Thursday, October 16, 2014

Holding the line and even turning the tide against The Idiocracy?

A few months ago, Jayman put up a post entitled Idiocracy Can Wait?. He found what I'd found, and with a lot more evidence marshaled in the affirmative than I had assembled. Namely, past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

We reactionary curmudgeons often presume that things are deteriorating. The rot in our popular culture and our purpose (or lack thereof) for existing bleed through to saturate every organ of society. In short, we are doomed.

But when it comes to procreation, dysgenic trends look as though they may be a thing of the past, concerns for the 20th century, not this one. In the 21st, the story has become--among whites at least--more, ahem, nuanced, especially when it comes to men.

The following graphs show the average (mean) number of children among white, native-born adults aged 40-65 by sex who were surveyed in the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s into the early 2010s.

Firstly, the 1980s:

Pronounced dysgenic trend among women; gentle dysgenic tilt among men. We appeared to be on the road to idiocracy.

Next, the 1990s:

Continued dysgenic trend among women, though the drop in fertility among those of the most modest intelligence to those of the most acute has become less precipitous. There now exists only a very slight dysgenic pattern among men.

Finally, the turn of the millennium through to the present:

Two decades prior the gap between the dullest wenches and the smartest shrews was 1.5 children. Over the last decade, it's narrowed to just half a kid between the top and the bottom. The dysgenic trend among women in the 2000s is similar to the dysgenic trend among men in the 1980s. Among men, the term "dysgenic"--if not retired altogether--can at least be sidelined for the time being. There now appears to be a modest eugenic trend occurring among men.

Immigration is a wild card here, of course. As non-Hispanic whites drop as a fraction of the US population (in rough tandem with their rate of decline among the globe's total human contingent), this moderately encouraging phenomenon could and probably will become negated by a corresponding increase in the size and proportion of the NAM population.

Tangentially, wise men say only fools rush in... to wordsum. They suggest educational attainment as a superior substitute for a 10-item vocabulary test as a means of assessing intelligence. Who am I to disagree? (Okay, I'll stop). Perhaps that is so, but educational attainment--independent of intelligence, or at least independent of wordsum scores--is far more vigorously inversely correlated with fertility than intelligence or wordsum scores are. Similarly, this is considerably more pronounced among women than it is among men, if it even characterizes men at all.

It's not at all difficult to comprehend why. Women spending their most reproductively viable years in school and then their increasingly marginally reproductive years establishing themselves in their careers leaves precious little time for making babies as their biological clocks approach midnight. It applies to unintelligent and intelligent women alike forsake the maternal imperative to pursue higher education.

From a tangent to a digression and back to the tangent again, the correlation between wordsum scores and educational attainment by decade of birth among all native-born Americans who have participated in the GSS:

Born prior to 1950: .536
Born in the 1950s: .507
Born in the 1960s: .469
Born in the 1970s: .419
Born in the 1980s: .373

Educational romanticism encourages everyone to seek formalized higher education, whatever the costs--economic, emotional, opportunity, and otherwise--irrespective of their stations and objectives in life. As more and more people do just that, educational attainment tells us less and less about a person's cognitive capacities.

GSS variables used: WORDSUM(0-3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)(9-10), RACE(1), SEX(1)(2), YEAR(1980-1989)(1990-1999)(2000-2012), BORN(1), AGE(40-65), COHORT(1900-1949)(1950-1959)(1960-1969)(1970-1979)(1980-1989)


Dan said...

Life expectancies have been plummeting for whites without a degree:

The gap between all whites and whites without a degree is around 8 years, so it the gap between whites with a degree and whites without may be around 16 years (if half get one and half don't).

Since some of this hit is doubtless in the first half of life, there is some substantial eugenic force coming from the grim reaper that may be turning things net positive overall.

Conservatives get squashed politically like a snail in front of a semi. And yet Nature, she votes conservative and she enjoys veto power.

Anonymous said...

phenomenon could and probably will become negated by a corresponding increase in the size and proportion of the NAM population.
Something of an understatement. This is what I hate about HBD, it's become just another place to hide from reality and power. It's surreal to speak of the effects of breeding among whites in the face of a policy of massive racist colonialism which will not only bring the level intelligence down but will institute third-world government. But I suppose you can't be called a racist for bashing "dysgenic" whites.

Audacious Epigone said...


Winning the evolutionary battle without acknowledging its explicit existence, heh.


I understand the sentiment, but it's not as though white behavior is irrelevant just because of the growth of the non-white population. I've devoted a lot of time looking at non-white demographics, too.

Anonymous said...


DPG said...

Is there a reason that white women seem to have much higher fertility? It can't be that they have interracial children that much more often. Perhaps it's the age range? Early 40s men married to younger wives probably aren't done having children, whereas women are all but barren once they hit 40. Any other explanation I'm missing?

Lauris Kaplinski said...

In westerns populations there are 3 causes of dysgenic development:
- dysgenic fertility
- 3rd world immigration
- accumulation of mutations
To offset the last one, not simply neutral but strong eugenic fertility is needed. Or embryo selection, but we are still very far from it, especially for the masses.

Audacious Epigone said...


I suspect that WF/BM pairings are more fertile than WM/AF pairings are, and maybe HM/WF are more than HF/WM, too. That and the lower end of the range representing a little prior to family completion more for men than for women. I'm not sure if that closes the gap or not. There are some "non-paternity" events, too, that conceivably result in a woman counting a kid but no man counting the same kid.

DPG said...

Yeah, since it's survey data I'm sure paternal uncertainty plays a big role (Maury's paternity tests come to mind). The reason I'm skeptical that the difference could be caused by WF interracial couples being more fertile is because they still aren't that common.

According to wikipedia, Census Bureau data as of 2010 has only 2.1% of white women wed interracially as opposed to 2.3% for white men. And that includes Hispanics who identify as white, not to mention that your cohort, 40+, would be from a generation where interracial marriage was even less common. Since your charts show something like 20-30% higher total fertility for white women, that's a lot of heavy lifting to be done by non-white men.

Granted, these are marriage rates, and I wouldn't be surprised if WF/BM couplings have the highest rate of out of wedlock births outside of BF/BM.

I'm gonna guess that paternal uncertainty is the main cause, which also would fit with the greatest disparity being amongst real dumbs. (Of course, it could be a dysgenic trend if it turns out that real dumb white women are procreating with even dumber NAMs. Your analysis might fall prey to Simpson's paradox.)

Audacious Epigone said...


Thanks for that. The same thought crossed my mind re: the potential faux eugenic boost for men relative to women when I was thinking about your first comment, since it's almost certain that the uncertain cases are way overrepresented at the bottom of the IQ/class spectrum.

JayMan said...

I've incorporated some of this into an edit of my earlier post:

Idiocracy Can Wait? | JayMan's Blog

Even when you look at education, there does seem to be at least neutral to possibly eugenic fertility for the 1960s White cohorts. A large sex difference is evident. Underreporting by men doesn't seem to driving the difference, since there isn't a huge gap between total average male fertility and total average female fertility (1.88 vs 1.96, respectively, not statistically significant).

Hector_St_Clare said...

I'd really be interested to see what this looks like if you factor out 'education level/IQ of spouse'. In other words, if you hold the wife's education/IQ constant, do smarter men have more kids or less?