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. 





Thursday, December 23, 2021

Is "Latino Lover" a thing?

I was watching "Being the Ricardos" last night, and one of the film's themes was Desi Arnaz' infidelities. It made me wonder if there is any truth to the stereotype of the Latin lover. 

The General Social Survey asked married men if they had ever cheated on their spouse. Here are the percentages (N = 4,243):

Percent of married men who have cheated

Non-Hispanic black  25.2
Black Hispanic  20.0
White Hispanic  16.9
Non-Hispanic white 16.3
Hispanic--other race  15.0
Non-Hispanic--other race  13.9

I calculated percentages for each race because I know it is relevant for infidelity. There is evidence here that black men cheat more than other groups, but rates are not high for Hispanics.




Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The 2021 General Social Survey: How many transgenders?

 The 2021 General Social Survey is out. Respondents were asked their gender. Here are the results:














I am interested in the transgender issue, but let's take notice of an important GSS fact: It is heavily skewed toward women, so you need to take this into account when looking at results that differ by gender. For example, in 2021 8.4% of men do not believe in God, but only 5.1% of women believe the same way, so an excess of women in the sample will skew the results for the total sample. 

But let's focus on transgenders: They are 0.3% of the sample. This is 3 per 1,000, folks, not radically different from what I was taught in college many years ago. The figure is also similar to that of the California study that reported .35% of the state is transgender. 

You do see 0.4% who don't fit into the other boxes, so there is a small percentage of confused people out there. 

The GSS is a sample of adults (18+), so the apparent growth in transgenderism is occurring among teens. 

Monday, August 02, 2021

What percent of Americans under 40 are Christians?

 A follower on Twitter indicated that he is not Christian and wondered what percent of Americans under 40 are. Well, you know I'm a sucker for that kind of question. The General Social Survey asked people about their religious affiliation in 2018--the latest published data. Here are the results: 














If we add up the numbers for Christians, we get 59%, and it's probably closer to 60% since I did not include "Other", which, for example, probably includes quite a few Mormons, who consider themselves Christians and restorationists, not Protestants. If we we create a table with adults 40 and over we get this:














Added up, 78.2% of older Americans are Christians, so the percentage among young people is dramatically lower. It's not a coincidence that many young people also favor socialism.  

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Is skin tone correlated with job prestige?

The General Social Survey rated the skin darkness of a sample of black Americans, ranging from "very dark brown" to "very light brown." Biologically oriented researchers might see the question as a rough measure of the percentage of European ancestry, while sociologists would see it as a measure of discrimination--lighter-skinned blacks getting better treatment. Respondents were also given a job prestige score that ranges from 16 to 80--16 is a shoeshine and 80 is a physician. Here are the job prestige means listed by skin tone:














You can see that average job prestige tends to rise with lighter skin. The mean for blacks with "very light brown" skin is roughly two-thirds of a standard deviation higher than the mean for "very dark skin" blacks. 

The pattern can be interpreted in at least two ways: 1) genetic--blacks with more European ancestry tend to rise in the status hierarchy much more than African blacks, or 2) sociological--whites discriminate more against darker blacks, and perhaps light-skinned blacks have white (privileged) relatives who gave them advantages. 

For several reasons, I'm inclined toward the genetic explanation. For one, my experience is that when a white person is interacting with a black person, his thought is, "I'm talking with a black person," not, "I'm talking with a light-skinned black person." For another, how do those Nigerian immigrants do so well in the US when their skin tends to be so dark? The sociologist would predict severe discrimination. The biologist would argue that African immigrants are a select group of Africans--above average in IQ and drive--and this overwhelms any bias they might experience. 

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...