Sunday, April 07, 2013

Shocker--married mothers smarter than single moms

Spurred by Parapundit's Randall Parker and the sight of low-hanging stereotype-validation fruit, the estimated IQ scores (converted from GSS wordsum results with the simplifying assumptions of a mean population IQ of 100 and that one standard deviation in wordsum results is the equivalent of 15 IQ points) of men and women who have procreated at least once, by marital status, follows. For utility, all data are from 2000 onward and the foreign-born and those aged 46 and older are excluded.

Reproductive men

Married -- 101.0
Divorced/separated -- 97.8
Unmarried -- 93.6

Reproductive women

Married -- 101.3
Divorced/separated -- 98.7
Unmarried women -- 93.6

Parenthetically, the mean IQ for those of the same age and time cohort who haven't had any kids is 101.2. To see dysgenic forces in action, look no further than single mothers and their unfortunate spawn, who have both the nature and nurture decks stacked against them.

GSS variables used: CHILDS(0)(1-8), BORN(1), WORDSUM, YEAR(2000-2012), SEX, MARITAL(1)(3-4)(5), AGE(18-45)


Jehu said...

You need to break this down by race.

JayMan said...

Thank you sir! Another piece of evidence (to add to the already abundant pile) that shows that the effects of single motherhood/fatherless is not the cause, but a shared *symptom*, of the true cause of poor outcomes of children (heredity).

JayMan said...

On that note, I wouldn't worry about the "nurture" part. Heredity can entirely explain what we see, and it turns out it in fact does.

@Jehu: Strictly speaking, you don't need to break down by race, if you assume IQ is predictive of outcome regardless of race (and it is).

Audacious Epigone said...


I will, though we have to throw a bone to the polite, mainstream right from time to time, don't we?

'Reality' Doug said...

What is the exact source for these figures or the underlying data?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Jayman, I tend to agree, but there is a deeper paradox. You have to be the sort of dad who looks likely to stick around and be supportive to get the solid wives (and vice versa). Once you have procreated, your actual presence doesn't seem to matter much, however.

It starts to look like the contradictions one runs up against in Christian doctrine with original sin or the notion of The Elect. They are proved by their disproof and disproved by their proof. So too with the worth of the nurture of either parent. Outside of the extremes in which kids are locked in a closet or battered on the head, it doesn't matter much. Yet being the sort of parent who would do a good job seems to matter a lot genetically.

Audacious Epigone said...


The General Social Suvey.

Dan said...

This gap was created by leftist welfare policies under LBJs 'great society.'

If low IQ Dick earns 25K / year and low IQ Jane earns 20K / year and there are a couple of kids, then if they marry, every dollar he brings in will be taken away in the form of her lost welfare.

Sheltered people think of white couples with two careers when they think of the marriage penalty.

The actual marriage penalty is all about the poor, means testing and welfare.

These people are rational economic actors in not marrying, at least as far as their benefits go. In high welfare areas, nobody gets married and this is the biggest reason.

Poor inner city people go to church more than everyone else, and they theoretically believe in marriage. But they don't believe in losing the government checks.

Anonymous said...

"Poor inner city people go to church more than everyone else"

That is not true.

Married white college educated attend the most.

Poorer folks are more likely to believe not attend.

Audacious Epigone said...


What Charles Murray shows in Coming Apart is borne out by the GSS--poor people in urban areas attend worship services less frequently than wealthy people in the suburbs and in rural areas.

For those keeping score at home, I ran ATTEND with filters RES16(6), REALINC(0-30000), YEAR(2000-2012) and then with RES16(1-4), REALINC(100000-999999), YEAR(2000-2012) to verify this. It's clear.

Re: the marriage penalty, I wonder what the differences are in marriage+cohabitation between the underclass and the middle/upper classes. While I assume that closes the single gap some, my guess is that it's still huge, but I'm not sure on that. Any idea?

Dan said...


Not according to Gallup:

As the third table shows, church attendance for blacks is much higher than for whites.

'Reality' Doug said...

Interface to data is this:

Maybe I missed something, but it is not obvious to me how to coax the relevant data via the interface.I don't see IQ or marriage in the data tree. Admittedly, I am not putting in the time to understand what it's all about, or this: "CHILDS(0)(1-8), BORN(1), WORDSUM, YEAR(2000-2012), SEX, MARITAL(1)(3-4)(5), AGE(18-45)."

pnard said...

Type a variable's name into the search box to see what it means and what its possible values are. Search for other words to find other variables you can use.

The variable WORDSUM is a small 10-word vocabulary test that comes from an IQ test and is used as a proxy for IQ. Sometimes people use it like this: WORDSUM(r:0-4"Dull"; 5-7"Average"; 8-10"Smart") Dull people only got 0 to 4 words correct, average people 5 to 7, smart 8 to 10.

Audacious Epigone said...


Here's wikipedia's description of the GSS. When it comes to understanding the specific variables and how they're filtered, it requires diving in and using the SDA interface.

Audacious Epigone said...


I'm going to look at the apparent discrepancy between the gallup and GSS results to see if I can make sense of it.