Friday, July 31, 2015

No one leaves the door unlocked anymore

Social trust has steadily declined in the US over at least the last four decades. Part of that decline is explained by an increase in the proportion of the country's non-white population, but much of it is due to a decline in trust among non-Hispanic whites as well. Diversity is strength social withdrawal paired with social discord. The following graph shows the percentages of respondents of European ancestry who say that people are generally trustworthy, by year:


Trust in the general population declined from 48.1% in 1972 to 31.9% in 2014. Over the same period of time, trust among whites fell from 54.7% to 39.3%, a trajectory modestly gentler than that of the population taken as a whole.

Parenthetically, there is a precipitous decline in 1983 followed by a rebound in 1984 that mirrors the data for the entire population, a variance probably explained by a transcription issue with the results or simply sampling noise. It's tempting to combine the years for a smoothed average that meshes better with the rest of the data, but I've never massaged the numbers here before and I'm not about to start doing so now, so make of it what you will.

GSS variables used: YEAR, TRUST(1-2), ETHNIC(2-4,6-15,18,19,21,23-27,32,33,35,36,41,97)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trust no one

Digging a little deeper, it's remarkable just how little trust millennials express having in other people. The following graph shows the percentages of those under 30 years of age, those over 30 years old, and the population as a whole who assert that "most people can be trusted" on a dichotomous rendering of a question ("you can't be too careful in life" is the alternative response) that has been asked since the survey's inception in the early seventies:


While trust in others has decayed alongside social cohesion across all age groups, the decline has been especially precipitous among young adults. While expressed levels of trust among those over 30 has decreased by a bit less than one-third in the last four decades, it has been sliced to less than half of what it was among those under 30, to the point now where just 1-in-5 young adults feel that other people are worthy of their trust.

The country is coming apart at the seams. We can pretend to try and talk it over but the words come out too rough.

GSS variables used: TRUST(1-2), AGE(18-29)(30-89), YEAR

Monday, July 27, 2015

Caitlyn and Zoey

From the NameVoyager application at Baby Naming Wizard, the history of the name Caitlyn:


It first crops as a name for infants in the eighties and begins to become somewhat familiar in the nineties.

And of the name Zoey (the adopted name of the feminine transgender woman who physically threatened a wrecker who dared to state the biologically obvious fact that, gender identification aside, Caitlyn and Zoey are, biologically, both males):


Zoey first shows up in the nineties and still may yet to have peaked as a trendy name.

If these two had thought about becoming (or being, or whatever) women for their entire lives, one might expect that they would've long since identified names to represent their true identities, names that would've been popular when they were growing up, like Bruce or Robert.

If, on the other hand, transgenderism is the consequence of something else, like psychologically unstable men acting on a narcissistic desire to lust after themselves, we might expect them to pick names they had recently been exposed to from coming across hot teenagers or twenty-somethings with those names.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Salubrious straights

The percentages of people, by sexual orientation, who reported having missed work over the last month due to "mental or physical" health issues (n = 1,160):

OrientationMissed work
Straight13.3%
Bisexual19.4%
Gay34.4%

Sample sizes are small for gays and bis (22 and 27, respectively) as the question was asked for the first time in the most recent 2014 iteration of the survey, so results shouldn't be treated as anything more than suggestive.

When we talk about a germ theory of homosexuality, this isn't what we usually have in mind, but as someone who gets the anecdotal sense that (male) homosexuals are generally less healthy than heterosexuals are, the above comes as little surprise, even after acknowledging that stereotypically gay jobs are not especially physically demanding or dangerous.

GSS variables used: MISSWORK, SEXORNT

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Social entropy

The US has become so disunited--religiously, ethnically, politically, economically, culturally, racially, linguistically--that its existence as a single political entity no longer makes sense. As the polyglot country becomes increasingly diverse and thus increasingly divided, people are becoming increasingly distrustful of other people. The following graph shows the percentage of GSS respondents, by year, who say that "most people can be trusted" (n = 37,407):


Whites self-describe as far more trusting of others than NAMs do, and slightly more trusting of others than Asians do. From 2000 onward (the year the survey first began asking a detailed question about racial identity), the percentages of respondents who say most people can be trusted, by race (n = 11,530):


Hispanics and Asians are the fastest growing demographic groups in the US. As their shares of the population continue to grow, levels of social trust will continue to deteriorate. Prepare to hunker down in the disUnited States of Misanthropia.

GSS variables used: YEAR, TRUST(1-2), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16)