Thursday, May 19, 2022

How strongly does religiosity predict fertility?

The total fertility rate in the US has fallen to 1.7.  That means the average woman will have fewer than two children, not enough to replace the population. Does greater religiosity predict fertility, and if so, how strongly? I organized data on the total fertility rate (TFR)(World Population Review, 2021 data) and the percent of the country thinking religion is important (World Values Survey, various years) for 78 countries. The Spearman rank correlation is .61 (p < .001), which means that religiosity strongly predicts higher fertility. Here is a scatterplot:

Here is the scatterplot with country labels:

If we assume that a TRF of at least 2.1--replacement level--is best, then a country evidently needs close to half or more of the population believing that religion is important. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Are mass shootings on the rise because young men no longer believe in hell?

According to Steve Sailer, the mass shootings committed by disciplined, skilled killers are on the rise because fewer young men fear there is a hell waiting for them. Do the data support this? 

The General Social Survey asked respondents, "Do you believe in hell?" I lumped those who answered "definitely yes" and "probably yes" into one group, and the same for the no's. Here are the results for men ages 18-29:

The percent not believing in hell bounces around a little 1991-2008, but it jumps up to 47% in 2018.  

Here is a graph of the trend in high body count mass shootings in America--the type usually committed by the kind of men Steve is talking about:

The rate accelerates around the same time we see a jump in skepticism about hell. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Have liberals veered left on abortion?

Political parties have gotten more polarized in the past few years. Is this true for abortion attitudes, too? Using General Social Survey (GSS) data, I created the following graphs:

Liberal Women

In 2006, 60% of self-described liberal women favored abortion for any reason. That number grew and jumped from 2018 to 2021. It's now 88%. 

Liberal Men

We see the same trend for liberal men. By 2021, the percent in favor was 79%. Currently, few liberals have a problem with unrestricted abortion. 

Moderate Women

It's trended up for moderate women as well. They are now at 54%

Moderate Men

Moderate men are now at 57% approval. 

Conservative Women

By contrast, attitudes among conservative women have stayed fairly steady, the current level of approval is at  27%.

Conservative Men

The story is similar for conservative men. They are currently at 34% approval. Overall, conservatives have not changed much, whereas liberals have veered left on the issue, especially in the last few years. There is more consensus among liberals than conservatives. 

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 ...