Sunday, August 30, 2009

Additional information on IQ of teachers

++Addition++I realize now that Inductivist, using the OCC80 variable, was only looking at high school teachers. The difference between our estimates for that level of teaching is negligible. Thus the post is a complement to, not a critique of, his.


The Inductivist recently used Wordsum scores from the GSS to estimate the average IQ of high school teachers by decade. Another one of the blogging world's best raised a few follow up questions and directed them to me in response, prompting a turn to the database.

Frustratingly, I wasn't able to find a variable identifying teachers (it would be optimal for all quant bloggers to adopt the practice Agnostic started and include those used at the end of a post), and lack the patience to wait for Inductivist to fill me in. The GSS does record occupational information based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations, however. ISCO has had two major revisions since its inception, the last in 1988, and varies slightly by country. After a lot of googling, I've identified codes for "teaching professionals" in the US for respondents participating from 1988 and after*.

Going this route allows for some additional insights to be gleaned. Converting Wordsum results to IQ scores under the assumption that the Wordsum mean for whites is equivalent to an IQ of 100 with a standard deviation of 15 yields an average IQ of 108.4 for all teaching professionals surveyed over the last two decades. For high school teachers, this gives an estimate about one point higher than Inductivist found. The small discrepancy is probably due in part to the inclusion of administrators among educational professionals by ISCO methodology. It is also marginally closer to what I would have guessed before having any data to go by.

The total sample size for teaching professionals is 742, allowing IQ estimates by educational level to be made. The following table shows the estimated average IQ for education professionals at the post-secondary (college and university), secondary (high school), primary and pre-primary (K-8th grade), special education (gifted and short bus), and "other teaching professionals not elsewere classified" (13% of the total, perhaps professional mentors and the like) levels:

High school107.4150
K-8th grade107.4369
Special ed.105.918

Treating Wordsum scores as proxies for IQ scores works quite well, but it's not perfect. For one thing, a perfect score of 10 equates to a maximum IQ of 127.8. As only 3% or so of the population has an IQ of 128 or higher, this artificial ceiling does not have much of an effect most of the time when Wordsum-to-IQ conversions are made for groups of GSS respondents. However, in the case of university and college educators, it does--36.9% of those surveyed scored a 10. If this contingent averaged an IQ 2.5 SDs above the white mean rather than the presumed 1.86--which is certainly plausible--the average IQ estimate for university and college educators would be slightly north of 120, with the professorial average higher still.

The 107.4 for high school and K-8th grade teachers is not a typo--they just happen to be the same, although the curve is noticeably wider for secondary educators, with a Wordsum standard deviation of 2.08 for those at the high school level to 1.78 for K-8. Perhaps math and science teachers pull the distribution to the right while PE, art, and other soft electives teachers push it to the left?

The following table shows the same for whites only:

Level (whites only)IQN
High school109.3133
K-8th grade109.0321
Special ed.109.415

As expected, the white distribution essentially parallels the distribution for all educational professionals, shifted to the right a couple of points.

The response pool is not large enough to break non-whites down by educational level. The table below shows the estimated average IQ of all educational professionals by race:


The black-white gap is almost exactly one standard deviation, adhering to the fundamental law of sociology described by La Griffe du Lion. Taking into account the fact that 18.2% of white educational professionals earned a Wordsum score of 10 compared to 6.7% of non-whites, the black-white difference appears to be right where the lion would predict for it to be, small non-white sample sizes notwithstanding.

GSS variables used: ISCO88(2300-2399)(2331-2332), RACE, WORDSUM

* The GSS does not offer much help in this regard, stating only that respondent occupations from 1988 onward use ISCO-88. This instructional guide on ISCO put out by Stanford shows professional educators to be represented by codes 2310-2390 (see pg 15). This more helpful listing from the University of North Carolina breaks educational categories down to the fourth digit, and the codes match up perfectly with what the GSS returns, with the exception of a discrepancy among secondary education professionals. The UNC source shows it to be represented by 2320, while the GSS returns data for 2321 but nothing for 2320 (the fourth digit is the most arbitrarily assigned--something the Stanford guide deals with in detail). Most of the possible four digit combinations from 110 to 9999 are not used, which is why I am confident I've identified the correct educational classifications--pegging four of the five in a 100 digit range with the one exception differing only by the fourth digit is almost certainly not due to chance. The Wikipedia entry agrees with both of these sources. Further, the results have face validity not only within the educational profession, but for various other occupational categorizations as well. Still, I must add a disclaimer to what is presented above--I am only 99.9% certain that I have identified the classifications correctly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One partner ponies by gender and ethnicity

Whether or not blacks are more alpha than non-blacks are (with Asians as the most beta and whites and Hispanics in between) is a perennial topic that crops up across the game-oriented sections of the blogosphere. I'm inclined to think they tend to be, based on higher levels of extramarital sexual activity, a greater number of sexual partners, and consistently higher levels of reported self-confidence among blacks, as well as regular personal experience. Further, hip hop celebrates alpha traits far more than other genres of music do. Of course, that's not the only take, as n/a has demonstrated here in previous comment threads.

In a previous post discussing the relationship between fecundity and promiscuity, the unsurprising fact that black men are the least likely to have a single lifelong partner was presented. The percentage of men, by race, who report having had exactly one female partner since age 18 is replicated here:

Whites -- 20.4%
Blacks -- 8.9%
Hispanics -- 18.0%
Asians -- 38.7%

The percentage of women, by race, who have had one male partner since age 18:

Whites -- 32.7%
Blacks -- 22.2%
Hispanics -- 33.4%
Asians -- 40.8%

Men consistently report having more sexual encounters than women do, as the higher percentage of self-reported monogamous women across the board illustrates. The relative racial ordering is essentially the same for women as it is for men, however, with blacks being the most promiscuous, Asians being the least so, and whites and Hispanics falling in between the two.

I am instinctively interested in ethnic differences among whites. Presumably, those of northwestern European ancestry come closest to the Victorian ideal--with the natural exception of the vulgar Irish, of course!*--while those tracing their heritage back to southern and eastern Europe are relatively promiscuous. The following table** shows the percentage of men, by ethnic group, who have had one partner since age 18. The female pattern again mirrors that of men, with proportionally higher levels of monogamy reported for each group:

EthnicityMonogamy %
Eastern European19.9%
Southern European11.1%

The three immigrants to the US from Holland I know are all actively religious and socially conservative. Given the Netherlands' reputation as being the most secularized, socially liberal country in the world, these revelations surprised me on the three separate occasions I became aware of them. That's unscientific anecdote, of course. Is there any evidence that the Dutch who come stateside are fleeing from what they consider societal decay?

Turns out my preconceived notion of less committed Eastern Europeans is a little off the mark. As a group, they are indistinguishable from Germans. The superciliousness directed at southern Europeans and those base Hibernians is justified, however! The demographic change the US has experienced over the last half century has made concerns about ethnic differences among whites pale in comparison to the differences between whites and non-whites, but still today it is understandable why members of the US' founding stock resisted Irish and Italian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As the most socially liberal group in the US, Jews live the libertine lifestyle they tend to have few qualms with. The orthodox, comprising a little less than one-tenth of the total population, are much more monogamous (43.3%) than those of conservative, reform, or non-religious backgrounds are.

"Americans" are the Appalachian whites of the McCain belt; the southerners who laid the groundwork for contemporary black pathologies in the purview of Thomas Sowell, as explained in Black Rednecks and White Liberals; the descendants of the Ultster Scots who came from the Borderlands to settle in the American Backcountry during the middle of the 18th century. And the variance in their behaviors relative to those of other whites shows up in contemporary ways just as it would be expected to.

GSS variables used: ETHNIC, NUMMEN, JEW, SEX(1)(2), NUMWOMEN, RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10), HISPANIC(2-99)

* I am partially Irish and thus entitled to a little (uncharacteristic!) self-deprecation.

** Those who simply identify their ancestry as "American" make up the category of the same name. Those of Czechoslavakian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, or Russian descent comprise the Eastern European category. Scandanavians are made up of those who trace their ancestry to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Finland. The Southern European category is comprised of those who originally came from Greece or the former Yugoslavia. English includes those of Welsh descent, and German includes those who came from Austria.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For women, too, fewer partners means more babies

Nearly a year ago, I happily reported that among men the monogamists were outproducing the contemporary Genghis Khan's. The GSS shows that men who have had one lifetime partner procreate more than men who have had a few, who in turn make more babies than the Roissys of the world do. The trend holds across racial lines as well (excepting Asians, for which the sample sizes are too small to be determinative).

But devotion to a single mate might not have a bright future relative to more expansive sexual relationships if women who like to test the water by jumping in are outproducing those who prefer only dipping their toes. The following table shows the average number of children women have birthed by the number of male sexual partners they have had since the age of 18*. Like men, women who have had only one partner are the most fecund:


As the number of partners increases, the amount of procreation decreases. Taking the average number of chidren for each group of women (those who've had one partner, those who've had two partners, etc) and comparing it with the number of partners each group has had yields an inverse correlation of .79, (p=0), even stronger than the relationship of the two variables for men, which stands at .57 (p=.02).

A graphical representation of the data follow:

Green-on-up indicates replenishment or better. Seven in ten women who have been committed to a single man are sustaining themselves. Among women who have had been with seven or more guys, replenishment isn't even quite the norm, with fewer than half having at least two children. While only one of six monogamous women are barren, one in three women who've had at least seven partners are.

How does race play into this? The following tables show the average number of children had by women and by race, by the number of male sexual partners they have had since the age of 18. Ranges are employed where sample sizes for individual partner counts are deemed too small to stand alone:





The pattern is strong among whites and appears to be so among Asians as well, although the Asian sample is prohibitively small to attach much certainty to it. There is a counterpoint in the data among black women, as those who report having five partners have the largest brood, although the advantage over the monogamous is slight. Similarly among Hispanics, those in the 3-5 range are the most fecund. Across all groups, the promiscuous do not tend to turn their love making into baby making.

Tangentially, the inspiration for originally looking at the question of how the number of children and number of partners a person has interact has long since gotten back together with the girl who broke up with him. On graduation night, he was relieved of the fear he might die a virgin. She wants kids in four years, and he wants to be with her forever. If all goes as planned, it couldn't happen to a better young man.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN, CHILDS, SEX(2), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10), HISPANIC(2-99)

* The GSS cuts off at eight children ("eight or more"). I treated men in this category as though they'd had exactly eight kids.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

r/K selection at the national level

The r/K selection theory, coined by E. O. Wilson, concerns the trade off between the quantity of offspring produced and the quality of care and devotion given to each of them. From the Wikipedia article:
r-selected species exploit less-crowded ecological niches, and produce many offspring, each of which has a relatively low probability of surviving to adulthood. In contrast, K-selected species are strong competitors in crowded niches, and invest more heavily in fewer offspring, each of which has a relatively high probability of surviving to adulthood.
In this conceptual framework, humans are clearly a K-selected species. Frogs and spiders, in contrast, are examples of r-selected species.

Intraspecies differences exist as well. In Race, Evolution, and Behavior, Philippe Rushton describes human populations as existing along an r/K continuum, with blacks nearest the r side, Asians nearest the K side, and whites in between.

My purpose is not to detract from or defend that conceptualization, but instead to present the relationship between fecundity and infant mortality at the national level. The following graph depicts this, with the total fertility rate along the x-axis and infant mortality per 1,000 live births on the y-axis:

The correlation between the two is .83 (p=0), very strong for the social sciences. This does not imply that the causes of national differences are primarily genetic in nature. Over the last 60 years, the infant mortality rate in the US has nearly been cut in half while the birth rate has declined by more than one-third over the same period of time. For American blacks, the infant mortality rate is 13.6, compared to 44.4 for the entire country of South Africa, the most developed nation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Still, the strength of the relationship is interesting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Black women are black or women first?

Steve Sailer has pointed out on multiple occasions that race trumps sex in the contemporary world of identification politics:
As feminist prosecutor Marcia Clark found out when she tried to pack the OJ jury with women and Johnnie Cochran tried to pack it with blacks, and they ended up in a compromise packing it with black women, race trumps sex in modern American identity politics.
In the Democratic primaries last year, Hillary Clinton was confronted by the same reality. The insight needs some qualification, though, in that it applies much more strongly to non-whites, especially blacks, than it does to whites.

These high profile examples of the tendency are not the only thing to look to. The GSS provides a self-reported quantitative source of data on the question. Clark and Clinton were perhaps naive in their assumptions that gender identification would trump racial identification among black women, but based solely on what black women claim is most important in describing who they are, the two might be forgiven for thinking that the greater social acceptance of celebrating gender compared to celebrating racialism has been internalized by black women.

The following table shows the percentage of female respondents who included race or ethnicity and who included gender as one of the three most important methods of self-identification from a list of ten possible descriptors. Because the question was only posed in 2004, sample sizes are too small for members of other racial/ethnic groups like Hispanics and Asians. Consequently, only whites and blacks are included:

Gender identification32.7%33.7%
Racial/ethnic identification10.2%29.8%

While they are three times as likely as white women to identify by race, slightly more black women claim that their gender is more central to who they are than race is. Come crunch time, though, black women will stand behind their brothers before they line up on behalf of their girlfriends.

A more interesting hypothetical question is which way white women will go when presented with the choice of a white man or a black woman. Had Condoleeza Rice fought for the presidential nomination on the Republican side, we would have had a high-profile case with which to suggest an answer. On the political front, it doesn't look like it's in the cards any time in the near future, and because white-on-black murder is so uncommon, there are no notorious white slayers of black women to create the OJ Simpson scenario in reverse.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big Man or Hapless Beta?

Last week I went to Worlds of Fun (Kansas City's major amusement park, similar to a Six Flags but a bit smaller) with seven people aged 17-19 (I am 26). All four of the girls (including the one) have interest in me to varying extents, and in three of four cases, it's returned. The point is not to boast pseudonymously online, but to show that the stakes are high enough to think seriously about the perception I am creating in their eyes.

The titular question refers to my spontaneous offer and then insistence at the gate of paying everyone's way. The guys didn't protest at all, the one I'm really close to thanking me briefly and the other two just pumped about their good fortune ("Sick dude!"). Hmm, not sure that's what I wanted. I like all of the guys and feel a protective, big-brotherly relationship with them, but there is no denying that they are competition, too. Though my conscious motivation was a consequence of genuine enjoyment (once you've hit the mid-twenties, being the center of attention in a group of attractive, well-adjusted teenagers is invigorating and immensely enjoyable) and being cognizant of the fact that getting in was a substantive expense for them but not for me, an immediate desire for deference and humility went unfulfilled--shouldn't they feel small about not being able to drop bills like that? I might have been quite the chump (and for leveraging my financial security against incoming college freshmen, I probably deserve as much).

But the female reaction matters more. Three of the girls did resist and then tried to give me money--forcefully after I put my hands up in non-compliance--to which I reacted with my best male dancer impression (unlike Agnostic, I have zero dancing experience). Cute, right? Again, probably not what I wanted. A swooned girl doesn't try and stop dreamboy from providing for her--she simply rewards him warmly for doing so. Plus, my girl would be thrilled if I provided only for her (which I obviously had planned on doing) in the presence of other interested females, rather than feeling like just another part of the harem. Worse, the harem reference might not be right at all--perhaps I momentarily became the cool uncle (and thus the conspcicuous grown up).

Sound like a misfire? Or is there enough redemptive value in being a solid material provider to justify it (in addition to acting on genuine altruistic urges)?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sorry for the slowdown

Over the last couple of months I've not been devoting nearly as much time to this spot as I'd like to. I have been able to continue posting with some regularity due to the store of writeups I had in queue, but now the bin is almost empty.

That is not to say my head is, though. There are several outlines floating around, including the challenging of some of the assertions in Andrew Gelman's Red State Blue State, a sizable amateur review and intellectual riffing off of Geoffrey Miller's The Mating Mind, the relationship between IQ and monetary standard of living based on the most reliable estimates of the latter I've come upon to date, a contemporary look at human r/K selection theory at the international level, countless GSS-related whims, to name only a few.

With this sports thing, being on the cusp of a promotion to a spot I can see myself retiring from, and an unexpected conflagration of passion with the girl burning a hole in my stratosphere (heh, don't worry, I won't get too graphic) after a disappointing period of cooling, putting these strains of thought into html just isn't in the cards at the moment. But they have to come out, if for no other reason than to remind me of just how shaky my presumedly solid cognitive foundations really are.

In summation, please don't stop dropping by or dump me from your RSS feed. The season will be over in a few months, the professional stuff will settle down soon, and the microburst will (if all goes well) be chased out by a sustained period of a balmy tranquility following the storm. I plead selfishly, as the comment threads often leave me intellectually indebted, despite my efforts in the body of the post.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mario is The Man, but the good still die young

Luigi should have been happy besting Mario in his second eponymous adventure. He could've spent his career scampering around in the forest trying to rescue squirrels from killer robots, after all (the link is to a video for which embedding is disabled by request).

Early Sonic games were so much more mind blowing (for votaries of the series, the video linked to shows the play of one of the best in the world) than Mario games were, but the cast--not just protagonists and antagonists, but items as well--of the latter were more endearing and memorable. Sonic zips around and pinballs into things. That's it. Mario picks up and throws things, hurls fireballs, and not only pounces on things from above but also bops them from below. He forfeits pure speed for versatility. Just as basketball is more engaging to watch than 5ks are, so Mario bested Sonic.

Further, the hedgehog is an ugly animal, and fighting a human to rescue delicate woodland creatures did not create affinity for it. As Agnostic has argued, kids don't tend to take the environmentalists' misanthropic bait. An every man-boy fighting a dragon-lizard to save a princess--now that's compelling stuff!

As is the case in virtually all martial arts action movies, if the bad guys ever had the brains to bum rush the hero at the same time, there'd be no saving Marian. How ironic that for so many years the Mario brothers tried to knock out the tyrant who inadvertantly allowed them to flourish:

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Baby boys more likely than girls to die in infancy

Sifting through the pages of the CIA factbook, I noticed the virtual universality of higher infant mortality rates at the international level for boys than for girls. There are two marginal exceptions, Nepal and the Northern Mariana Islands, the latter also having the most unbalanced gender ratio favoring women in the world (numerically anyway--the red-blooded men of the islands might argue it actually favors them). For the other 221 countries or territorities for which there are data, boys are more likely than girls to die in the first year of life.

I wonder how various feminist theories explain this. Boys are expected to be tougher and consequently receive rougher treatment from their parents even before they begin crawling? They are encouraged to be more aggressive, and adopting a martial outlook leads them to engage in more risky behavior? How about blank slatist belief systems that hold environment up as the determinative factor in everything? Similar stories, I suppose.

One reason for this disparity is that boys tend to be larger than girls are and consequently are relatively more difficult to deliver without complication. Male babies are apparently also more susceptible to premature birth and respiratory problems than girls are. Further, though I am only speculating here, it seems plausible that as males tend to show more diversity than females do in several attributes like intelligence, they are more likely to suffer from too many bad draws that, in totality, lead to poor health outcomes.