Thursday, February 08, 2018

Climb on two by two to be sure these days continue

Dan comments:
In modern life, hedonism and low fertility is a default and it requires some special meaning to rise past that. For most, that meaning is religion.

(Before birth control of course, hedonists were leaving bastards everywhere.)
One of the consequences of modern contraception is the historically unprecedented decoupling of fornication and procreation. More of the former no longer means more of the latter. To the contrary, there is an inverse correlation between notch count and fertility (once the number of partners reaches one, of course!), a trend that is likely accelerating, not attenuating.

The following table shows the mean number of children men and women have had by the total lifetime number of sexual partners of the opposite sex they've had since turning eighteen. All respondents are at least 40 years of age. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are included. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward (N = 6,999):

The repercussions of this decoupling are being played out now, the ultimate ramifications yet uncertain.

This probably plays some role in the relative prudishness of Zs and millennials, generational cohorts who are less sexually active and less recklessly promiscuous than Xers and baby boomers were at the same times in their lives.

From the middle of the 20th century onward, Western societies have experienced something novel for to humanity up to this point--men and women with fewer sexual partners having more children than men and women who have more of them. The Golden Horde or the House of Saud the contemporary Occident most certainly is not (yet). This isn't the whole story, but it must be part.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN(1-989), NUMWOMEN(1-989), SEX, RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1), CHILDS, AGE(40-89)


Annatar II said...

Perhaps the decline in promiscuity among younger generations is due partially to genetic selection, promiscuity surely has somewhat of a genetic component as does every other observable behavior and as those genes decline in prevalence, it leads to a lower number of sexual partners.

Sid said...

I think Millennials and Generation Z are more prudish than Baby Boomers and Generation X because of the break down in gender roles and responsibilities. Alpha males are able to navigate the Sexual Marketplace without the guidelines, but it's harder for beta males and nerds to do so.

At the same time, society has gotten more nerd-friendly and the rise of computers and especially smartphones amplify nerdish tendencies in people. As such, people are becoming more nerdy while it is getting harder for nerds to succeed sexually.

Societal attitudes towards sex are also becoming more schizophrenic. Much of this hs to do with the collapse of what it means to be a good woman. For example, think of the campus rape hysteria and "you-go-girlism" existing simultaneously. Prove you're a free woman and sleep with as many men as you can, but all men are rapists!

Socially savvy alphas can navigate through the BS, and handsome, rich, or athletic guys can find ways around it. But for regular betas and nerds? The breakdown in gender roles and expectations makes it hard to know what to do.

Wency said...

I'm not sure if this finding is quite as large a break from history as it seems. Promiscuity was never a terribly rewarding strategy in civilized places. And it's entirely possible those with 1 lifetime partner have more sex in their 20s than those with 10 lifetime partners; the first group marries early, while the second group is probably single for long periods of time.

Though at some point this relationship no longer holds; the people having the most sex are probably those with 3-4 digit partner counts. As a woman, that's a nympho, and as a man, it's the modern equivalent of the sultan with the endless harem. The latter tended to father a lot of children historically; probably a lot fewer today, so the harem-keepers are probably the group most breaking from history. Presumably a nympho in the past would have often become a prostitute, an occupation typically on the cutting edge of contraceptive and abortion technology.

As to the current generation's lack of promiscuity, I think a lot can be attributed to parents keeping a tighter leash due to declining social trust and kids not pushing so hard for independence due to the many entertainment and socialization options now available at home. This contributes to staying at home being the norm, which further changes behavior on the margin -- hanging at the mall isn't so cool if you're the only one there while all your friends are playing games online.

Jim Bowery said...

Disaggregate by race. There are clear differences between Bantu and European harem sizes.

JayMan said...

I already did this post:

Some guys get all the babes - not exactly, by JayMan - The Unz Review

Anonymous said...

Honestly, as an early gen z I think a lot of my generations prudishness is a combination of disgust at the antics of the boomers and rebellion against their expectations. Ironically this type of rebellion results in a healthier lifestyle than sleeping with anything with a pulse.

DissidentRight said...

I try to keep in mind that averages are a poor reflection of reality here, as fertility rates of atheists vs firm believers demonstrate.

Most (all) of the current members of Western civilization are ultimately descended from people who had high fertility rates.

In 200 years, most (all) of the members of Western Civ will also be descended from people (in our time) who had high fertility rates.

In that sense, I think cheap contraceptives are a powerful selection mechanism to select for people who genuinely want to have children. (In other words: people who want to continue civilization.)

So in 200 years, I expect Western Civ will be stronger than ever before.

Jim Bowery said...

JayMan, you commit a very common mental typo in this sentence:

"...fifth to a quarter of men leaving no descendants. This is the raw material of natural selection".

Where humans are concerned, the word "natural" as in "selection" elides human responsibility for consequences of values and norms. In this case, the consequences are of the most vital "nature". It really is reasonable to posit culture as artificial selection and humans as not just the "moral animal" but the animal with the ability to respond with forethought and choice of "morals" that have vital consequences. The very word "eugenics" should never have been necessary were it not for the degradation of moral responsibility in culture from its most vital meaning.

Jim Bowery said...

I'll give just one example: Responsible leaders should have as their primary objective for youth ensuring that their young men have, by age 18, a homestead they've built, own free and clear and can maintain. By "homestead" I mean not the real estate agent's notion but the settler culture notion: What is needed to responsibly start having children. The reason no "leaders" do this is they -- including pastors -- want slaves, not independent young men. The young women don't want to mate with young men that can't reliably support them and who are neurphysiologically broken by the denial of their natural drive to leave the nest and establish their own nest/homestead during adolescence. Broken young men are worthless on their own and our "leaders" like it that way.

Dan said...

Sid --

Your analysis is good. Most people don't know what to do in the dating arena.

Marriage wins in a blowout landslide.

Marriage is in part, sexual consent, agreed to before God and all your friends and relatives.

When I am frisky I can come at my wife like a rutting bull and its all good. There's a chance she says 'not now' but zero chance that she brings charges against me or goes to the media or tries to get me unemployed.

Outside of marriage there is a constant risk that, decades later an old flame changes her mind about the consent she gave long ago and now her consent is retroactively withdrawn. Or now that you have found success or fame she can get revenge for being rejected long ago and ruin you.

Monica Lewinsky, the presidential groupie so enamored with Bill Clinton that she vowed to never wash her splooge splattered dress, recently announced that she changed her mind and Bill took advantage of her.

Dan said...

AE - Thanks for the shout out.

One thing I have noticed is that to some extent a high notch count is simply reflective of being an unattached adult for a long time.

Someone who is single and hooks up once a year would get 20 notches from age 20 to age 40. In this sense, someone who is unable to land a long term relationship or gets dumped a lot is adding to his notch count while a better man isn't. I bet PDJT's notch count hasn't moved in years. And yet nobody feels sorry for him in that department.

What I mean to say is that a high notch count is not necessarily a signifier of alpha-ness these days. It may just mean prolonged singleness in the sexually loose modern world.

Feryl said...

As to the current generation's lack of promiscuity, I think a lot can be attributed to parents keeping a tighter leash due to declining social trust and kids not pushing so hard for independence

Actually, the 80's is when a lot of parents started becoming really concerned about their kids running away, doing drugs, listening to heavy metal, sleeping around, etc (remember, the mid-80's is when a lot of people started to fear being called a "loser"). But Gen X-ers ignored their parents. For most teen Boomers, parents often didn't even bother to pay attention to what these kids were up to.

Gen X-ers are less trusting than Boomers, for what it's worth. And GIs and Silents were nearly as trusting as Boomers, but Boomers were way more promiscuous.

As for independence, depends on what you mean. On financial measures, Silents and early Boomers are the most financially independent generations ever. But that's because they lucked into joining the workforce at a time (the 40's-early 60's) when workers were treated like royalty, affirmative action didn't exist, unions were strong, benefits and pensions were generous, etc. Most Silents were starting families practically the moment they finished high school.Most Boomers could've done the same, had they wished to do so. But Boomers (male and female alike) were more interested in going to college (when it was affordable and mid and even some lower tier jobs for young people paid relatively well) and sowing their oats then being anchored down by kids. The birth rate was sky high for Silents in the 50's and earlier 60's, then as soon as early Boomers hit young adulthood in the late 60's the birth rate began to decline......Bottoming out around 1977, when woman Silents had almost totally passed their fertility years.

Many Gen X-ers wanted to follow the financial and career path that Boomers did, but that path wasn't available by the later 80's. Entry level pay scales plummeted in in the late 80's, immigration levels soared, affirmative action revved up (for a generation much blacker than the Boomers), off-shoring of many good jobs was kicking into gear, and college was getting more expensive. Silents and Boomers (well, esp. the earlier ones) rarely had to couch surf with their friends, let alone suffer the "indignity" (to pre-Millennials) of being so hard up that they ended up back at their parent's place after getting behind on their bills and not having anywhere else to go. It's actually X-ers, not Millennials, who first partook in the trend of not being able to gain full financial indepence. But when one considers how X-ers hated not being on their own almost as much as Boomers did, it becomes obvious that economic factors have been very important to the life outcomes and "choices" of each generation.

Feryl said...

In terms of psychological independence, X-ers are indeed tougher than other generations, probably because the 1970's and 80's taught people that even though life doesn't always go your way, it's up to you to deal with it as best you can, rather than piss and moan that life isn't fair. X-ers tend to get fairly well with their parents at present, considering how unstable their childhoods often were, and how frequently young X-ers butted heads with their annoying parents.

Many Silents felt uneasy about not staying on good terms with their parents, while many Boomers plainly disliked their parents and often took decades to appreciate them, and some Boomers didn't even seem all than mournful of the passing of their "parent's generation" (which seems to include anyone born from about 1900-1935). Meanwhile, Boomers demand (and usually receive) connectivity and unconditional love between themselves and Millennials. It's the opposite of casual Greatest Gen parents giving their Boomers a "free range" upbringing, doing nothing to quell the rising narcissism of young Boomers, who grow up to feel no sense of connection to what their parents did or stood for.

Feryl said...

" their natural drive to leave the nest and establish their own nest/homestead during adolescence."

Natural for prosperous NW Europeans, not so much for other ethnic groups....And we need a rock solid economic situation for proles to make it realistically possible to get a place and find a girl (or guy, as it were) at a young age. And generations do seem to make a difference, as young Boomers and X-ers were headstrong and wanted like hell to get away from the supervision of their parents. GIs and Silents were spurred to set out on their own by the then-prosperous economy, not by individual narcissism and hedonism like Boomers and X-ers were.

Is this really the ideal way? Well, we need material conditions to improve. If improved material conditions mean that young people can go out and find their own way, and not have face time with their family on a daily basis, then yeah I guess kicking kids out the door after high school so that they can establish a distinct life away from their parents is what happens more often then not. Whether it's a generation that really wants it or not, as I said Boomers and X-ers swear that being on their own is what any young person in their right mind wants, but young GIs, Silents, and Millennials weren't arrogant or reckless enough to believe that their lives would be better if only middle-aged adults would shut up and keep their distance from rising generations

Feryl said...

"I think Millennials and Generation Z are more prudish than Baby Boomers and Generation X because of the break down in gender roles and responsibilities."

Prudish, or less self-destructive? Boomers thought, "if it feels good, do it", while Gen X cynically figured that everything was gonna fail eventually, might as well have some fun first.

It's in keeping with the zeitgeist; the 60's and 70's being about narcissism (among younger generations) and the 80's and 90's a time of a gallows "what me worry" mentality among young people. Interesting to also note that the 60's-90's were a time of individual violence and disorder among Boomers and X-ers who didn't want to team up for anything, while these days Boomers and X-ers are trying to galvanize Millennials and Gen Z for a joint effort at achieving....Something. Many Boomers are delusional about what can and should be done, while a lot of X-ers openly admit to not being sure of where we are, or where we are headed.

To the younger folks out there, the zeitgeist of the 60's-90's was about telling authority to fuck off. Over the last 15 years, we've transitioned to a zeitgeist where the hedonistic generations of the past are now the very authorities who expect and at time demand that young people be considerate and cooperative WRT whatever is being asked of them. How things change.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

> Socially savvy alphas can navigate through the BS, and handsome, rich, or athletic guys can find ways around it. But for regular betas and nerds? The breakdown in gender roles and expectations makes it hard to know what to do.

On a somewhat related note, a couple weeks ago, there was a lot of buzz around sex dolls. It was interesting how people reacted to it, especially white women, black men, and black women. White women tried to use various -ists and -isms. Black men seemed like they'd get a doll tomorrow if they could. Black women criticized the dolls of course but there was an "oh shit" current that was behind their sentiment.

To that point, I could just see more and more of the "have nots" dropping out of dating entirely if VR porn and sex dolls get to be realistic enough. You could mention social ostracizing but remember 40 years ago, it was shameful to admit you jerked it to a porn magazine. Now it's just considered a given that every guy looks at porn and likely has a few favorite porn stars, even the "socially savvy alphas" mentioned in the quote. It's not a bridge too far to go the VR porn and sex doll route, we're practically there already.

Audacious Epigone said...


That's my reading of it.


people are becoming more nerdy while it is getting harder for nerds to succeed sexually.

You put your finger on it

Wrt the schizophrenia, something you'll appreciate (at least to some degree): I'm ever so slowly working through an old NES RPG, Dragon Warrior/Quest 3. In one of the towns there's a pixelated young woman who, when talked to, asks "Do you think I'm pretty?" The player is then prompted for a Yes or No response. To Yes, she says something to the effect of "You pervert!", to No, "That's the rudest thing anyone has ever said to me!" Damned if you do and if you don't, so more opt not to go out at all.


Yeah, it feels like the story fits better for men than for women (the famous if not entirely accurate idea that over human history 80% of women have reproduced but only 40% of men have).




And four years before you did it, I did it.

This update is better for several reasons though--more concise, better racial data (prior to 2000, it's bad, but now we have twice as many post-2000 years to work with), graphs have greater reach than tables on social media, larger readership, etc.


Good point. It gets tricky to try and gauge sexual frequency in the GSS over time. There is a question on how often people have sex, but that obviously declines across all demographic groups over time, whether they're married or single, have had few partners or have had a lot, etc.


Natural for prosperous NW Europeans, not so much for other ethnic groups

Right. Comparisons with previous generational cohorts aren't apples-to-apples when the previous cohorts were 90% white and the youngest one is barely 50% white. I've not looked into it, but we hear about boomerang millennials who move back home after accumulating a bunch of college debt, so that fewer 30 yos are living on their own now than were 10, 20, 30, etc years ago. How pronounced is that among whites alone? Do non-whites do more of it?

Random Dude,

Yeah, plausible. Looking back at this post in a decade or two will be fun. Maybe prescient, maybe not, but interesting to see how it'll play out either way.

Feryl said...

Gen X-ers, who are anywhere from 70-80% white, (we all know how stupid our government is at keeping track of immigrants, and a lot of Gen X-ers are immigrants, plus Gen X-ers and Millennials are the blackest cohorts since the Deep South was 40-50% black in the late 1800's) got the boomerang thing going back in the late 80's/early 90's. Which as I said above, is when living costs started going up and wages started going down. In Neil Howe's first book,released in 1991, he mentions this stuff as a way to show how much harder it was going to be for X-ers to get traction compared to GIs, Silents, and Boomers.

It's definitely an economic issue as much as a cultural issue, though of course as whites decline "the norm" of early separation from family will also decline.

Feryl said...

The Wall Street crash of autumn 1987 seems to be the point of demarcation, culturally and economically, between older generations and X-ers. After 1987, immigration soared, off-shoring accelerated, entry level wages were hammered down, FIRE really became the be all-end all of "our" economy, and each successive "recovery" has given fewer and fewer gains to less and less people. The joke of an economy promoted under Bush 1 and Clinton, which was even dumber than what we got under Reagan, sustained most of the privilege of Silents and earlier Boomers (who could still get while the getting was good) and did nothing to insure better wages, benefits, and pensions for late Boomers and Gen X-ers.

Culturally speaking, the mid-1980's were the last period of genuine optimism in the US, if not the entire West. Gen X-ers and subsequent generations weren't very influenced by the generally optimistic mood of circa 1945-1985, as you can tell by younger generations being much less trusting, warm, and extroverted than Silents and Boomers were and often still are.

Feryl said...

From a recent Jared Taylor article:

"Like all valid tests, whites got better scores than blacks, which was embarrassing. So in 1981, the US Department of Labor solved the problem.

If a black, a Hispanic, a white, and an Asian each got the same GATB raw score of 300, their reported scores went through a process called “ethnic adjustment.” The black would be ranked in the 87th percentile, the Hispanic in the 74th, and the white and Asian together at the bottom in the 47th percentile. The test could then be used to give the job to the black. He was, after all, in the 87th percentile for blacks, and was therefore a much better candidate—after race norming—than the white who got the same score but was only in the 47th percentile for whites.For a white to be considered the better candidate, he would have to be in at least the 87th percentile for whites and get a much higher raw score than the black.

By 1986, about 40 state governments and hundreds of private companies were race norming the GATB, but they kept it a secret from the estimated 16 million people who took the test. Companies that hired through state employment agencies often got race-normed candidate profiles without knowing it.

Congress got wind of what was going on and banned race norming in 1991, but it is an obvious solution to black disability."

As usual, the 80's were the beginning period of elites (primarily legacy white Americans back then) trying desperately to concoct various schemes by which to "level the playing field". Then there's an early 90's backlash towards PC, then by the late 90's everyone seems to circle back to accepting the idea that legacy white American males must seek racial absolution via affirmative action, generous loan terms, Section 8, refugee settlements in once homogeneous areas of the West, etc.

In the 50's-70's, we tried to earnestly do what was best for the little guy (whatever their race or gender), and be equitable to everyone......Whites included. It's hard for Millennials to believe, but ritual denunciations of white oppressors was a fringe thing back in the 60's and 70's, with little mainstream viability. But guilt ridden (and black loving) Boomers began to actively seek brain-dead "remedies" for racial inequities in the 80's and subsequent decades. As JT notes, the "race-norming" gimmick was done surreptitiously, as though affected workforces would somehow not notice the decline in worker quality. This after Carter vowed to improve government worker quality and reputation in the mid 70's (and his revamped civil servant tests were promptly junked on the grounds of being racist).

I think white Boomers were so ashamed of the status of blacks, and how much trouble blacks caused in the 60's, that they were willing to go to any length to make blacks happier.....Often at the expense of whites, of course. Give 'em jobs, homes, business loans, acting roles, a de facto monopoly of basketball and a growing share of football playing and coaching positions (prior to the late 80's, it wasn't uncommon for 4 or 5 whites to simultaneously be on the field playing defense in pro football), and hopefully one day will come when blacks will stop bitching and whites can rest easy knowing that we finally did it.

I tell ya, we can't put the neurosis of the Boomers behind us fast enough....It's damn near wrecked much of the West already. And BTW, the Boomer dominated elite will only hire and promote X-ers and Millennials who toe the CultMarx line. We don't stand much of a chance as long as Left Boomer orthodoxy remains sacred and must be shielded from heresy at all times.

luke jones said...

Is there any data on other races? There seems to be no decrease among current Blacks and for the most part Latinos.

@Anonymous Random Dude on the Internet

There were just as many black men that dismissed the sex doll trend as pathetic.


I wouldn't be to sure of that. Women making sexual assault/rape accusations against their husbands is nothing new. Marriage is no safety net in that regard.

@Audacious Epigone

I think men that have children be more than one woman tend to downplay the number of partners they have to avoid child support. Its common amoung lower-class populations.

Also, what do you think of this?

Sid said...


Thanks for your kind words! I agree with you that there's far more freedom and leeway within a marriage than even in a long-term non-marital relationship. Physical abuse and violent rape are definitely criminal in a marriage, but sexual harassment and the kind of accusations that emerge decades after the supposed fact are currently unthinkable.

Of course, I probably just jinxed us and in a few years we'll see celebrity women claim their husbands were lewd to them decades ago.


By "prudish" I meant having fewer sexual partners (either for good or ill), though of course calling someone a "prude" is derogatory.

I agree with you that while Boomers imagine they rebelled against authority, they were actually accorded far more space to develop on their own than they gave to Millennials. My Boomer mom often comments on how much more laissez-faire her parents were than she was in her parenting, and she was far from a helicopter parent.

Aside from being a good athlete or musician, the soundest way for a teenage male to increase his chances of getting laid in high school is to drive a car. Significantly fewer Millennials got driver's licenses in high school than Boomers and Xers, and that's in large part because the standards are far more stringent now than they used to be. One example of eroding independence.

Random Dude,

It's hard to anticipate what kind of an effect sex dolls will have, but they could be a game changer. The concept honestly unnerves me so I'm not the best judge for how well it will take off. (I was going to write that a sex doll that doubles as an Amazon Echo-style digital girlfriend could be what really helps them take off, but then the idea of an artificial human residing in my apartment gave me the chills.)

VR porn, however, will almost surely exacerbate the problems we're seeing with too much exposure to pornography. VR headsets are still niche, but I expect they'll fairly common within five years or so.


I haven't played Dragon Quest 3 but that's really fun.

Japan is an even more stark example of what happens when gender roles break down and men become more nerdy. It's truly astonishing how many Japanese adult virgins are reported in polls. I am willing to bet the guys working on the Dragon Quest series were nerdier than average, so that dialogue "option" was almost surely rooted in a lot of their experiences!

To their credit, Japan has largely avoided the worst aspects of male-hating feminism, but a lot of nerdy men there opt out of dating regardless.

luke jones said...


East Asian men were always an exceptionally nerdy population, and East Asians in general was always a relatively less sexually active population compared to everyone else. (note that you don't need a high sex-drive to be fertile).

Also, large percentages of adult men failing to have sex at all (let alone reproduce) is nothing new historically. For instance, throughout the 19-century 10%-20% of men and women in the West never married, with no bastard children.

Sid said...

luke jones,

I agree East Asian men are already inclined to be nerdy, and East Asians have milder sex drives than in most other populations. They also are more introverted.

What I would add, however, is that this means East Asians are especially hard hit when there's a breakdown in gender roles, increased nerdiness, and specified means of courtship.

Peter Frost has some good articles where he argues pornography is especially deleterious on East Asian men, and others where he argues that the kind of individualized dating culture seen in the West is challenging for more introverted Asian men (as opposed to communities helping to matchmake men and women). I think he's correct in both cases.

It's greatly interesting that 10-20% of Westerners didn't marry or have children out-of-wedlock in the 19th century. However, most people looking at Japan from a sociological and demographic standpoint usually state there have been notable challenges in people marrying and reproducing in recent decades. Perhaps this is a return to normalcy but it's still worth trying to explore the causes why.

Audacious Epigone said...


1987 seems to be the point of demarcation, culturally and economically, between older generations and X-ers. After 1987, immigration soared, off-shoring accelerated, entry level wages were hammered down, FIRE really became the be all-end all of "our" economy, and each successive "recovery" has given fewer and fewer gains to less and less people

Those born in 1987 or so tend to exhibit the worst of the millennial attributes.

luke jones said...


Yes, Peter Frost research suggest that the most naturally "beta" and nerdy groups tend to be historically the most sexually monogamous, mainly because alpha male traits are more selected for in a environments were women are more self-reliant. This suggest that historically compared to women of other groups, East Asian women had the lowest degree sexual freedom and economic self-reliance. So East Asian male didn't need alpha male traits to get a wife, since marriages were strictly arranged and womens taste/choice didn't factor.

He also had data that showed that Blacks (who participate and watch the most pornography) seem to be completely unaffected by it, likely because they are the most historically adapted to polygyny (and all that comes with it).

Feryl said...

"Those born in 1987"

If you were born in the late 80's/early 90's, you were too young to care about Clinton's flaws, then you hit your prime impressionable years (High School) when Bush was in office....And Bush wasn't liked by anyone.

And these cohorts have been socialized to think of the pre-1990's as some kind of dark age, and to think of older generations as bigoted, stupid, and archaic.

Also worth noting is the changing zeitgeist; kids in the 60's-90's weren't supposed to submit to whatever was being told to them by adults. Early Boomers rebelled against the attitudes of 50's and early 60's conservatives. Later Boomers and early X-ers rebelled against the attitudes of late 60's and 70's liberals. Later X-ers rebelled against the attitudes of 80's conservatives.

Seems to me that Millennials tend to follow older champions (like Bernie Sanders), whereas Boomers and X-ers tended to develop a cynical attitude towards the idea that older generations had a clue.

That covers the political angle of the "Bush 1" cohort. On a cultural/psychological level, the Bush 1 cohort is much more studious and well-behaved than the "Reagan" (early-mid 80's), Carter (late 70's), and Nixon (late 60's early 70's) cohorts. More than Boomers, too, of course.

The Bush 1 cohort showed so many signs of improvement (on measures of behavior) that I have a hunch that their late Boomer/early X-er parents really (really) doted and spoiled these kids. My mom says that she wishes she had spent more time on her kids, but one of the reasons she didn't is because me and my brother spent so much time listening to loud music, running around outside, sleeping over at friends's houses, etc. that there wasn't much use in trying to wrangle us into being more productive or doing more family socializing. Of course, had we been born in the 60's or 70's we would've been even more walled off from our parent's sphere of influence. Neil Howe used a quote from Babe Ruth to sum up his Lost Generation: "I was always a rotten kid". The first wave of full blown Millennials (those born after 1986) seemed to make a great leap away from being the scrappy "street kids" in whose rough edges lay the ability to wound....And scar others.

We now want debt jubilees for all the Millennials and Z-ers who avoided huffing gas and being sent to juvie; in the early 1990's, Hilary said that we needed to build evermore prisons to make way for the rising waves of "super predators" for whom adults felt pity.....But also felt trepidation.

Anonymous said...

@luke jones

um...I'm pretty sure that the women with the least freedom and economic self-reliance are actually Middle Eastern women, followed by South Asian women.

HOWEVER...East Asians hold monogamy as the norm, as do Europeans. Middle Easterners allow polygamy (up to 4 wives for 1 husband).

I bet if the Middle East also had monogamy as a norm, their men would turn out to be more extreme than East Asian men.

luke jones said...


Only 5%-12% percent of Middle Eastern men are polygamist, a rate lower than Mormons.

South Asian women actually aren't doing THAT bad in terms of personal freedom and self-reliance on average compared to say, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Historically, the position of women in East Asian cultures wasn't much different from the Middle East now. Its only somewhat recently (after Westernization) that they have the degree of freedom they have today.

However, your right. The shift towards Western style monogamy has contributed to making Middle Eastern men more extreme than they would be (though other factors come in obviously).

AB.Prosper said...

Just an aside, the first time the total fertility rate in the US hit its current just below replacement level was the 1930's

I strongly doubt that hedonism was the cause nor was "people getting nerdy" although they assuredly are, frigging Old Spice (yes the cologne) produced a Dungeons and Dragons supplement after all!

In fact low fertility may be the norm once a certain level of development is achieved and the baby boom an anomaly caused by non repeatable conditions (delayed desire for family formation and unprecedented economic growth)

I'd suggest there is a very strong economic component , urbanism and taxes making it too hard to have large families, throw in the fact that all the wealth is owned by a few people or institutions and you have the recipe for a disaster.

Basically wages are too low (half what they were as percentage GDP in 1973) society is too expensive to maintain, taxes and expenses go up something has to give so its extra fertility.

And note taxes are crazy now compared to the past and while yes absolute tax rates at the high end were very high during the baby boom, most people didn't pay much as in taxes as they do now

Energy was cheaper, housing was cheaper per square foot and these are big expenses

Some goods were much cheaper as well a comic books say Spiderman cost about 97 cents modern money during the baby boom

As for the psychology, I'm guess that .3 (that is 1/3 of 1) reduction is caused by feminism and the rest is caused by all other cultural and economic trends

Its not self indulgence, self indulgence unlike child rearing expenses is something that can be done when money allows. Its not an ongoing expense

If any technology could be blamed its television. Brazil as able to achieve western fertility rates with carefully constructed programming and a nation TV roll out. Its about the same as the US now

Last luke jones, that's not accurate

There are about 14 million Mormons world wide and its very unlikely that between 700,000 and 1.4 million are polygamous

The FLDS who are a polygamous offshoot number around 7000-10k members and assuming globally there are 10x that many which is unlikely its at most 1% probably less than that

This would mean at most polygamy is 10x more common among Muslims than LDS , 20x is more probable

Alliumnsk said...

What if promiscuous males actually have more children, but they fail to remember them?

Alliumnsk said...

>I think cheap contraceptives are a powerful selection mechanism to select for people who genuinely want to have children
@DissidentRight it does... if everyone is smart enough to use contraceptives properly. Where it's not, it's selection for low IQs.

Anonymous said...

>it does... if everyone is smart enough to use contraceptives properly. Where it's not, it's selection for low IQs.

TFRs in most fertile African countries are far below human biological possibility (6 kids, not 12 or more) and keep falling. Which means even the people with statistically lowest IQ are not too dumb to prevent births by whatever means. It's not really intellectually demanding.

Alliumnsk said...

In Africa, there's also other reasons which lower fertility -- diseases! HIV, Zika, chlamydia...
Well, it's not that intellectually demanding, but neither marshmallow test, and they fail it.
Sure, low IQ people also use contraception if we shove it into their throats but even then dysgenic trend in Africa is huge compared to everything we see in high IQ countries.