Thursday, July 26, 2012

IQ estimates from wordsum scores by ancestry

++Addition++The Inductivist points out that over half of those who chose the ethnicity "American" are black (I wonder if this is similarly the case with Census data). I should have suspected something was up with the remarkably low average for those of putatively "Scots-Irish" descent. Shame on me for the sloppiness. The white "American" IQ estimate from wordsum scores is 94.2, on the low end of those of European descent but higher than that of blacks or Mexicans.


HBD chickadee has a few bones to pick with Ron Unz about his curious assertion that:
"One very intriguing pattern is that according to Lynn’s IQ data certain European populations such as the South Italians, Irish, Greeks, and South Slavs tended to have IQs much lower than other European populations such as the British and the Dutch. However, according to the Wordsum-IQ data, this pattern is exactly reversed in the United States, with the descendents of immigrants from Southern Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Yugoslavia having much higher IQs than Americans of British or Dutch ancestry."
I'm not at a point where I'm able to read the referenced posting at the moment, so I'm taking the chickadee's word for it. She also chastises Unz for failing to make public the data used to come to the conclusions he comes to. Fortunately, it's easy to tap the GSS for the data Unz presumably used and the chickadee is after, so let's turn the database sideways.

 To avoid issues with language fluency, immaturity, and senility, all respondents were born in the US and aged 25-65 at the time of their participation. All ethnic groups have sample sizes of at least 50, with most far exceeding that minimum threshold (both the ETHNIC and WORDSUM variables have been consistently employed since the survey's inception in the early seventies). Mean wordsum values are converted to mean IQ scores under the assumption that a wordsum value of 6.32 equates to an IQ score of 98 (a reasonable estimate of the US average) with a standard deviation of 15 IQ points:

French Canadian98.7
Other Canadian96.2
Native American91.2
Puerto Rican89.9

Just a few quick comments. Ashkenazim constitute about half of those of Russian descent. Contrary to Unz' assertion, those of English or Welsh descent outscore Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Slavs, though the Dutch do not. The Scots-Irish highlanders of Appalachia who seem to have forgotten their ancestral homelands fare about as well as blacks do. Black rednecks, anyone? Finally, hardly a novel observation here, but current immigration trends in the US portend a dysgenic future for the US.

GSS variables used: WORDSUM, ETHNIC, AGE(25-65), BORN(1)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unyoked alphas and bountiful betas

The GSS has a great question that, according to the Game narrative, gets right at a crucial distinction between alphas and betas: Alphas do not put the objects of their affection before themselves, while betas do.

The question asks the respondent if he agrees with the statement that he would rather suffer himself than have a woman he is in a relationship with suffer. Being openly willing to suffer for a lover is clearly the mark of a beta. If you're engaged in pumping-and-dumping, the girl is in the process of suffering for your pleasure even as the GSS question is being considered. Your answer is obvious.

Responses are on a five point scale, from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing. Not surprisingly, a majority of men strongly agree--chivalrous ideals are not dead, and by definition betas outnumber alphas. Where the alpha-beta dividing line among the four other responses is placed is contingent upon what percentage of the total male population is alpha and what percentage is beta. Of course the Game narrative does not maintain that an absolute dichotomy exists, but for empirical purposes distinctions have to be made somewhere.

In his definitive post on what constitutes an alpha, Heartiste puts the low end ("lesser") alpha at 7 on the 0-10 point scale, while Adonis ("greater alpha") is obviously at 10. Since it's actually an 11 point scale, the 0-6 beta and omega range comprises 64% of the population while the 7-10 alpha range comprises the remaining 36%. Separating the "strongly agree" beta response from the other four yields a 69.3%/30.7% split, corresponding very well to the chart included in Heartiste's post.

As Heartiste is one of the Game narrative's intellectual giants, this is how I'll define the alpha/beta split for the purposes of considering differences in fecundity between alphas and betas. The following table shows the mean number of children for alpha and beta males. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are included. To allow adequate time for procreation to occur, men aged 40-65 are considered. As the question was posed in 2004, it has contemporary relevance:


Betas make more babies than alphas do. This should be warmly received by everyone! From the beta perspective, their chivalrous instincts are out propagating the caddish tendencies of alpha males, which presumably indicates a virtuous cycle of increasing chivalry in the future. From the alpha perspective, this portends a future where the jungle is increasingly populated by inept beta hunters, allowing alphas to poach kittens and cougars with ever greater ease.

Parenthetically, why is so much scorn heaped upon betas by alphas? The basic concept of supply and demand suggests that the relatively fewer alphas there are, the easier their pickings become. Every man may need a harem, but the math doesn't work out for every man to have one!

Also, see here for a detailed look at the profile of today's alpha male.

GSS variables used: AGAPE1(1)(2-5), RACECEN1(1), AGE(40-65), SEX(1), CHILDS

Friday, July 20, 2012

Born this way

In the context of cutting the recognized impact on life outcomes the parental environment has on people down to size, Razib writes:
Though many social conservatives are now accepting the proposition that homosexual orientation can be innate, many deny this likelihood. Ultimately the morality of homosexuality doesn’t necessarily depend on whether it is innate or not, but obviously the injustice of the situation becomes more stark when you are arguing that a human being must suppress their natural impulses.
The GSS allows us greater specificity on what "many" means here. The following table shows the percentages of people, by political orientation, who think homosexuality is a lifestyle choice and who think it is innate:

Homosexuality is...a choiceinnate

Having only been deployed in 1994, the data have gathered some dust. Given the enormous social shifting that has occurred with regards to homosexuality over the intervening years, it's plausible to assume that the lifestyle choice viewpoint has today become a minority one even among conservatives. However, while the nearly two-decade old GSS question showed  the country to be virtually evenly divided on the question (49.4% lifestyle choice, 50.6% innate), an Angus-Reid poll conducted 15 years later, in 2009, found less belief in the innateness of homosexuality (34% lifestyle choice, 47% innate with the remainder being unsure) than the GSS did.

By way of thought experiment alone, I predicted men would be more inclined to see homosexuality as innate (including variations of the gay germ theory, which for practical purposes renders homosexuality an innate condition) than women would. Do many heterosexual men believe they could will themselves into being physically attracted to other men while simultaneously losing their lust for women? Even if not by their own volition, do many believe they could be conditioned into such sexual preferences? Female homosexuality, in contrast, appears to be more malleable and culturally influenced than male homosexuality does. Time to toss that reasoning out the window, though--women are more perceptive than men are on this one:

Homosexuality is...a choiceinnate

GSS variables used: HOMOCHNG, POLVIEWS(1-2)(4)(6-7)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Electoral malleability, by race

Jokah wrote:
Related to the share of voters who are white: have you or any of the other bloggers ever done an analysis of "malleability" of voters by race/ethnic group? Not only are hispanics (and blacks) very small voting blocs, they are so consistent in their voting patterns from election to election that it makes it especially not worth it to try to make inroads. If you are a politician, you have to go where the pickings are easiest and I suspect that is the whites.

If this is true, you could almost say that white voters are the most diverse in their views but we all know whites are never diverse. Ever.
This is the mental framework I operate under, specifically due to how reliably one can count on the overwhelming majority of black votes to consistently go to Democrats. On the other hand, the GOP is the de facto white party in part because it regularly garners more white votes than the Democratic party does.

To test this assumption, let's look at exit polling results by race for Presidential elections from 1992 (as far back as they are easily accessible) through 2008. For a rough measure of malleability, I take the Democrat-Republican voter gap by race (expressed in percentages) for each presidential election and the presidential election preceding it (with the exception of 1992), determine the absolute difference in the gaps between each of the two consecutive elections, and average these over the time period under consideration. The higher the figure, the more variation there is in voting behavior in presidential elections according to exit polling data* (which aren't always reliable):


It looks like that assumption needs some qualification and refinement. The 'old stock' whites and blacks haven't bounced around as much as the more colorful yellows and browns have over the last several presidential elections. Asians actually supported the GOP when the first Bush and Dole were its standard bearers.

What I described as a measure of malleability might more accurately be conceived of as a measure of fickleness. That whites appear to be less malleable than non-whites is probably attributable in varying degrees to the following list of non-exhaustive factors: Major party platforms are, despite the constant braying about need to appeal to Hispanics at all costs, are most attuned to the sensibilities of whites since that's where most of the votes are; exit polling data on non-whites, especially Asians and Hispanics, are less reliable than the data on whites are due to small sample sizes and, more generally, the smaller the group, the larger the margin of error is going to be; Ross Perot was a significant force in the 1992 and 1996 elections, and most of the votes he received likely would've gone to Bush and Dole if he hadn't run; white concerns tend to be more abstract and philosophical than NAM concerns are; and the ethnic compositions of the Hispanic and Asian categories have changed more over the last couple of decades than the compositions have changed among blacks and whites.

It should also be noted that a 5 point swing in the white vote still represents a larger absolute change in the total count (which is, after all, what really matters) than a 17 point swing in the Hispanic vote does. Indeed, even today, with fewer than half of births in the US to non-Hispanic whites, a 5 point swing among whites is worth more than a 7 point swing among blacks, a 17 point swing among Hispanics, and a 17 point swing among Asians combined.

* For data sources of each election cycle, click on the corresponding year: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Whitebread swing states, diverse settled states

The WSJ has a typical, intentionally misleading companion graphic to the 4,134th article in this year's election cycle about the growing, increasingly determinative role of the Hispanic vote in deciding who will become President next January and every four years after that until the earth crashes into the sun:

The number of Hispanics eligible to vote in the selected, displayed swing states is greater than the margin of victory in each of those states was in 2008. Consequently, the Hispanic vote will determine who wins in all of them! Of course, the WSJ could have just as easily done the same using the number of white voters instead of Hispanic voters with the result being that instead of readers seeing that there are twice as many Hispanics in Colorado as there were more voters who voted for Obama than for McCain, they'd see that there is something like ten times as many white voters as there were more Obama voters than McCain voters in the same election. That would give the impression that the white vote is a lot more important than the Hispanic vote, though, so that's not what we get.

Inductivist has already pointed out that the swing states are whiter and less Hispanic than the settled states are. Deja vu? We saw something very similar in 2008.

Let's systematically compare the demographics of the toss up, leaning, and settled states, and configure an estimate of the ethnic/racial vote shares in each of these three groups of states. To do so, I use categorizations from the NYT's interactive electoral map to classify each state as either toss up, leaning, or settled. Using 2010 US Census information, I then figure the shares of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (all groups other than Hispanics are comprised of non-Hispanics) in each of the three categories, with the "other" racial category being excluded from all calculations. I multiply these shares by a particpation factor for each racial grouping that is computed by taking the share of total votes cast in the 2008 presidential election and dividing it by the share of the total population the corresponding racial grouping represents. I proportionally correct for rounding errors and the demographic change that has occurred in the last three years so that the estimated percentages equal 100% (instead of 102%, 104%, and 96%, respectively). I don't make an attempt to correct for differential voting rates by race across states (if you're aware of an easy way to do this, feel free to alert me to it), electing instead to use the national rates and apply them equally to each individual state. While the country has continued inexorably towards becoming less white and more Hispanic and Asian in the intervening three years, exit polls consistently understate the white share of the vote and overstate the minority shares of the vote so the small discrepancies are more-or-less a wash*.

That said, the predicted racial total vote shares for the toss up, leaning, and settled states:

Toss up80.7%11.4%6.3%1.6%

How inconvenient that homogenous states like Wisconsin and New Hampshire are the most hotly disputed while vibrant states like California and Texas are settled contests. And in Florida, the most racially diverse of the competitive states, the significantly Cuban Hispanic population is unrepresentative of Hispanics in much of the rest of the country on issues like taxation and immigration. The competitive states are more white and less black, Hispanic, and Asian than the states that have essentially already been decided are. More than four out of five of the 'determining' votes cast will be cast by non-Hispanic whites. It looks like appealing especially hard to the concerns of (mostly middle American) whites is the key to victory in November. Even this nation's electoral map is racist!

* That methodological description isn't the easiest thing to follow, so if you're interested in the raw data and how I used them, email me at and I'll send the excel file right over.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Baby makers scorn porn?

Dennis Mangan has posted the transcript of an especially thought-provoking talk he recently gave. Essentially his hypothesis is that because of our biological predilections, contemporary processed food and the easy accessibility of sexual stimulation by virtual means have really screwed with our lives. Dennis speculating on the consequences of ubiquitous, cheap porn:
When pornography was being legalized throughout the Western world, those opposed to its legalization were scorned as people living in the past, and were told that since porn involved “consenting adults” only, that it was a “victimless crime”, legalization could only bring benefits. It does seem to be correlated to declining rates of sexual violence. But it also turns out that pornography may be connected to a decline in fertility rates. Writing in The Occidental Observer, Reginald Thompson showed that those countries which had banned pornography had highly significant differences in TFR, i.e. the fertility rates were greater than in countries with legalized pornography, and this held true even when Western nations were excluded from the analysis. 
Comprising about 35% of the population, those in the US who feel pornography should be illegal are firmly in the minority. Legally, the issue seems to be a settled one. But patriarchy sympathizers do a pretty good job breeding, so the case might not be closed forever. The following table shows the average number of children respondents have by whether or not they think pornography should be legal. To avoid racial confounding, only whites are considered. To allow family formation to have taken place, responses come from those aged 35 or older. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward (n = 4,200):


My immediate reaction is to assume this is a reflection of broader value differences, specifically with regards to religiosity. Pious people are a lot more supportive of banning pornography than the irreligious are (65% wanting to ban, 35% opposed and 29% wanting to ban, 61% opposed, respectively), and the correlation between religiosity and fecundity is a strong one.

Yet significant differences in fecundity are detectable among both the religious (defined here as those who attend religious services at least once a week) and irreligious (defined as those who attend religious services no more than once per year) when members of each group are sorted according to their position on outlawing pornography. The same racial, age, and time parameters used above are employed here (n = 2,947):


This doesn't prove, of course, Dennis' hypothesis that the ubiquity of pornography has had a depressing effect on fertility rates to be true. There are surely people who say they want to see pornography made illegal who are nonetheless consumers of it. Conversely, there are those who never watch the stuff but don't think it should be banned, myself among them. That said, it's an interesting and surprising result. There are sizable differences in fertility among the most pious and least religious depending on whether or not they see pornography as being socially intolerable.

Now please take a moment to view this important public service announcement:

GSS variables used: PORNLAW(1)(2-3), AGE(35-89), YEAR(2000-2010), RACECEN1(1), ATTEND(0-2)(7-8), CHILDS

Monday, July 02, 2012

Father decides best

Writing for The Atlantic, Robert Wright floated a too cute hypothesis (that Razib promptly undermined). The hypothesis, in essence, is that the militant atheism propagated by people like Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers has reflexively pushed Christians, who feel under siege, into "anti-scientism" (as Wright phrases it). But as Myers and Razib both point out, perceptions haven't changed much among creationists and evolutionists, who are demographically distributed in the same way they were more than a decade ago.

The anti-scientism charge is what piqued my curiosity. Previously, we've seen that Republicans are more scientifically literate than Democrats are, with a glaring exception on the question of evolution. I wondered, beyond the Darwinian issue, how scientific literacy compares among those who believe in evolution and those who do not. To avoid racial confounding, only whites are considered. The sides are pretty evenly split on the dichotomously posed query, with 53.6% of the population asserting that humans evolved from other animals and 46.4% denying that this happened. The following table shows the percentages of evolutionists and creationists who correctly answered each of 15 simple science literacy items that were posed in 2006, 2008, and 2010*:

Astrology is not scientific70.1%73.2%
The benefits of science exceed the harms82.2%73.8%
Understands the need for control groups in scientific testing85.9%80.7%
Demonstrates a basic understanding of probability93.7%91.4%
The earth's core is hot95.6%93.9%
Not all radioactivity is man-made87.9%82.0%
The father's gene decides the sex of a baby72.1%80.0%
Lasers are not made by condensing sound waves76.7%70.2%
Electrons are smaller than atoms77.5%70.2%
Antibiotics don't kill viruses66.4%61.1%
Continental drift has occurred and continues to occur95.6%84.1%
The earth revolves around the sun 85.8%77.5%
It takes the earth one year to revolves around the sun82.0%74.1%
Willing to eat genetically modified foods77.7%64.2%
The north pole sits on a sheet of ice71.3%53.7%

The stereotype of creationists as relatively ignorant of the basic tenets of science is a reasonably accurate one. The two exceptions are the question on astrology, with its own stereotypes of spiritual but not religious new age hippie chick adherents, and human reproduction, something creationists have a lot more firsthand experience with than evolutionists do (and anyway good liberal evolutionists are presumably loathe to admit to the truth of this horridly patriarchal aspect of human biology).


* Admittedly, the wording for some of these questions is suboptimal. Instead of mentioning the X or Y chromosome passed on by the father, we get "gene", for example. But the good needn't be the enemy of the perfect!