Thursday, October 23, 2014

Buy and sell that happy ass

In 2002 and 2012 the GSS queried married respondents on their incomes relative to that of their spouse's incomes. Cross-referencing it with a self-report on personal happiness doesn't quite shake out the way I guessed it would have. Due to a modest total sample size (n = 691) across six categories, I didn't attempt to control for any variables. It's an as is picture.

To compute a simple happiness index, the percentage of respondents in each category who self-describe as "not too happy" is subtracted from the percentage who say they are "very happy", with the "pretty happy" middling option ignored. Happiness scores among men by whether they make more, the same, or less than their wives:

Men earning...Happy
More32.1
Same26.7
Less27.0

The differences are pretty modest. I suspected the gap between men keeping pace with their wives and those unable to do so would be larger than the one between men who earn more than their wives and those who make the same as their wives do, but that's not the case.

Women earning...Happy
More34.7
Same20.2
Less31.7

This result is more surprising. More domineering manjaws and a corresponding increase in the number of manboobs today relative to the past? Some of the putative subjective benefits of female empowerment? A meaningless result based on an arbitrary self-description that might vary from day to day depending on the mood the participant was in when she completed the survey?

It is interesting that for both men and women, income on par with one's spouse is not an obvious positive psychological feature, as the lowest scores for both involve income parity among couples. It seems plausible that this sort of arrangement could cause tension at home, since the presumption on both sides is that since both are contributing equally economically, both should contribute equally on the home front, with any deviation from that arrangement making it seem as though the slacker is shirking his duty. I bring home the bacon, my wife keeps up the house and does the lioness' share of work raising our son. That's the societal ideal.

GSS variables used: EARNSHH(1-3)(4)(5-7), SEX(1)(2), HAPPY

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)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Open marriages? Bugger that!

Heartiste on same-sex marriage:
Every gay marriage that was talked about was an open relationship.

Not a one of these gays who were married, or planned to get married, held any pretense of practicing monogamy. When the topic of promiscuous married gays came up, the only surprise was the blas├ę avowal of the fact.
Because the question of sexual orientation has only been asked in the last three survey years and homosexuals comprise a couple percentage points of the total population, sample sizes are way too small to jump to empirically founded conclusions. That said, the share of married respondents, by sexual orientation, who have "had sex with someone other than your husband or wife while you were married" shake out as follows:

Homosexuals (n = 15) -- 46.7%
Bisexuals (n = 37) -- 37.8%
Heterosexuals (n = 3,724) -- 18.0%

GSS variables used: SEXORNT, EVSTRAY(1-2)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

aka Aussie Rules or Footy

Steve Sailer has recently been mulling over the idea that bringing in former Australian Rules football players to become NFL punters could shake up the game by giving teams that employ them a competitive advantage and making 4th downs more exciting in the process.

Steve suspects that punts often referred to by commentators unfamiliar with either of the big field games down under as "rugby style" kicks are actually footy style kicks. He's correct. To understand why, it helps to delve into an important difference between rugby and footy, the mark.

In both sports, when a mark is awarded, the player making the mark gets a free kick, which is just what it sounds like and is quite advantageous.

In footy, as long as the ball has traveled at least 10 meters in the air off the sending player's foot and hasn't touched any other players, a player who catches it is awarded a free kick. In rugby, only defenders are able to mark the ball. Unlike rugby, when a footy player is kicking down field to a teammate, if that teammate is able to catch it he will be awarded a free kick. Consequently, the footy player kicking down field has an incentive to make the ball easy to catch. The rugby player, in contrast, doesn't want to make the ball all that easy to catch since the opposing team's defender might be able to get a mark out of it. Better to have it crumb in rugby than in footy (from an offensive perspective).

Consequently, footy players learn to kick the ball so that it back spins. Rugby players, in contrast, kick it so it spins forward. A side effect of the footy backspin is that the ball tends to lose its forward 'momentum' when it hits the ground (sort of like a basketball does when you spin it backwards as you throw it forward, but less predictably of course due to the differences in shape) while a ruby kick tends to bounce forward. Increasing the likelihood that the ball will die near the spot that it first lands has obvious implications for precision in placing the ball inside the opponent's 20 on a punt without having it go into the end zone.

For distance, spinning the ball end over end, either backwards or forwards, isn't as effect as torpedoing it. Thus rugby-style kicks don't really carry any inherent advantages over footy-style or torpedo kicks and aren't utilized much in football.

Tangentially, while Steve's ideas are intriguing, I'm not sure how realistic an NFL punter running to the right or left as a footy player does before kicking the ball down field is. Punters taking snaps straight back and immediately kicking the ball behind an offensive line formation designed to maximize said punter's protection still only gives punter's fractions of a second to get the ball off before getting tackled or having his kick blocked. The NFL is a much faster game than college football is.

On a self-indulgent note, two weekends ago I played my last amateur footy game. I was able to score three goals against a great Denver team, thus ending a fun six year career on a high note. The jersey had to be retired for the predictable reasons. I'm in my thirties now, have suffered three broken ribs (each one on a separate occasion), sustained a concussion this season, and have received the countless bloody noses, bruises, and scrapes that are part of the game. Add to that a wife who worries and two kids (and counting) who shouldn't have to, and I guess I have to conclude now's the right time.

AE goes up for a hospital ball and gets laid out as a consequence

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cognitive destratification?

Heartiste does a little shadowboxing in the cognitive stratification ring:
So there will be no genetic ├╝berwench class. This isn’t to say an evolved cognitive elite is impossible; rather, what appears to be happening is less IQ stratification than a perverse reiteration of the patented CH BOSSS (Boss-Secretary Sexual Strategy) sexual market mechanism to reduce wealth and class inequality. The high school grad secretary of yore has been replaced by the college grad secretary of today. And as long as she stays thin and pretty, she’ll catch the eye of that high status man, and GSS data will erroneously pick this up as mate sorting primarily based on college experience or IQ.
As he correctly asserts, it's likely not as dire a situation as many on the dissident right who haven't looked at the relevant data assume.

Rather than accentuating the putative dysgenic problem, as he insinuates the GSS does, though, survey data actually attenuate it. The GSS shows that among men there is simply no dysgenic trend to speak of. There is, however, such a trend among women. The simultaneous existence of the two diverging trends suggests that assortative mating assumptions are exaggerated (don't just take it from this amateur's reading of the numbers; Henry Harpending found the same). The silver tongue's descriptive phrase "boss-secretary sexual strategy" is an empirically valid one.

Heartiste's recognition of the relevance of credentialism is similarly perspicacious:
Conflating runaway credentialism with IQ misses the fact that today’s paper pushing woman with a communications degree was yesterday’s equally competent secretary with a high school degree, and perhaps even yesteryear’s farmhand mother with sharp instincts for survival.
Indeed, even many wise men fail to grasp this. Education is a far stronger predictor of female fertility than IQ is. Intelligence and educational attainment are correlated, of course, but once educational attainment is controlled for, there's very little difference in fertility across the intelligence spectrum. This isn't just the case at the national level; it's descriptive power is global in scope.

Another way to gauge whether or not cognitive stratification is occurring is to look at the standard deviation values in wordsum scores over time. A flattening out of the bell curve distribution--more low- and high-end scores and fewer middling scores--would suggest an increase in cognitive stratification over time while a spike in the distribution's hump--more middling scores, fewer extreme scores--would indicate a decrease in stratification.

The following graph shows standard deviation values in wordsum scores among native-born whites aged 30-50 by year of participation extending back to the earliest years of the GSS:


There is no evidence for cognitive stratification here. On the contrary, there appears to have been a gentle converging in intelligence the last several decades (at least as measured by vocabulary among whites, anyway). In 1978, 7.9% of respondents scored a 3 or lower (out of 10) and 20.0% scored a 9 or 10, with the remaining 72.1% falling in between. In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, 4.1% scored a 3 or lower and 12.2% a 9 or 10, with 83.7% falling in between. A substantially higher percentage of whites fall somewhere in the middle today than did a generation ago.

GSS variables used: YEAR, WORDSUM, RACE(1), BORN(1), AGE(30-50)

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Stoopid Party, New Jersey edition

John Derbyshire got his hands on a campaign support email for and from Jeff Bell. Bell is the Republican challenger for the New Jersey Senate seat currently held by Democrat Cory Booker. Some snippets from the Derb's excerpts:
Dear friend,

I want to wish you a Happy Hispanic Heritage month.

Ronald Reagan once said, "Latinos are Republicans, they just don't know it yet." Maybe that's politically incorrect to repeat in 2014. But I do agree with the premise behind his assertion: if the Republican Party makes the case to them, Hispanics will vote GOP.

But they do have a problem now. Our party has been unwelcoming. Republican members in Congress have refused to consider a path to legalization for those who came here illegally over the years, or an expanded guest worker program that is open to low-skilled workers, not just Ph.D.'s.
Mitt Romney is too much of a restrictionist for Bell's tastes.
I have to say that I fundamentally disagree with [Rush Limbaugh's] assertion that those who immigrate here from Mexico are registered Democrats in waiting. Hispanics in the U.S. have the highest rate of business creation among all ethnic groups — and more than double the national rate. Moreover, they tend to share conservatives' beliefs that life begins at conception and marriage is composed of a husband and a wife.
The Derb has a devastating take down of this naked cheap labor rah-rahing. Now allow me to do my part by throwing my slippers at the beast.

The claim about business creation is bunk. Here's a graphic from a detailed CIS report on the characteristics of immigrants in the US by their countries of origin:


This report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics similarly gives lie to the assertion that Hispanics are business creators. The rates of business creation by race as of 2009, from highest to lowest, runs from whites, to Asians, to Hispanics, and finally to blacks:


Parenthetically, both measures are of self-employment rates, but the difference between someone in charge of an unincorporated business and someone who is self-employed is merely semantic. This is, for all intents and purposes, the most reliable measure of business 'creation' available, even though it actually inflates the Hispanic figures since the rate of business incorporation among non-Hispanic whites is more than double the rate among Hispanics.
Moreover, they tend to share conservatives' beliefs that life begins at conception and marriage is composed of a husband and a wife.
The latter is blatantly false. The GSS shows that the percentage of Hispanics who disagree/strongly disagree with the assertion that "homosexual couples should have the right to marry one another" is 38.6%. In contrast, the percentage of non-Hispanic conservatives who disagree/strongly disagree is 62.8%.

Bell does correctly point out the pro-life overlap, with 73.6% of Hispanics expressing the belief that women should not be able to get an abortion for any reason compared to 70.6% of non-Hispanic conservatives. But blacks are more pro-life than the nation at large is, too, so... I suppose they're natural Republicans as well!

Perhaps the most risible trope Bell employs is this one:
I do agree with the premise behind his assertion: if the Republican Party makes the case to them, Hispanics will vote GOP.
The argument is that if not for it's hesitancy to go all-in for open borders, the GOP would own the Hispanic vote because Hispanics are natural Republicans.

Fortunately for those of us with empirical inclinations, the 2008 presidential election gave that theory a superb real-world test. John McCain was then and still remains today the single most recognized champion of 'comprehensive immigration reform' on the Republican side. Hispanics merely had to vote for him and, as the leader of not only the Republican party but of the entire country, he would've been able to lead his party away from restrictionism and towards open borders. On all the other conventional issues of the day, McCain was clearly more conservative than Obama, so it should've been a no-brainer for all those naturally Republican Hispanic masses.

The result, of course, was that McCain got walloped among Hispanics, 31%-67%. Mitt Romney--who, while an eager supporter of increasing immigration among the highly skilled, who was endorsed by illegal immigration pugilist Kris Kobach, actually took the toughest line on illegal immigration among the Republican field in 2012--lost Hispanics by a similar margin of 27%-71%.

Contrary to Bell's blathering, this is because Hispanics--with high family dissolution and out-of-wedlock birthrates, low educational attainment, high poverty and welfare usage rates, affirmative action eligibility, etc--are not natural Republicans at all. They're natural Democrats.

Jeff, there's a reason all of your political and ideological opponents are so eagerly urging you to take exactly the position on immigration that you've taken, and it's not because they have your political well-being at heart. If you're not smart enough to understand that, you shouldn't be legislating on our behalf.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2008-2012), MARHOMO(1-3)(4-5), ABANY, RACECEN1(1-14)(15-16), POLVIEWS(6-7)