I'm currently reading the brand new book by Kevin MacDonald titled Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. I don't always agree with him, but I'm interested in anyone with big balls and interesting ideas.
According to MacDonald, Western populations evolved to value self-sacrificing love in prospective mates in order to cement close family environments and paternal investment in harsh northern environments. Since this is an element of a slow life-history strategy, East Asians should value this trait as well, while blacks should be shifted more toward short-term mating strategies.
The General Social Survey (GSS) asked American respondents how much they agree with four statements about loving one's partner with a deep, devoted, self-sacrificing type of love. I summed the answers to the four questions to create a scale (alpha coefficient = .83). (It's funny: as I write this, I'm hearing these lyrics on YouTube: "I dried your tears of pain, babe, A million times for you, I'd sell my soul for you babe, For money to burn with you, I'd give you all, and have none, babe.")
Next, I calculated the mean score for ethnic/racial groups with at least 20 respondents (sample size = 1,040). Here are the results:
Mean Love Score
Southern Europeans 13.77
American Indians 13.60
Total Sample 13.37
East Asians 12.34
Americans of German descent and southern Europeans are at the top of the list, while East Asians and blacks are at the bottom. The gap between Germans and blacks is seven-tenths of a standard deviation, a large difference.
Consistent with MacDonald's prediction, whites are in the top spot, and blacks are last. He doesn't focus on East Asians, but he relies on life-history theory, and East Asians should fit the "slow" strategy of high family investment.
The results seem somewhat cultural. I noticed that not only southern Europeans but Latin Americans (many nationalities were too small to make the list) tend to score high. This is consistent with the stereotype of the romantic Latin.
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