Friday, November 27, 2009

Supplementals on Lady Leftism

The treatment potentially accorded those who make a Watson- or Summers-esque comment in a public setting usually limits my discussion of HBD issues to face-to-face conversations or pseudonymous online postings.

There are times when discipline fails me, though. A friend answered in a facebook social interview question asking what she'd talk to Barack Obama about by responding that she hoped the two of them wouldn't do much talking. Trying to maintain levity, I commented:
Great illustration of another reason it was a mistake to give women the vote! Because politicians of prominence tend to be in their early forties at the youngest, female politicians are sexually invisible to most men (with rare exceptions like Sarah Palin, who apparently puts lead in the pencils of many middle-aged guys). Women fall for social dominance, which consists primarily of financial affluence, social prestige, good frame (physical attractiveness, deep voice, facial symmetry, etc) and occupational success--all hallmarks of successful politicians (our current President being no exception). And men don't wilt in their twenties, occasionally remaining in full bloom into their senior years (see Silvio Berlusconi). So we have women voting for politicians in the hopes that it'll somehow bring their personal fantasies to fruition!
Even though I've known for several years most of the people who unleashed it, two minutes of hate awaited my next login. After addressing specific charges, this:
The gender ratio of politicians in the US alone makes it obvious that women are more likely to be influenced by the sexual appeal of their elected leaders than men are. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it is unique. In fact, it's about the only instance in which female behavior is more influenced by sex drive than male behavior is. In every other situation, we're the ones who are calculating how this move or that remark will move us closer to the girl nearby. And that is hardly an evil thing. As the joke (to which there is more than a kernel of truth) goes: "Civilization is man's attempt to impress women."

There is something to the argument that the more expansive suffrage becomes, the further to the left the electorate as a whole will calibrate, since you're moving further 'down' the productivity/power structure, and people (especially those on the economic margins) tend to vote for their own monetary interests (read redistribution). But the civic cost strikes me as too high to assent to that position, despite the fact I'm generally opposed to Robin Hood policies.
A guy a few years younger than me, of whom I used to be a sort of mentor and who is now a grad student in environmental science, subsequently made a comment that deserves consideration here:
If even you, AE, can respect the civic significance of women's suffrage, then you shouldn't act surprised when someone like me tells you to get your head out of your ass.
That people like him either miss the significance of (or enjoy the results too much to put them at risk by) pointing out the systemic consequences of a leftward shift was my point about the expansion of the vote, in this particular case to women. As John Derbyshire notes in We Are Doomed (p88-89), the sex variance in political attitudes was identified as far back as 4th century BC, in Aristophanes' play Assemblywomen. Taking power in Athens, women vote in socialism:
Everyone is to have an equal share in everything and live on that; we won't have one man rich while another lives in penury, one man farming hundreds of acres while another hasn't got enough land to get buried in... No one will be motivated by need; everybody will have everything.
In Freedomnomics (p160-165), John Lott traces the relationship between female suffrage and per capita government expenditures in the US at the state level (several states 'preempted' the 19th amendment, Wyoming and Utah by half a century) and finds that as the percentage of women voting increased, the amount of per capita governmental spending rose as well, at faster rates than it did in states where women were prohibited from voting.

That women vote to the left of men is indisputable. Exit polling confirms it, as the gender breakdown of modern presidential elections illustrate. The percentage of men and of women who voted for the Democratic candidate:

1980 (Carter):
Men -- 38%
Women -- 46%

1984 (Mondale):
Men -- 38%
Women -- 42%

1988 (Dukakis):
Men -- 42%
Women -- 49%

1992 (Clinton):
Men -- 41%
Women -- 45%

1996 (Clinton):
Men -- 44%
Women -- 55%

2000 (Gore):
Men -- 43%
Women -- 54%

2004 (Kerry):
Men -- 44%
Women -- 51%

2008 (Obama):
Men -- 49%
Women -- 56%

The sex gap is not only observed at the presidential level. When electing House representatives, women are reliably more supportive of the Democratic party than men are. The percentage of people voting Democratic:

Men -- 45%
Women -- 52%

Men -- 50%
Women -- 55%

Men -- 52%
Women -- 56%

The sex differences are more pronounced on economic issues than they are on social issues. Given a dichotomous choice between the government reducing taxes or spending more on social programs, quite a chasm is evident:

Gov't should...MenWomen
Reduce taxes48.6%32.8%
Spend more51.4%67.2%

That's a 16 point sex gap. Women are more risk-averse than men are. This likely has an evolutionary basis in the fact that women are the limiting factor in reproduction. Males have more incentive to roll the dice whenever they are able to do so. With potentially unlimited reproduction capabilities, procreation is a question of quantity more than it is of quality. For females, the male's prospects of good genes and future material provision are crucial, since mating opportunities are at maximum restricted to a little more than once a year for a steadily closing window that shuts completely after a few decades.

In contrast, on social issues, the sex variances are less pronounced. On the question of abortion, it amounts to little more than a gap in the sidewalk:

Abortion for any reasonMenWomen

Death penalty?MenWomen

Same-sex marriage?MenWomen

Legalize weed?MenWomen

Compared to the 16 point gap on the issue of taxation and socialism, the abortion spread is nil, for the death penalty it is 9 points, 7 points on same-sex marriage, and 8 points on legalization (with men holding the more conventionally leftist view).



Stopped Clock said...

It's interesting that the pro-choice people often talk about how men are oppressing women by denying them the right to abortion, but women are (albeit only slightly) more likely to be pro-life than men are.

bgc said...

Well made point.

The history of the expansion of the franchise is brilliantly described in The Woman Racket by Steve Moxon - which contains many surprises.

Probably, the root of the problem is democracy itself - and specifically the idea that group decisions were better than individual decisions and that the propoer way of making groups decisions was by majority vote.

Authority was transferred from the decision to the process; a good decision was defined as one which had been through the approved (majority vote) process.

Once this idea had started, it grew, it spread, it became unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

"It's interesting that the pro-choice people often talk about how men are oppressing women by denying them the right to abortion, but women are (albeit only slightly) more likely to be pro-life than men are."

What's even more interesting is that abortion is arguably the most cited reason why women vote for Democrats, when these data indicate that it isn't a "gender gap" issue at all.

However, I think that even a lot of women who don't intellectually support abortion still go for the "it's my body" rhetoric. As I said once on another blog-

I don't approve of murder. But if you offered me the right to murder someone for any reason, I'd take it. I'm not pro-murder, I'm pro-choice.

Women will never turn down abortion rights just like blacks will never turn down affirmative action, no matter what they profess in public.

With regards to women and socialism, I don't think it's merely risk-aversion. Socialism allows them to have their cake and eat it too. They get the financial support of provider males while mating with whoever they want. They basically get to cuckold half of the male population. It's more beta-aversion than risk-aversion, IMO.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Oh, I don't know.

Perhaps conservatives just need to market their policies more effectively to get the lady vote:

Women lead Swiss in vote to ban minarets

A right-wing campaign to outlaw minarets on mosques in a referendum being held in Switzerland today has received an unlikely boost from radical feminists arguing that the tower-like structures are “male power symbols” and reminders of Islam’s oppression of women.

A “stop the minarets” campaign has provoked ferment in the land of Heidi, where women are more likely than men to vote for the ban after warnings from prominent feminists that Islam threatens their rights.

Forget about tranquil Alpine scenery and cowbells: one of the most startling features of the referendum campaign has been a poster showing a menacing woman in a burqa beside minarets rising from the Swiss flag.

It seems to have struck a nerve in Langenthal, a small town near Bern where Muslims plan to put up a minaret next to their prayer room in a bleak former paint factory.

“If we give them a minaret, they’ll have us all wearing burqas,” said Julia Werner, a local housewife. “Before you know it, we’ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won’t be Swiss any more.”

A spoof video game on the internet called Minaret Attack shows minarets popping up all over the idyllic Swiss countryside, after which a message proclaims: “Game over! Switzerland is covered in minarets. Vote to ban them on November 29.”

“It’s a dirty campaign,” said Mutalip Karaademi, an Albanian who leads Langenthal’s small Muslim community. “They’re trying to provoke us.”

A poll suggested the Swiss would narrowly reject a ban but the feminist involvement is having an effect: according to one poll, 39% of women were in favour of a ban, but only 31% of men.

Tatiana, a teacher who had previously voted for the left, was quoted in a newspaper as saying she would vote for the minaret ban as she could “no longer bear being mistreated and terrorised by boys who believe women are worthless”.

Socialist politicians have been furious to see icons of the left joining what is regarded as an anti-immigrant campaign by the populist Swiss People’s party, the biggest group in parliament.

One of them, Julia Onken, warned that failure to ban minarets would be “a signal of the state’s acceptance of the oppression of women”. She has sent out 4,000 emails attacking Muslims who condone forced marriage, honour killings and beating women.

Swiss business is horrified. There are fears of a reaction against Swiss products similar to the one suffered by Denmark over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad in 2005.

“The brand ‘Swiss’ must continue to represent values such as openness, pluralism and freedom of religion,” said Hanspeter Rentsch, a member of the board of Swatch, the watchmaker.


Audacious Epigone said...


Anon's description makes sense to me, both intuitively and anecdotally. I know several girls who recoil at the thought of abortion and claim they'd never have one and would discourage others they know from doing so, but feel it's still a woman's right to choose. They want the 'liberty' to have an abortion at will, even as they are disgusted by abortion. I'm not sure how far that goes in addressing your point, but it strikes me as plausibly significant.


I'm just about caught up and in need of some more fuel. So per your recommendation, it's on the reading list. Pricey little bugger though!


I've been reading quite a bit about the Swiss vote taking place tomorrow. Is it going to pass? Supporters seem pretty confident that the undecideds/undeclared will go their way (people being more eager to vote for the ban than say they'll be voting for the ban).

Steve said...

I don't have any numbers on me, but I think I've seen that it's mostly unmarried women creating the electoral sex gap; the gap between men (married or not) and married women is not that large.

The Undiscovered Jew said...


I have no idea if it will pass.

TGGP said...

I second Steve on the gender-gap depending on unmarried status.

Whiskey relies a lot on the assumption that women are leftist, which is why he blames them for immigration. I used the GSS to argue against that here.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

One other note for AE and TGGP: The gender gap among whites is only 6 points or so.

In 2004 Bush won the white male vote 61% compared to 55% for white women.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

The Swiss have voted to ban the minaret.

Stopped Clock said...


In regards to the abortion thing, I can believe that. I knew a pro-choice pregnant woman who said "pro-choice is not pro-abortion" and found even talking about the issue disgusting during the time that she was pregnant.

C. Van Carter said...

The minaret ban results are interesting, as the history of women's suffrage in Switzerland.

Audacious Epigone said...

Steve and TGGP,

No question marriage is good for Republicans. In Lott's book referenced in the post, he argues that divorced women move much further to the left than divorced men do.

Re: marriage, 2008 exit polling backs up your assertions. Among those married with kids, McCain's support:

Men -- 54%
Women -- 47%

Among those married w/o kids, though, there is gender parity:

Men -- 52%
Women -- 53%

Frustratingly, the results for "vote by marital status and gender" gives the following three categories: Married mothers, all other women, and all men. Inanely unhelpful.

Doing the math myself, the aggregate of the married voting for McCain:

Men -- 53%
Women -- 50%

And the unmarried:

Men -- 38%
Women -- 29%

Indeed, the gap is three times as large among the unmarried as it is among the married.

(The total marriage gap is 'inflated' here because of race, of course)


Yes! And comfortably so, too, with almost 58% in support of the ban. Quite encouraging.

David said...

Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

BGC says:

The history of the expansion of the franchise is brilliantly described in The Woman Racket by Steve Moxon - which contains many surprises.

Those who pushed for the expansion of the franchise forgot about unintended effects and the fact that civilization was essentially created by (a subgroup of) males to improve their access to females.

Some other anon says:

With regards to women and socialism, I don't think it's merely risk-aversion. Socialism allows them to have their cake and eat it too. They get the financial support of provider males while mating with whoever they want. They basically get to cuckold half of the male population. It's more beta-aversion than risk-aversion, IMO.

Well, its actually the low-risk strategy for females who are not smart enough to pull it off while in a relationship with a male.

You must remember that females have been strongly selected for obtaining the best possible genes for their offspring while at the same time provisioning their offspring.

Ob Bop said...

Female suffrage may be a major instigator of the downfall of the USA>