Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Only curmudgeons believe in HBD

Continuing with Inductivist's post on the lack of even unspoken HBD realism in the general population, I wondered how age among whites was associated with favoring the explanation of lower intelligence among blacks being a reason for poor black outcomes relative to whites. The percentages of whites who agreed with the IQ explanation by age group (again all responses are from 2000 onward and sample sizes are in the several hundreds to thousands):

18-24: 6.7%
25-35: 5.4%
36-49: 7.5%
50-65: 8.4%
66+: 18.6%

As expected, younger whites are even more hostile towards HBD than older whites are. But from the millennials to the baby-boomers, there is little difference. Only those of retirement age (and by extension in some sense outside of the cultural zeitgeist) show double-digit percentages agreeing with the IQ explanation. Those who have come of age from the sixties onward are overwhelmingly hostile towards HBD, a legacy the New Left can surely be proud of.

Funny that while whites are becoming more ethnically aware, thus displaying a laudable, uh, awareness of diversity, they believe even more firmly than their parents (and far more firmly than their grandparents) do that all groups comprising the great American mosaic are in essence no different from another. Diversity and equality are indeed compatible! Who would dare say otherwise?

GSS variables used: RACDIF2, AGE(18-24)(25-35)(36-49)(50-65)(66-89), RACECEN1(1)


Jokah Macpherson said...

I'm impressed that "the Sixties" caused a 10% jump. No wonder my parents, who are relatively old compared to other parents of people from my generation, were so easy so convince. It would be nice to see if it really is a generational divide versus an age divide but I doubt the data is available to check.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't surprise you--students are fed a steady diet of non-HBD from k-grad school.

It doesn't help that most students never even get enough science to understand the basics of evolution, not even college grads.

As the field of knowledge of population genetics grows, what will happen when science texts for the college student cannot ingore chapters on the hard science data? (Social science has a lot of data, of course, but the interpretation of it offered to the college student is pc, of course. What will happen when those conclusions butt heads with to hard science data?)

Audacious Epigone said...


What exactly do you mean in asking whether it's a generational divide or (vs) an age divide?


Lots of predictions across the Steveosphere on that one. My guess it'll just keep getting largely ingorned in popular culture, which basically describes the current state of affairs. Maybe there is some point where it can't just be relegated to blogs like Gene Expression, but I don't know how far in the future that point is.

Anonymous said...

The youngest group is more HBD aware than the second youngest (6.7% - 5.4%). Is that statistically significant enough to be called a trend or is it just a fluke?

Jokah Macpherson said...


By "generational" vs. "age" divide I meant that the relative percentage is constant for persons born during a certain time period vs. the percentage increasing as a group of persons ages.

In other words, are modern people permanent HBD ignoramuses or will they start noticing when they are grumpy old retired people and no longer have to watch what they say?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to take the results too seriously. When it comes to issues such as race and IQ, there's what people say and what they believe.

If you want to know what people truly believe - and not what they say - look at where they live, what they do with their kids and what they do with their money.

I live in the DC area and have known countless hardcore liberals who claim to love diversity, to believe blacks are good people and to hate global capitalism and favor Euro-style socialism. But what do they actually do. Move as far away from blacks and Hispanics as possible, make sure their kids' school districts have very few minorities - or even low income whites for that matter, and invest their money not in charities but multinational corporations.

Don't believe what people say about race and money.

Audacious Epigone said...


No, it's not, but it is still interesting and possibly suggestive nonetheless.


Ah, ok, I'm with you. Longitudinal stuff is pretty tough to do with the GSS because of the randomness of respondents during any given year.


Right, there is always the issue of tactfulness. More intelligent people tend to be more aware of what is socially acceptable, and consequently are less candid when it comes to "inflammatory" issues like innate differences in intelligence. Even a confidential interview doesn't necessarily mean people will answer truthfully.

Jack said...

as someone else already said, nice white liberal people almost ALL pay lots and lots of money to put their kids in schools with almost no blacks or Hispanics. So they know the deal, but they know it's culturally inappropriate to admit it.

As whites become closer to minority status, they will begin to think of their interests more and more. But it will be gradual.