priest scandal the Media won't tell you

With the Catholic priest abuse scandal in the news again, someone needs to list key facts that the media never tell us about. The best studies I've seen on the subject have been produced by a John Jay College (CUNY) research team.

1. The abuse epidemic started in the 1960s, peaked in the 1970s, and has fallen off dramatically since. Have you noticed how the victims you've seen interviewed are typically people in their 50s? Most victims didn't come forward until decades had passed since their abuse.

2. The researchers point to the liberal sexual culture of the 60s and 70s to help explain the epidemic. They hypothesize that the behavior of priests and the soft response reflected the broader culture.

3. Over the 60 year period of the study, four percent of priests were accused of sexual abuse. This is the same prevalence typically seen among institutions that care for kids. The prevalence peaked in the 60s and the 70s, fell sharply in the 80s, and has remained at a much lower level. Media and law enforcement attention has been inversely correlated with the problem.

4. Most of the accused priests were accused of a single instance of abuse. Chronic, repeat offenders  were less common, so the prevalence of hardcore predators is much less than 4%.

5. The typical victim was a 12-14 year old boy.  Many older teen boys were also victims. Seminarians were also sexually assaulted by priests.  Girls are typically at greatest risk of sexual abuse, but this has been a male-targeted phenomenon.

The Church should have turned all credible accusations over to law enforcement and should have advocated that offenders rot in jail. Offenders should never have been reassigned and given access to children again.  That is the conservative approach to pedophilia, but the Church, like all major institutions, is not conservative. These people didn't seem to believe that human nature is fallen and prone to depravity.

Since humans are by nature sinners, and men especially so with respect to sexual matters, why would you ever have a policy of allowing men to be alone with children?

Instead, you see a problem that happens all the time in male professions, say, with police, for example: men go easy on their buddies when they act in unacceptable ways. And priests could conveniently fall back on Christian forgiveness and liberal approaches to treating pedophiles to rationalize going easy on buddies.

Priests tell us they will be judged by God more harshly than the rest of us, and I certainly hope they will be because no atheist could ever damage the Church like these priests have done.

And, of course, elites and the Media are salivating over this story since what could be more damaging to the Institution That Is the Embodiment of All That is Evil? (Of course, the liberal Francis is softening them up a bit.)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Data: Which men get the most sex? The young? The good-looking? The wealthy?

I wondered which factor most strongly predicts men having sex frequently: youth, money, looks, or being married?  Here are the statistical results (GSS data, sample size = 685 men, standardized OLS coefficients, all effects stat. sig.):

Factors predicting frequent sex

Youth  .32
Income  .14
Good looks  .09
Being married  .16  

Being young is by far the most important factor.  Older guys don't have sex nearly as much.  Next in importance is being married.  I imagine many men think you get more sex when you're unattached.  You might get more variety, but not more sex.  A big paycheck comes in third, but good looks is least important for men.

So if you like lots of sex, don't get old.

Data: Which ethnic group has the most beautiful women?

Which ethnic group is the most beautiful?  General Social Survey interviewers -- predominately middle-aged white women -- were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of female participants (US residents) with a range from 'very unattractive' (1) to 'very attractive' (5). Here are the means for various groups (with at least ten participants, N = 1,152):

Mean Physical Attractiveness

Spanish  3.93
Puerto Rican  3.76
Muslim  3.64
East Asian  3.57
Mexican  3.56
Italian  3.55
Asian Indian  3.55
Jewish  3.48
Russian  3.47
French  3.43

Total Sample  3.42

German  3.38
Irish  3.38
Czech  3.36
English/Welsh  3.35
Black  3.34
Dutch  3.27
Polish  3.25
American Indian  3.23
French Canadian  3.23
Scottish  3.16
Swedish  2.92

Asians and and darker Caucasian and Hispanic groups have high means, while fairer whites (e.g., Swedish!), American Indians, and blacks have low means.  The gap between the highest group (Spanish) and the lowest (Swedish!) is over one standard deviation -- a huge difference.

This is somewhat consistent with my judgment -- I would give Spaniards a high score and blacks and American Indians low scores -- but north European women seem at least as beautiful to me as southern Europeans. I would give Greek women (with only four cases, too small include here), for example, a low score.  Eastern European women are beautiful, but Czech, Polish, and Russian women don't do very well here.

I thought ratings by interviewers would be more valid than self-ratings, but now I'm not so sure.  The tastes of middle-aged white women don't line up very well with this middle-aged white dude.

I imagine that many of these survey workers are liberals. Perhaps they penalize fair whites because they're too white.

UPDATE:  I discussed this with my wife, and we wondered if intrasexual competition is influencing the ratings. With the Barbie-type being the traditional American ideal, perhaps interviewers penalize fairer white women. It is weird that these interviewers are giving low scores to the women most likely to match the supposed cultural ideal.  (My wife says she is inclined to unfollow blondes who are just too perfect.)

Friday, February 22, 2019

Data: Are there racial differences in honesty?

Jussie Smollett is just the most recent case of the common phenomenon of minorities orchestrating a hate hoax. This raises the more general question whether racial/ethnic/religious groups differ in how much they value honesty.  General Social Survey respondents (all living in America) were asked how much they prioritize various qualities in children.  One of the qualities is honesty.  Answers ranged from "most desirable" (5) to "least desirable (1)." 

I calculated means for various groups (N = 6,279):

Mean Honesty Score

Filipino  4.28
Japanese  4.25
Finnish  4.21
Portuguese  4.19
Dutch  4.15
Swiss  4.15
French Canadian  4.14
English/Welsh  4.12
Irish  4.12
Scotland  4.12
German  4.10
Chinese  4.08
Czech  4.08
French  4.08
Asian Indian  4.08 

Total Sample  4.08

Danish  4.06
Norwegian  4.05
Italian  4.02
Austrian  4.00
Lithuanian  3.97
Swedish  3.95
American Indian  3.92
Belgian  3.92
Polish  3.92
Spanish  3.92
Jewish  3.90
Hungarian  3.87
Russian  3.79
Romanian  3.79
Black  3.78
Mexican  3.76
West Indian  3.65
Greek  3.47

Certain minorities -- Jews, blacks, Mex-Ams, and West Indians -- have low honesty scores. The difference between the most honest (Filipinos) and least honest (Greeks) is close to one standard deviation, a very large difference.

There is a tendency for southern and eastern Europeans to value honesty less, while northwestern Europeans and Asians tend to have higher means (though there are exceptions).  (I didn't have enough cases of Muslims or Arabs to calculate estimates.)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Data: Are athletes smarter or dumber than others?

There are positive correlations between IQ and both longevity and height.  Many genes underlie these traits -- it looks like there are health-promoting genes that manifest themselves not only through a long life but perhaps a better functioning brain and ending up taller. And a smart/tall/long-lived person might also have a comparatively small number of mutations that work against health.

Does being an athlete fit in with the rest of these traits?  One might expect height and athleticism to be correlated simply because popular sports like basketball and football favor bigger people.  How about IQ and being a good athlete?  Here are the correlations for IQ and self-rated athletic ability (GSS):

White males (n = 440)   -.05
White females (n = 553)  .01
Black males (n = 74)  -.09
Black females (n = 103)  -.14

For all demographic groups, IQ and athletic ability are either not correlated or a negatively correlated. It does not appear to be the case that there are genes that promote both at the same time (or that subtract from both simultaneously).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Data: Do brains get you more sex?

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey posted the claim on Twitter recently that human cognitive abilities evolved to attract sexual partners.  Greg Cochran responded that there is no evidence that sexual selection has been a significant driver of mental abilities.

Do intelligent people get more sex?  And bottom line: do they end up with more children?  The General Social Survey measures IQ with a vocabulary quiz, so we're measuring verbal ability, a form of intelligence Miller would think is more important for courting than, say, math ability.  I'll focus on ages 18-35 since this is a critical time for sexual competition, and frequency varies with age. Here's a graph of the frequency of sex over the past year (GSS, whites, N = 12,757):

Sexual frequency peaks for men at a mean IQ of 98.  The mean is 3.8 -- 3 means two or three times per month, and 4 means weekly.

Sexual frequency drops off for higher IQ mean, but then it reverses for men in the highest IQ category.  Their average is 3.7.

(Notice how the lowest IQ women have the most sex by far.)

What about kids?  We've already documented that high IQ women have fewer kids, but let's focus on men. This graph is for whites ages 45-60:

For men, peak family size is for those with IQs of 77.  Men at the highest IQ level average fewer children than almost any other group.

There's little evidence here for a verbal IQ payoff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Data: Do religious men have larger families? Do religious people idealize larger families?

We saw in the last post that religious women are having more babies than women who never go to church. What about men?  Here a graph for number of children for men ages 45-60 (GSS, N = 1,251):

The pattern for men is even clearer than for women: guys who attend more than once a week have a much higher mean (2.38) than those who never go (1.61). That's roughly half of a standard deviation difference.

Is this religiosity-fertility link explained at all by differences in attitudes?  Do religious people want more kids?  Look at the graph for the same age ranges (GSS, N = 2,173):

Males are green, and females are purple (I'm a dude, so I won't try to give more precise colors).

There is a small tendency for more religious people to idealize larger families. It seems too small to explain much of the reason why the religious have bigger families. It's probably due to getting married earlier and less willingness to get an abortion if you get a surprise.

NOTE: You have read an updated version.  The earlier version had the error of leaving in cases of those who answered "whatever number people want," cases that were scored an 8.  The results you see above omit these cases (about 6% of the sample). 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Data: The end of religion? Maybe not.

Social thinkers have been predicting the end of religion for many decades.  For example, Auguste Comte (1798-1857) predicted that religious faith would decline as scientific knowledge spread.

Over the past two centuries, religion has proven to be more resilient than thought, but there has been a serious decline in regular church attendance in the US in recent decades, and confidence in the existence of God has slipped some, too.

Modernists like Comte were not aware that at least one powerful factor might work against their hopes of a secular world: genes.  Studies have found that religiosity is influenced significantly by genetic differences. 

And there's a related factor: the correlation between religious involvement and family size.  Look at current data for American women (General Social Survey, women ages 40-55, N= 1,441):

Women who never go to church average 1.92 children, while those who go more than once a week have a mean of 2.48 offspring.  The gap between the two groups is about four-tenths of a standard deviation, a medium-size difference.

Notice how the least fertile women (1.66 kids) attend once per year.  (I'll document in a future post that atheist women have more kids than agnostics.)

Religious people tend to be more conscientious and agreeable than the irreligious, and fertility differences are favoring these genetically-influenced traits.

If the greater fertility of religious women turns out to be a long-term trend, evolution might work against secularization.  Combine this with the mass movement of religious Muslims, sub-Saharan Africans, and Hispanics to the developed world, and Comte's vision might be undermined. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Data: The most athletic women have the fewest kids

Now that I've got a little more confidence that self-rated athletic ability has some validity to it (I also observed that it drops markedly with age), I looked to see if athletic people have fewer children. Here's the graph for women ages 40-55 (General Social Survey, N = 401):

American women who say that "athletic" describes them very well average only 1.58 children, while all the less athletic groups have roughly 2.1 kids.

What about men?  Here's a graph for them (N = 317):

With men, we see a U-shaped relationship: the very athletic group has a mean of 2.39 offspring, and the least athletic men average 2.31 kids.  The average athletic group has the smallest families: a mean of only 1.66 kids.

We could interpret this pattern to mean that highly athletic men are more attractive to women and consequently have more mating opportunities, while the least athletic tend to be low testosterone men who are highly committed to family, which is an alternative path to a large family.

The overall results suggest a mixed trend.  What sticks out to me is that athleticism among women shows that same dysgenic trend with see with traits like IQ, education, and health: the top scoring females consistently have the fewest kids.

And let's not forget the study I linked to that found that athletic performance is highly influenced by genes (heritability = .66).

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Data: Sex and race differences in self-rated athletic ability

One study of athletic performance put heritability at .66.  In plain English, two-thirds of the differences in athletic ability are explained by genetic differences.

General Social Survey participants were asked to rate how athletic they are on a scale from 1 to 5.  I calculated the means for sex and race combinations (N = 2,373):

Black men rate themselves as most athletic with a mean of 3.57.  White women (2.58) and women of some other race (2.56) come in at the bottom.  The gap between black men and other-race women is nine-tenths of a standard deviation (SD) -- a big difference.

If we focus on just men, the black-white difference is one-third of an SD -- a small advantage for black men.

The biggest within-race gap is among blacks: the male advantage over females is three-quarters of an SD.  The graph doesn't show the overall sex difference: it's over half of an SD.

While it's difficult to rate oneself objectively, these self-ratings seem to have some validity.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Data: Survival of the fattest?

We saw in a recent post that the women with poor health have the most kids.  Is this true for heavy women, too?  Yes, it is: look at this graph (General Social Survey, self-reported weight, N = 200):

Women with one child are the lightest group with a mean of 165.6 pounds.  Compare this to the heaviest group: Women with seven children weigh an average of 208.5 pounds. The difference is roughly one standard deviation -- huge, no pun intended.

Of course, it's hard for a woman to lose the weight she gains from being pregnant, but it is also possible that genes underlie both weight and fertility.

For example, perhaps women who score low on conscientiousness (self-discipline, long-term planning) lack control over both eating and fertility.

Americans are likely to get fatter and fatter as the generations go by.  If civilization eventually collapses under all the dysgenic trends I have been documenting lately, these fat Americans might finally lose weight due to food shortages.

UPDATE: Readers might suspect that a respondent's weight is due to her height, and perhaps tall women are having more babies.  I checked: fertility does not vary by height. 

Saturday, February 02, 2019

No surprise: Americans in the best position to have a large family are least likely to do so

A good income is associated with positive characteristics like industriousness and intelligence, traits that are strongly influenced by genes.  High-income adults are obviously in the best position to have large families.  Do they?  Look at the graph (General Social Survey, 2010-2016, women ages 40-55, household income in 1986 dollars, N = 1,325):

While women with two children have higher incomes than those with no children, income tends to fall as family size increases beyond two kids.  Compared to families with eight or more kids, two-child families earn more than double the household income.

Here's the graph for men ages 45-60 (N = 1,170):

We see a similar pattern for men, although the income drop beyond two kids is perhaps not as steep as for women. (Don't make much of the high bar for men with seven kids: it's based on only four cases.)

We're seeing the same kind of pattern again and again: Americans who are in the best position to have a big family are least likely to do so.

With these trends, the long-term future will go to the people on the bottom of American society -- the people who have the least genetic potential.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Data: Mentally ill women have the most kids

We saw in the last post that women with poor overall health have more kids than healthy women.  This is a bad sign for the long-term health of America.  But what about mental health?

The General Social Survey asked respondents, "Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?"

Here is the mean number of bad mental health days listed by number of offspring for women ages 40-55:

Childless women average 3.5 bad days, while women with eight or more kids have a mean of 6.0 bad days. 

Now it's possible that having more children to raise might make one crazy -- I have six kids myself and can testify that it ain't easy -- but it might be the case that people with mental health issues might have less control over their fertility.  The large family size means the next generation has a greater number of genes linked to mental illness, and over many generations, you get a pretty crazy population.  

In pre-modern times, mental illness would work against survival and mating success, but under modern conditions, we see the mentally healthy making every excuse against having kids, while people who simply don't have it together are reproducing like bunnies. 

A perfect example of the current mess is a colleague of mine.  She is tall, beautiful, athletic, healthy as a horse, and very smart (as least as smart as a progressive can be).  She is also nurturing and is exactly the kind of person who should be having kids.  But since the planet is going to melt at any moment, she doesn't want children.  So instead of having a family, she and her husband help the environment by jetting to exotic places every other weekend.  Not good.   

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 ...