Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steady studs, dysgenic dolls

Examining eugenic and dysgenic trends is a bit of a hobby horse here. Levels of educational attainment, religiosity, alpha vs. beta, and monogamy vs. getting around are a few of the angles we've explored. Jayman recently took a thorough look at fertility trends among blacks, simpliciter style, without adding in a bunch of variables, prompting me to want to do the same with whites and Hispanics. Unfortunately, the sample sizes are too small for the former to have much contemporary relevance, so we'll just consider whites.

The following graph shows the mean number of children among non-Hispanic whites aged 40-65 by wordsum grouping*. All data are from 2000 onward:

Jayman found that among black men, the trend is neutral, while a pronounced dysgenic trend exists among black women. The story is similar among whites, although the dysgenic tilt among white women is gentler than it is among black women.

GSS variables used: CHILDS, SEX, YEAR(2000-2010), RACECEN1(1), WORDSUM(0-3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)(9-10)

* Respondents are broken up into five categories that come to roughly resemble a normal distribution; Really Smarts (wordsum score of 9-10, comprising 13% of the population), Pretty Smarts (7-8, 26%), Normals (6, 22%), Pretty Dumbs (4-5, 27%), and Real Dumbs (0-3, 12%)


Dan said...

Frankly, this is not very dysgenic at all. And if college educated Asians are becoming one of the biggest immigrant groups, the zombie apocalypse eagerly desired by many may not be imminent.

For very smarts the average (men and women) is about 1.95 while for very dumbs the average is about 2.20. Pretty smarts are at 2.1 and pretty dumbs are at 2.2. Not a huge difference.

And then consider that death rates are inversely proportional to intelligence

And finally note that occasionally people aren't done with fertility at age 40, especially men. I think older parents are skewed strongly smart.

Those last two factors aren't huge but maybe they could make up the difference.

Dan said...

Nature's solution? Put IQ on the Y chromosome or tie its expression to testosterone. Feminists won't be pleased.

pat said...

Eugenics is so nineteenth century. It's hard to understand how differential birth rates can still be relevant. Changes in gene frequencies take so long. Why wait?

Most of these effects take decades to work or even centuries. Consider tuberculosis. As is well known there is a genetic component in TB resistance. So back before Koch and Pastuer we could have decided to combat TB by encouraging those genotypes that do better against the bacterium 9or wahtever it was that caused TB).

Had we done that rigorously today we would have a population that resists TB better than it used to. But of course we didn't take that approach. We attacked the disease directly and today there is not very much TB in America.

If we want to be smarter people we should do the same - find out what proteins and exzymes are relevant and make appropriate adjustments.

When I suggest improving the brains of our species, some people object that that is years away. True but improving our brains through eugenic-like measures takes even longer. Much longer.

Also the main problem isn't ignorance so much as it is resistance. The simplest effective eugenic IQ boosting strategy would be to simply sterilize black people. It's easy to calculate how much boost you would get. But such an approach is hardly acceptable politically. Indeed since illegal aliens have an average IQ of about 90, we could boost national average IQ simply with a fence. America lacks the political will to engage the ethnic resitance to eugenic policies.

Contrast that resistance with a direct attack on stupidity. Develop a "smart pill" (i.e . a pill that makes you smart) and everyone will want one.


Nick Steves said...

Develop a "smart pill" (i.e . a pill that makes you smart) and everyone will want one.

But only the stupid would believe that it works.

Anonymous said...

It may be true that the difference isn't great since 2000. However, until birth control became widely adapted in the '60s, the difference was inversely proportional: smarter couples had many more offspring that stupid couples, especially since welfare enables an alternative stupid lifestyle (also accelerated by the Great Society). Smart couples advanced human evolution because their kids were the family farm's or merchant's coworkets, retirements, and heirs. The more smarties, the better. Stupid couples had fewer kids, nobody would want their burdens. But in the last 50 years, de-evolution has accelerated. The opposite of progress has taken root, and should be obvious to any unbiased observers.