Friday, November 21, 2008

Conservative men more intelligent than conservative women; Liberal women more intelligent than liberal men

In the previous post, I did not specifically comment on a curious pattern that emerged in comparing average IQ estimates by gender across political ideological and partisan lines--that conservative and Republican men are more intelligent than women of the same persuasions, while liberal and Democratic women are more intelligent than men of the same persuasions. For whites and for the total population, in the cases of both party membership and political ideology, this holds. Thinking it might be a contemporary shift or a fluke occuring over a two-year period, I ran the same analysis for all participants in the GSS going back to 1972. For all races:

PersuasionIQ MenIQ WomenMale adv
Democrat95.295.10.1
Republican99.098.40.6
Liberal98.198.2(0.1)
Conservative98.696.81.8

For whites only:

PersuasionIQ MenIQ WomenMale adv
Democrat99.1100.2(1.1)
Republican101.4101.10.3
Liberal101.8102.9(1.1)
Conservative101.8100.81.0

I am flummoxed by it. The gaps are not enormous, but they're consistent, particularly with regards to the liberal-conservative spectrum. Considering only the 2004-2006 cohort used in the previous post, conservative white men have a 0.5 point IQ advantage over conservative white women, while liberal white women have a 2.0 advantage over liberal white men. For all races, conservative men have a 1.5 advantage over conservative women, while liberal women have a 1.5 advantage over liberal men. The conservative man's advantage over the conservative woman is 2-3 points greater than the liberal man's (dis)advantage over the liberal woman, whether the last couple of years or the last few decades are being considered, or whether whites alone or the entire population is being looked at.

A little googling didn't turn up anything that addressed this. Maybe I'm reading into differences that are too negligible to matter, but their consistency across time and demographics is what interests me more than their magnitude does.

Are conservative and Republican women more masculine in their intelligence than liberal and Democratic women are? Women who report having sex with at least one other woman since the age of 18 are more than twice as likely to be Democrats as they are to be Republicans, and more than 2.5 times as likely to be liberal as they are to be conservative, so I am not inclined to think that is the case. Perhaps men tend to think in financial terms more regularly than women, consequently leading men to be more likely to think of "conservative" or "Democrat" as these identifiers pertain to fiscal issues, while women are more likely to think about social issues when considering how to self identify (I am presuming 'fiscal conservatives' have higher average IQs than 'social conservatives' do).

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. When I was in law school and shortly after, I dated lawyers. But when I was ready to settle down, I realized I wanted someone who was young, hot, and willing to stay home and raise a bunch of kids. I couldn't see my saucy Jewish girlfriend quitting her law gig to nurse our future children, and she was pushing 30 anyway, and her bio-clock was winding down.

Anyway, I broke up with her and started to go back to church (I'm Mormon). I soon met my wife, 10 years my junior, she's hot, loves kids (we have 6 now) and is willing, if not enthusiastic, to stay home and instill some values in the little cherubs. It was the best decision I ever made, and it doesn't bother me at all that she might have an average IQ. We're conservative.

My liberal ex-girlfriends tended to gravitate toward sensitive men who they dominated.

I don't know if any of this could possibly be relative. Maybe smart people know what they want, and they set out to achieve their goals. Maybe smart women want freedom (abortion) and safety (gun control, environmental laws) and free money (arts grants, free child care) and they gravitate toward the left, and smart men want guns, (defense spending, 2nd amendment) money, (low capital gains tax) and hot women (Sarah Palin) and gravitate to the right.

al fin said...

Good point. Leftist women like to be in the drivers seat, so they hang with the inferior intellect men of the left.

Just like Obama chose the black world over the white world in which he was raised. "Better to rule in hell than to serve in paradise."

Peter said...

Perhaps men tend to think in financial terms more regularly than women, consequently leading men to be more likely to think of "conservative" or "Democrat" as these identifiers pertain to fiscal issues, while women are more likely to think about social issues when considering how to self identify (I am presuming 'fiscal conservatives' have higher average IQs than 'social conservatives' do).

My thoughts exactly. It certainly seems quite plausible that fiscal conservatives are smarter than social conservatives. Fiscal issues are more complex and less easily reduced to slogans. You have to have some smarts to understand them. And it's also reasonably evident that fiscal issues are more of a "guy thing" even if intelligence is disregarded, or perhaps it's more accurate to say that social issues are more of a "woman's thing."

IQ230 said...

Nothing with an IQ of 99 is intelligent...

Now, it does really baffle me that many smart men wouldn't put more thought into how intelligent the mothers of their children are - intelligence is genetic, ya morons.

Dick Everhard said...

Anon. - "Saucy" Jewish girlfriend? Just to be sure, I looked up "saucy" in Webster's, and it's defined as "bold, impudent." In other words, a contemptuous, disrespectful nag.

A little off topic, but when I was between wives and tried the online dating thing, I was amazed at how many women described themselves as "sassy" (or "saucy") in their online dating profiles. In other words, they were advertising that they were bitchy and difficult to get along with. I don't give a crap how smart someone is, if they're admitting something like that up front, believe them.

IQ230 - I agree, but only up to a point. Often, two very good looking people will produce an ordinary looking, or even homely child together. I imagine it's not all that rare that two people with Mensa-level IQs produce a child who's got only slightly above average intelligence.

In my case, my wife probably gives away 30 points or more in IQ to me, but she's a very smart woman who's got 2 degrees and probably clocks in around 125 IQ. She and I are very compatible, and I never feel as though she's somehow less than me. She has people skills that I don't, and on the important stuff, we're completely in tune.

Anonymous said...

I would hazard a guess: this is an artifact of the liberalism of women with post-grad degrees versus the conservatism of men with post-grad degrees.

Look at folks with only a four year college degree and see what happens.

BTW, most of those post-grad debrees are in social work and teaching. . .

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

Your speculations strike me as plausible.

I'm assuming you meant "relevant", in which case I say even if it isn't (although I think it is), I'm happy to hear it. You make me feel guilty about my self-indulgent lack of a desire for the responsibilities that come with raising a family, let alone one of your size, but it is a deserved guilt that I suspect--or at least hope--will with many others like it, provide enough inspiration for me to get my act together.

AF,

Do conservative men similarly prefer more authority in their relationships relative to liberal men? My presumption is that they do. "Dick Everhard" appears to be an example of as much.

Peter,

I wonder if the GSS provides a way to tease out the differences between 'social' and 'fiscal' conservatives (and liberals). There are some questions about government spending that might be worth looking at.

Anon,

Good suggestion, I will.

Joseph said...

One possible contributing factor is male-to-female transsexuals. I've read they have above-average IQs and anecdotal evidence suggests that they vote left.

There aren't that may of them, but we're trying to explain a very small difference.

popularsymbolism said...

[quote]Now, it does really baffle me that many smart men wouldn't put more thought into how intelligent the mothers of their children are - intelligence is genetic, ya morons.
[/quote]

If I'm not mistaken, this is basically where the whole race theology sprung up from, and I see it being resurrected as of late, to the point where in The Netherlands, parents deemed 'unfit for parenting' are forced to take contraception. Which sounds awfully similar to 'unfit to breed'.

Let me end this with a quote from Socrates that I happen to agree with wholeheartedly: True knowledge is in knowing you know nothing.

Tony said...

popularsymbolism said quoting Plato's (?) Socrates: "True knowledge is in knowing you know nothing."

Do you really believe this? It's just false modesty. Socrates certainly knew lots, and knew that he knew lots. If you want to increase your knowledge, of course, it helps to discern what you know from what you don't. Socrates' point - I presume - was that much of what people think they know, they don't know - but I don't know how this general point fits into your critique.

Audacious Epigone said...

Joseph,

Unfortunately, the GSS doesn't ask anything that allows an adjustment for that to be made!

PS,

Will intelligence not factor into your choice of a wife if/when you marry? Does it not influence your perception of women now?

popularsymbolism said...

[quote]Socrates' point - I presume - was that much of what people think they know, they don't know - but I don't know how this general point fits into your critique.
[/quote]

And that's exactly what my take is on the idea that intelligence is genetic - whoever said that thinks he/she knows, but he/she really doesn't know.

Besides, the whole 'intelligence is hereditary' led to the whole eugenics movement, and I find it dangerous that these ideas are floating around today.

Tony said...

Fair enough, but noting possible negative social consequences of something is not an argument against its truth.

Anonymous said...

Another way to look at it is that liberal and conservative white men have the same intelligence, while liberal white women are smarter than conservative white women. I'd guess this is because there is a significant subset of conservatives that want to use social and legal pressure to push women out of the workforce and limit their power in relation to men. If these people become powerful, women will have fewer options in the workplace and at home. The less intelligent women may not understand this, or they don't have ambitions higher than being a housewife and mother.

The reason that Republicans of both sexes appear to be slightly smarter than Democrats (in contrast to the above) is because some libertarian types vote Republican for their free-market tendencies, and some rich smart people vote Republican out of self-interest (to keep their taxes low). They are not necessarily conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Agree with IQ230.
An IQ of 100 is average, not intelligent. People in that cohort get their political views from television. If you really want to know if intelligence is correlated with political persuasion, you need to look at a cohort of people who actually think.

Anonymous said...

Then why are men just about better at everything in the world? Invented almost everything? Control most all of the businesses? Made the most discoveries. What exactly can a women do with her .1% better ecucation that matters more than what men do with there .1% less education?