This good is based on the popular but discontinued OKTrends blog, but now apparently active again becus of the book release. There is some more info in the book than can be found on the blog, but overall there is much more on the blog. The book is short (300 pp) and written in non-academic style with no statistical jargon. Read it if u think big data about humans is interesting. The author is generally negative about it, so if u are skeptical about it, u may like this book.
Many studies have examined the correlations between national IQs and various country-level indexes of well-being. The analyses have been unsystematic and not gathered in one single analysis or dataset. In this paper I gather a large sample of country-level indexes and show that there is a strong general socioeconomic factor (S factor) which is highly correlated (.86-.87) with national cognitive ability using either Lynn and Vanhanen’s dataset or Altinok’s. Furthermore, the method of correlated vectors shows that the correlations between variable loadings on the S factor and cognitive measurements are .99 in both datasets using both cognitive measurements, indicating that it is the S factor that drives the relationship with national cognitive measurements, not the remaining variance.
This one took a while to do. Had to learn a lot of programming (R), do lots of analyses, 50 days in peer review. Perhaps my most important paper so far.
This is your best film yet, and that says something.
For automatization for clinical decisions, it has been known for decades that simple algorithms are better than humans. This has so far not been put to much practice, but it will eventually. See review article: Grove, W. M., Zald, D. H., Lebow, B. S., Snitz, B. E., & Nelson, C. (2000). Clinical versus mechanical prediction: a meta-analysis. Psychological assessment, 12(1), 19.
There is only one temporary solution for this problem. It is to make humans smarter. I say temporary because these new smarter humans will quickly make robots even smarter and so they can replace even the new smarter humans.
How to make humans more intelligent? The only effective way to do that is to use applied human genetics aka. eugenics. This is because general intelligence (g-factor) is about 80% heritable in adults (and pretty much everything else is also moderately to highly heritable). There are two things we must do: 1) Find the genes for g. This effort is underway and we have found a few SNPs so far.[1-2] It is estimated that there are about 1k-10k genes for g. 2) Find out how to apply this genetic knowledge in practice to make both existing humans and the new ones smarter. The first effective technology for this is embryo selection . Perhaps CRISPR can work for existing humans.
- Rietveld, C.A., Medland, S.E., Derringer, J., Yang, K., Esko, T., et al. (2013). GWAS of 126,559 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Science 340: 1467-1471.
- Ward, M.E., McMahon, G., St Pourcain, B., Evans, D.M., Rietveld, C.A., et al. (2014) Genetic Variation Associated with Differential Educational Attainment in Adults Has Anticipated Associations with School Performance in Children. PLoS ONE 9(7): e100248. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100248
This book is very popsci and can be read in 1 day for any reasonably fast reader. It doesnt contain much new information to anyone who has read a few books on the topic. As can be seen below, it has a lot of nonsense/errors since clearly the author is not used to this area of science. It is not recommended except as a light introduction to people with political problems with these facts.
But a drawback o f the system is its occasional drift toward
extreme conservatism. Researchers get attached to the view of their
field they grew up with and, as they grow older, they may gain the
influence to thwart change. For 50 years after it was first proposed,
leading geophysicists strenuously resisted the idea that the continents
have drifted across the face of the globe. “Knowledge advances,
funeral by funeral,” the economist Paul Samuelson once observed.
Wrong quote origin. en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck
>A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Academics, who are obsessed with intelligence, fear the discovery
of a gene that will prove one major race is more intelligent than
another. But that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Although
intelligence has a genetic basis, no genetic variants that enhance intel
ligence have yet been found. The reason, almost certainly, is that
there are a great many such genes, each of which has too small an
effect to be detectable with present methods.8 If researchers should
one day find a gene that enhances intelligence in East Asians, say,
they can hardly argue on that basis that East Asians are more intelli
gent than other races, because hundreds of similar genes remain to be
discovered in Europeans and Africans.
Even if all the intelligence-enhancing variants in each race had
been identified, no one would try to compute intelligence on the basis
of genetic information: it would be far easier just to apply an intelli
gence test. But IQ tests already exist, for what they may be worth.
We have found a number of SNPs already. And we have already begun counting them in racial groups. See e.g.: openpsych.net/OBG/2014/05/opposite-selection-pressures-on-stature-and-intelligence-across-human-populations/
It s social behavior that is of relevance for understanding pivotal—
and otherwise imperfectly explained— events in history and econom
ics. Although the emotional and intellectual differences between the
world’s peoples as individuals are slight enough, even a small shift in
social behavior can generate a very different kind of society. Tribal
societies, for instance, are organized on the basis of kinship and differ
from modern states chiefly in that people’s radius of trust does not
extend too far beyond the family and tribe. But in this small variation
is rooted the vast difference in political and economic structures
between tribal and modern societies. Variations in another genetically
based behavior, the readiness to punish those who violate social rules,
may explain why some societies are more conformist than others.
The lure of Galton’s eugenics was his belief that society would
be better off if the intellectually eminent could be encouraged to
have more children. W hat scholar could disagree with that? More
of a good thing must surely be better. In fact it is far from certain
that this would be a desirable outcome. Intellectuals as a class are
notoriously prone to fine-sounding theoretical schemes that lead
to catastrophe, such as Social Darwinism, Marxism or indeed
By analogy with animal breeding, people could no doubt be
bred, if it were ethically acceptable, so as to enhance specific desired
traits. But it is impossible to know what traits would benefit society
as a whole. The eugenics program, however reasonable it might seem,
was basically incoherent.
The principal organizer of the new eugenics movement was
Charles Davenport. He earned a doctorate in biology from Harvard
and taught zoology at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Biological Laboratory at
Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. Davenport’s views on eugenics
were motivated by disdain for races other than his own: “Can we
build a wall high enough around this country so as to keep out these
cheaper races, or will it be a feeble dam . . . leaving it to our descen
dants to abandon the country to the blacks, browns and yellows and
seek an asylum in New Zealand?” he wrote.9
Well, about that… In this century europeans will be <50% in the US. I wonder if the sociologists will then stop talking about minority, as if that somehow makes a difference.
One of the most dramatic experiments on the genetic control of
aggression was performed by the Soviet scientist Dmitriy Belyaev. From
the same population of Siberian gray rats he developed two strains, one
highly sociable and the other brimming with aggression. For the tame
rats, the parents of each generation were chosen simply by the criterion
of how well they tolerated human presence. For the ferocious rats, the
criterion was how adversely they reacted to people. After many gener
ations of breeding, the first strain was now so tame that when visitors
entered the room where the rats were caged, the animals would press
their snouts through the bars to be petted. The other strain could not
have been more different. The rats would hurl themselves screaming
toward the intruder, thudding ferociously against the bars of their
Didnt know this one. The ref is:
N icholas Wade, “N ice R a ts, N asty R a ts: Maybe I t ’s All in the G en es,”
N ew York Tim es, Ju ly 2 5 , 2 0 0 6 , www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/health/
25 ra ts.h tm l?p a g ew a n ted = a ll& _ r=0 (accessed Sept. 2 5 , 2 0 1 3 )
Rodents and humans use many of the same genes and brain regions
to control aggression. Experiments with mice have shown that a large
number of genes are involved in the trait, and the same is certainly true
of people. Comparisons of identical twins raised together and sepa
rately show that aggression is heritable. Genes account for between
3 7% and 72% of the heritability, the variation of the trait in a popula
tion, according to various studies. But very few of the genes that under
lie aggression have yet been identified, in part because when many
genes control a behavior, each has so small an effect that it is hard to
detect. Most research has focused on genes that promote aggression
rather than those at the other end of the behavioral spectrum.
This sentence is nonsensical.
Standing in sharp contrast to the economists’ working assumption
that people the world over are interchangeable units is the idea that
national disparities in wealth arise from differences in intelligence.
The possibility should not be dismissed out of hand: where individu
als are concerned, IQ scores do correlate, on average, with economic
success, so it is not unreasonable to inquire if the same might be true
Marked sentence is nonsensical.
Turning to economic indicators, they find that national IQ scores
have an extremely high correlation (83%) with economic growth per
capita and also associate strongly with the rate of economic growth
between 1950 and 1 9 9 0 (64% correlation).44
More conceptual confusion.
And indeed with Lynn and Vanhanen’s correlations, it is hard to
know which way the arrow of causality may be pointing, whether
higher IQ makes a nation wealthier or whether a wealthier nation
enables its citizens to do better on IQ tests. The writer Roy Unz has
pointed out from Lynn and Vanhanen’s own data examples in which
IQ scores increase 10 or more points in a generation when a popula
tion becomes richer, showing clearly that wealth can raise IQ
scores significantly. East German children averaged 90 in 1 9 6 7 but
99 in 1984. In West Germany, which has essentially the same popu
lation, averages range from 99 to 107. This 17 point range in the
German population, from 90 to 107, was evidently caused by the
alleviation of poverty, not genetics.
Ron Unz, the cherry picker. conservativetimes.org/?p=11790
East Asia is a vast counterexample to the Lynn/Vanhanen thesis.
The populations of China, Japan and Korea have consistently higher
IQs than those of Europe and the United States, but their societies,
despite their many virtues, are not obviously more successful than
those of Europe and its outposts. Intelligence can’t hurt, but it doesn’t
seem a clear arbiter of a population’s economic success. W hat is it
then that determines the wealth or poverty of nations?
No. But it does disprove the claim that IQs are just GDPs. The oil states have low IQs and had that both before and after they got rich on oil, and will have in the future when they run out of oil again. Money cannot buy u intelligence (yet).
From about 9 0 0 a d to 1700 a d , Ashkenazim were concentrated
in a few professions, notably moneylending and later ta x farming
(give the prince his money up front, then extract the taxes due from
his subjects). Because of the strong heritability of intelligence, the
Utah team calculates that 20 generations, a mere 5 0 0 years, would be
sufficient for Ashkenazim to have developed an extra 16 points of IQ
above that of Europeans. The Utah team assumes that the heritability
of intelligence is 0 .8 , meaning that 8 0 % of the variance, the spread
between high and low values in a population, is due to genetics. If the
parents of each generation have an IQ of just 1 point above the mean,
then average IQ increases by 0 .8 % per generation. If the average
human generation time in the Middle Ages was 2 5 years, then in 20
human generations, or 5 0 0 years, Ashkenazi IQ would increase by
2 0 x 0.8 = 16 IQ points.
More conceptual confusion. One cannot use % on IQs becus IQs are not ratio scale and hence division makes no sense. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levels_of_measurement#Comparison
I read this becus i want to do a follow-up study like this. Both analyzing media output and doing another expert survey.
I had been thinking about using PCA on political questions to see any obvious underlying structure. Basically, I want to do OKC questions style. Gather lots of questions, have lots of ppl answer them. Do PCA, see what results are.
Political perspective was assessed in two ways. First, respondents stated their agreement or disagreement with a series of six political statements. The statements dealing with U.S. economic exploitation, the fairness of the private enterprise system, affirmative action, the desirability of socialism, alienation caused by the structure of society, and the propriety of extramarital sexual relations. Responses to these statements were discovered, in a previous investigation incorporating many more such statements, to load highly on a factor representing overall political perspective.6o Agreement was assessed on a 4- point scale, where I was “Strongly agree” and 4 was “Strongly disagree.” For four of the six statements, the mean response is approximately at indifference. Respondents are somewhat more likely to disagree that “The United States would be better off if it moved toward socialism” and that “The structure of our society causes most people to feel alienated.” The second measure of political perspective asked experts to indicate their global political perspective on a 7-point scale, where I was “Very liberal” and 7 was “Very conservative.” Mean self-assessment on this scale is 3.19 (s.d.: 1.28, r.r.:95.6%), putting this expert population slightly to the left of center.
Factor analysis of responses to the six statements and the global rating reveal that all questions, with the exception of the statement about extramarital affairs, load highly on a single factor (i.e., are highly correlated). The five statements and the global rating were therefore normalized and combined to form a political perspective supervariable. It is this variable that is used as a measure of overall political perspective. Note that the liberal position on the five included statements (e.9., belief in socialism, affirmative action, economic exploitation) can all be characterized as placing a higher value on equality of outcome than on economic efficiency.
This tactic has been used before, even if only on a limited set of political opinions.
While few would argue that intelligence and aptitude test scores do nor affect self-esteem and motivation, the magnitude of this influence is difficult to measure. There have been many reports of significant positive correlations between test scores and self-concept, motivation, or expectancy, but causality remains ambiguous.rs rhe evidence seems to indicate, however, that the influence of test scores on these affective variables is probably not large. (Causation in the opposite direction may not be very significant either, as the correlation may reflect the influence of a third variable, students’actual level ofability and success in school.) Brim and his associates found that high school students tended to greatly overestimate their own intelligence, as measured by test scores. This was particularly true of students with low scores. Fifty percent of students thought their scores were too low relative to their actual level of ability, while 45 percent thought their scores were accurate. only 7 percent ofthe students reported lowering their self-estimates of intelligence as a result of their test scores, while 24 percent raised their estimates.16
Dunning Kruger, but much earlier.
Reference 16 is: Orville G. Brim, Jr., ‘American Attitudes Towards Intelligence Tests,” American Psychologrsl 20 (1965):125-130; Brim et al. 17. Goslin, p. 133
This book is a quick read and covers the area decently well. The major drawback is that it doesnt discuss deliberative democracy or liquid democracy. IMO this book is not as good as Caplans recent book on the same topic which i also read. Maybe cuz i read his first.
many people conflate political ignorance with sheer “ stupidity.” 2
But often, ignorance is actually smart. Even highly intelligent voters
can rationally choose to devote little or no effort to acquiring political
knowledge. Indeed, political knowledge levels have stagnated over the
past several decades, despite the fact that IQ scores have risen enormously
during the same period.3
This error with the FLR effect is one that Somin continously makes thruout the book, so I will just address it once here.
The FLR effect is not g-loaded. It is like training effects. Training increases the IQ, but not g. Training does not make u smarter. It is a form of error introduced to the measurement.
However, it turns out that the decision to vote is rational so long as the
voter perceives a significant difference between candidates and cares even
slightly about the welfare of fellow citizens, as well as his or her own.15
A simple calculation suggests why this is true.16
Assume that Uv equals the expected utility of voting, Cv equals
the cost of voting, and D equals the expected difference in welfare per
person if the voter’s preferred candidate defeats her opponent. Let us
further assume that this is a presidential election in a nation with three
hundred million people, that the voter’s ballot has only a one in one
hundred million chance of being decisive, and that the voter values the
welfare of his fellow citizens an average of a thousand times less than
his ow n.17
The figure of one in one hundred million is used for ease of exposition.
Adopting the slightly more accurate figure of one in sixty million— the
average odds of decisiveness in the 2008 presidential election— would
not significantly alter the result.18
Thus, we get the following equation:
The Utility o f Voting
D*(300 million/1000) / (100 million) – Cv = Uv
Ive seen this argument before. It is surely wrong. The difference between the various political options is very small. Especially in the US. A decisive vote will change very, very little in these countries. Might change nothing.
This is one of those, works in theory under perfect conditions but not in real politics-arguments.
M ore realistically, the average citizen probably lacks the time and
expertise to study either the Gelman model or the alternatives. Unless
he or she finds the reading interesting or has an extensive background in
statistics, the costs o f doing the reading and analyzing the models would
be far greater than the expected benefits.2 Thus the rational citizen could
reasonably base his or her decisions on voting and acquiring political
information on a rough intuitive sense that the chance of decisiveness is
extremely low, but still higher than zero. And that is exactly what most
people actually seem to do.
No. If one actually asks a lot of people why they vote, and i did this, they dont give answers like that. Their answers come in two categories basically:
1) The Kantian Voting argument
2) The lost right to complain arguments
The first one goes simply: if everybody thought like that (about not voting), something very bad wud happen (i.e. democracy wud crash, or somesuch).
A moment’s reflection will show that this is not good reasoning. Just swap ”voting” with ”become a firefighter”. In reality this is a matter of game theory. To the rational person, the fewer other ppl who vote, the more reason to vote, cuz his power is higher then. Ofc, if everybody was perfectly rational, they wud never admit to not voting if they wanted to vote. Why? The more people ppl believe that u vote, the less their own vote is worth, and hence it will make them less likely to vote, which increases the worth of ur vote. And so on.
2) I will let Carlin handle this one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk
Also, ppl sometimes claim that one has a duty to vote. I think duty ethics is garbage, but some countries do have compulsory laws: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting
Belief in many other political conspiracy theories is common as well,
including claims that the government is hiding evidence of visitation by
alien civilizations, claims that the AID S virus was deliberately manu
factured to target African Americans, and assertions that government
agencies planned the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and
other prominent political leaders.84
This reminds me of Gordon’s very interesting paper: Gordon, Robert A. “Everyday life as an intelligence test: Effects of intelligence and intelligence context.” Intelligence 24.1 (1997): 203-320.
He shows clearly that belief in conspirary theories correlates perfectly with group mean IQ.
Rational irrationality also deserves some of the blame. It is prob
ably no accident that Republicans are disproportionately susceptible to
birtherism, while Democrats are far more likely to endorse 9 /11 conspir
acy theories. It is no secret that partisan Republicans tend to be hostile
to Obama, while most partisan Democrats felt similarly about Bush.
These predispositions make partisans more willing to believe any claim
that reflects poorly on their political enemies— often without carefully
considering whether the claim is true or even plausible.
Such bias seems irrational if the partisans’ only goal is to get at the
truth, to determine whether the allegations against Bush or Obama are
accurate. But it is perfectly rational if their objective is at least partly to
enjoy the emotional satisfaction of being confirmed in their preexisting
views. After all, the partisan voter who mistakenly embraces birtherism
or 9 /11 conspiracy theories suffers no personal harm as a result, while
deriving at least some psychological benefit.
This kind of rational irrationality does not work. It implies the false thesis of voluntarism, namely that one can choose to believe things without evidence. This is not how beliefs work. One cannot just will oneself into believing something absurd. Rational irrationalism can work in that one can rationally decide that analyzing certain things properly and thoroly is not worth the time and hence relying on shortcuts instead, which are more error prone.
The ability of voters to punish large and obvious policy failures by
incumbents is one of the major advantages of democracy over dictator
ship. It probably helps explain the remarkable fact that no mass famine
has ever occurred in a modern democracy, no matter how poor.72 By
contrast, famines deliberately engineered by the government have often
occurred in dictatorships.73
Even generally ignorant and irrational voters can recognize a mass
famine when they see one, and are likely to hold political incumbents
responsible for it. Similar factors may explain the fact that democratic
governments rarely if ever engage in mass murder against their own
citizens, while many authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships do so
Somin has made these claims before. As for the famine one, it checks out. See Wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines
The sources for 73-74 are:
73. Joseph S talin ’s com m unist governm ent deliberately engineered a fam ine th at
killed millions in the early 1930s U.S.S.R. See R ob ert Conquest, The H a rvest o f S o rro w
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). An even larger governm ent-created fam ine
occurred in M aoist China, tak in g an estim ated th irty m illion lives. See Jasper Becker,
H u n g ry G hosts: M a o ’s Secret F am ine (New York: H o lt, 1996).
74. Rudolph Rum m el, P o w er K ills : D em o cra cy as a M eth o d o f N o n v io le n ce (New
Brunswick: Transaction, 1997); Rudolph Rummel, Death by Governm ent(New Brunswick:
T ran sactio n, 1994)-
If the connection between two or more matters of public policy is
not obvious or is ignored by politicians and the media for their own rea
sons, voters may fail to pick it up. Social Security reform, for instance,
is almost never defined as a racial issue, yet the lower life expectancy
of blacks combined with the fact that they pay Social Security payroll
taxes at the same rate as whites turned Social Security into a major hid
den redistribution from black workers to white retirees.89 The subtlety
of the connection leads the relevant black issue public to ignore it. Such
problems might often prevent an issue public from ever forming to begin
with. Thanks in part to political ignorance, some potential issue publics
are likely to be numbered among Mancur Olson’s “ forgotten groups who
suffer in silence.” 90
This wud be true if africans and europeans contributed equally. They dont. Europeans earn much more money and thus pay much higher taxes.
In addition to alleviating knowledge problems by transferring decision
making power to foot voters, reductions in the size and complexity of
government might also reduce information problems with respect to
issues that still remain subject to the ballot box. The debate over voter
ignorance has focused on how much voters know but rarely on the ques
tion of how much government there is for them to know about. Yet it is
clear that the greater the size and scope of government, the more voters
have to know to control its policies through the ballot. As James Madison
put in Federalist62, “ [i]t w ill be of little avail to the people that the laws
are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that
they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” 94
Indeed. Also great quote.
Unfortunately, the lack of systematic survey evidence of political
knowledge in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries makes it very
difficult to directly compare knowledge levels then to those that prevail
today. Yet we can get some idea through analysis of the sophistication of
political rhetoric directed at voters by politicians. Candidates and politi
cal office-holders have strong incentives to accurately gauge the level of
sophistication of their audience so as to make more effective campaign
Linguistic researchers at the YourDictionary.com website used the
Flesch-Kincaid scale to gauge the grade level of the language and phras
ing used in every presidential inaugural address from 1789 to 20 0 1.11
They found that every inaugural address prior to 1900 reached what
would today be considered a izth-grade level, except for one that scored
at 1 1 .5 .103 By contrast, inaugural addresses over the past fifty years have
been around a 7th- to 9th-grade level.104
Political scientist Elvin Lim documents a similar pattern in the evo
lution of presidential speeches over the past sixty years, concluding that
they have become increasingly simplistic.10’’ The same pattern emerges
from linguist Paul J J Payack’s content analysis of political debates. In
the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, D ouglas’s speeches rated an 1 1 .9
grade level, and Lincoln’s an 1 1 . z.106 Recent presidential debates tended
to fall somewhere between the 6th- and 9th grade-levels.107 The differ
ence is all the more striking in light of the much higher education levels
of modern voters compared to those of the nineteenth century.
Obviously, linguistic sophistication is not the same thing as substan
tive sophistication. It is theoretically possible that modern politicians are
simply making complex arguments using simple words. Nonetheless, lin
guistic complexity and substantive complexity do tend to be correlated.
To the extent that is true, it would seem that politicians are directing
much less sophisticated arguments at voters than did their predecessors
o f a century ago.
The source is this one: web.archive.org/web/20111111133224/http://www.yourdictionary.com/about/news038.html
The obvious hypothesis seems to be true: mass media made presidents lower the level, so as to target more ppl. Starting with radio and become worse with TV. At least, it cant get worse now, but we are also at rock bottom.
Empirical studies almost uniformly show that education and political
knowledge are highly correlated, even when controlling for other variables.7
Not surprisingly, those people with the highest education levels also tend
to have greater political knowledge. Unfortunately, however, there is a
major fly in the education-increases-knowledge ointment: massive rises in
education over the past fifty years have not led to significant increases in
political knowledge.8 From 1972 to 1994, average educational attainment
for Americans over the age of thirty grew from eleven years of schooling to
thirteen, while measured political knowledge remained roughly constant.9
On an education-adjusted basis, political knowledge may actually have
declined, with 1990s college graduates having knowledge levels comparable
to those of high school graduates in the 1940s.10 It is also noteworthy that
rising education levels have failed to increase political knowledge despite
the fact that measured intelligence has been rising, with IQ scores increas
ing substantially over the past century.11
The stagnation of political knowledge levels in the face of greatly
augmented educational attainment suggests that further raising of edu
cation levels cannot be counted on to increase political knowledge in the
The decline is surely due to opening up of education. High school in 1940 was more g selective than college is today in the US.
HS or more was about 24% in 1940, and college is about 32% now. Add to that all the lower g immigrants, it means that the college level is quite low now compared to HS in 1940.
Back then ”high school” actually meant just that.
An alternative but not mutually exclusive explanation is that edu
cation correlates with political knowledge in large part because it is a
proxy for intelligence. When IQ is controlled for, the correlation between
education and economic knowledge is sharply reduced, and intelligence
turns out to have the greater effect of the tw o .11 Political knowledge may
function similarly. Yet rising IQ scores over the last several decades have
also seemingly failed to increase political knowledge.
I was going to cite this study, but he did it himself. :)
its this one, by Caplan, his libertarian brother in arms.
Caplan, Bryan, and Stephen C. Miller. “Intelligence makes people think like economists: Evidence from the General Social Survey.” Intelligence 38.6 (2010): 636-647.
Nonetheless, future technological breakthroughs might still signifi
cantly increase political learning through the media. This is particularly
likely if future technologies make it possible for people to assimilate
new information with less time and effort than is possible at present.
Rationally ignorant voters may continue to limit the resources they are
willing to devote to learning about politics. But more advanced informa
tion technology might make it possible for them to learn more without
devoting any more effort to the task than at present.74
Genetic engineering, gogogo! :)
Interesting small book that casts light on the use of sterilizations in nordic countries. It shows quite clearly that eugenics has it origin in collectivist and socialist thinking and was supported by most parties in the 20-40s. Clearly not just something the nazis did (and did wrong).
In Sweden, however, th e au th o rities advocated p ersu asio n , n o t force. The
Swedish sterilization p rogram contained several procedures by which involun
tary sterilization was carried out. The legally incompetent, to begin with, could
be subjected to sterilization without their consent according to the 1934 and
1941 laws. How was this category defined? According to instructions circulated
by the Board of Health in 1947, a person should be able to understand “the
meaning and the consequences” of the operation to be declared legally compe
tent. But: “Such an understanding is n o t at hand only because he knows that he
cannot have a child after a sterilization; it must furtherm ore be required that
he to some extent comprehends the importance o f sterilization for himself and
for society.” As to the mentally retarded, legal incompetence was said to prevail
if he or she could be com pared intellectually with a person twelve years old or
Mental age of 12 seems to accord nicely with modern deviation based definitions. 12/16=.75 or 12/18=.67. Normalt siger man at <70 IQ er retarderet. Det samme gælder i Danmark, jf. www.sundhed.dk/borger/sygdomme-a-aa/boern/sygdomme/vaekst-og-udvikling/udviklingshaemning/
Mjoen condemned this lenient attitude toward alcohol as an irresponsible
handling o f scientific results by a “spectacle-wise” academic. M ohr was guilty
o f neglecting the risk involved by the uncertainty o f the results, argued Mjoen.
He admitted that no effects on the hereditary material had been proven. But
the lack o f scientific p ro o f in no way justified the lack o f action. “We have every
reason to believe that alcohol is a much more serious enemy for the family, the
people and the race than one has so far considered it to be!”42
The arg u m en t o f u nacceptable risk was often used by M joen to justify
eugenic measures. The risk incurred by not acting was so serious that it was
morally irresponsible n o t to take immediate action even on the basis o f quite
u n certain knowledge. He also justified steps against race crossing w ith the
same kind o f argument. He admitted uncertainty about the detrimental effects
and agreed that more knowledge must be sought, but in such a situation it was
safest to say, “ Until we have acquired sufficient knowledge be careful/”43
apparently another example of the irrational precautionary principle: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle
This is a GREAT book, which goes down to the basics about heritability and the various claims people have made against it. Highly recommended. Best book of the 29 i have read this year.
The denial of genetically based psychological differences is the kind of sophisti-
cated error normally accessible only to persons having Ph.D. degrees.
I was introduced to the nature–nurture debate by reading Ned Block
and Gerald Dworkin’s well-known and widely cited anthology about
the IQ controversy (Block & Dworkin 1976a). This collection of arti-
cles has long been the main source of information about the heredity–
environment problem for a great number of scientists, philosophers, and
other academics. It is not an exaggeration to say that the book has been
the major inﬂuence on thinking about this question for many years. Like
most readers, I also left the book with a feeling that hereditarianism (the
view that IQ differences among individuals or groups are in substantial
part due to genetic differences) is facing insuperable objections that strike
at its very core.
There was something very satisfying, especially to philosophers, about
the way hereditarianism was criticized there. A strong emphasis was on
conceptual and methodological difﬁculties, and the central arguments
against hereditarianism appeared to have full destructive force indepen-
dently of empirical data, which are, as we know, both difﬁcult to evaluate
and inherently unpredictable.
So this looked like a philosopher’s dream come true: a scientiﬁc issue
with potentially dangerous political implications was defused not through
an arduous exploration of themessy empiricalmaterial but by using a dis-
tinctly philosophical method of conceptual analysis and methodological
criticism. It was especially gratifying that the undermined position was
often associated with politically unacceptable views like racism, toler-
ation of social injustice, etc. Besides, the defeat of that doctrine had a
certain air of ﬁnality. It seemed to be the result of very general, a priori
considerations, which, if correct, could not be reversed by “unpleasant”
discoveries in the future.
But very soon I started having second thoughts about Block and
Dworkin’s collection. The reasons are worth explaining in some detail
I think, because the book is still having a considerable impact, especially
on discussions in philosophy of science.
First, some of the arguments against hereditarianism presented there
were just too successful. The refutations looked so utterly simple, elegant,
and conclusive that it made me wonder whether competent scientists
could have really defended a position that was somanifestly indefensible.
Something was very odd about the whole situation.
There is indeed something about this. This book is a premier case of what Weinberg called mentioned with his comment “…a knowledge of philosophy does not seem to be of use to physicists – always with the exception that the work of some philosophers helps us to avoid the errors of other philosophers.”
Of course,Bouchardwould be justiﬁed in notworrying toomuch about
these global methodological criticisms if the only people who made a
fuss over them were philosophers of science. Even with this unfriendly
stance becoming a consensus in philosophy of science, scientists might
still remain unimpressed because many of them would probably be sym-
pathetic to JamesWatson’s claim: “I do not like to suffer at all from what
I call the German disease, an interest in philosophy” (Watson 1986: 19).
Source is: Watson, J. D. 1986, “Biology: A Necessarily Limitless Vista,” in S. Rose and L.
Appignanesi (eds.), Science and Beyond, Oxford, Blackwell.
At this point I am afraid I may lose some of my scientiﬁc readers.
Remembering Steven Weinberg’s statement that the insights of philoso-
phers have occasionally beneﬁted scientists, “but generally in a negative
fashion – by protecting them from the preconceptions of other philoso-
phers” (Weinberg 1993: 107), they might conclude that it is best just to
avoid reading any philosophy (including this book), and that in this way
they will neither contract preconceptions nor need protection fromthem.
But the problemis that the preconceptions discussed here do not originate
from a philosophical armchair. Scientists should be aware that to a great
extent these preconceptions come from some of their own. Philosophers
of science uncritically accepted these seductive but ultimately fallacious
arguments from scientists, repackaged them a little, and then fed them
back to the scientiﬁc community, which often took them very seriously.
Bad science was mistaken for good philosophy.
Sesardic clearly saw the same connection to Weinberg’s comments as i did. :)
It may seem surprising that Jones dismissed the views of the founder
of his own laboratory (Galton Laboratory, University College London)
in such amanner. But then again this should perhaps not be so surprising.
One can hardly be expected to study seriously the work of a man whom
one happens to call publicly “Victorian racist swine” – the way Jones
referred to Galton in an interview (Grove 1991). Also, in Jones’s book
Genetics for Beginners (Jones & Van Loon 1993: 169), Galton is pictured
in a Nazi uniform, with a swastika on his sleeve.
The virulent antinazism among these lefties is extraordinary. It targets everybody having the least to do with ideas the nazis also liked. It is a wonder no one attacks vegetarians or people who campaign against smoking for being nazis…
Arthur Jensen once said that “a heritability study may be regarded
as a Geiger counter with which one scans the territory in order to ﬁnd
the spot one can most proﬁtably begin to dig for ore” (Jensen 1972b:
243). That Jensen’s advice as to how to look upon heritability is merely
an application of a standard general procedure in causal reasoning is
conﬁrmed by the following observation from an introduction to causal
analysis: “the decomposition of statistical associations represents a ﬁrst
step. The results indicate which effects are important and which may be
safely ignored, that is, where we ought to start digging in order to uncover
the nature of the causal mechanisms producing association between our
variables” (Hellevik 1984: 149). High heritability of a trait (in a given
population) often signals that it may be worthwhile to dig further, in the
sense that an important geneticmechanismcontrolling differences in this
trait may thus be uncovered.8
Another great Jensen insight.
Citation is to: 1972b, “Discussion,” in L. Ehrman, G. S. Omenn, E. Caspari (eds.), Genetics,
Environment and Behavior, New York, Academic Press.
Second, even if a trait is shared by all organisms in a given population
it can still be heritable – if we take a broader perspective, and compare
that populationwith other populations. The critics of heritability are often
confused, and switch from one perspective to another without noticing it.
Consider the following “problem” for heritability:
the heritability of “walking on two legs” is zero.And yetwalking on two legs
is clearly a fundamental property of being human, and is one of the more
obvious biological differences between humans and other great apes such
as chimpanzees or gorillas. It obviously depends heavily on genes, despite
having a heritability of zero. (Bateson 2001b: 565; cf. Bateson 2001a: 150–
151; 2002: 2212)
When Bateson speaks about the differences between humans and other
great apes, the heritability of walking on two legs in that population
(consisting of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas) is certainly not zero.
On the other hand, within the human species itself the heritability may
well be zero. So, if it is just made entirely clear which population is
being discussed, no puzzling element remains. In the narrower popula-
tion (humans), the question “Do genetic differences explain why some
people walk on two legs and some don’t?” has a negative answer because
there are no such genetic differences. In the broader population (humans,
chimpanzees, and gorillas) the question “Do genetic differences explain
why some organisms walk on two legs and some don’t?” has an afﬁrma-
tive answer. All this neatly accords with the logic of heritability, and cre-
ates no problem whatsoever. The critics of hereditarianism like to repeat
that heritability is a population-relative statistic, but when they raise this
kind of objection it seems that they themselves forget this important
Things like the number of finger is also heritable within populations. There are rare genetic mutations that cause supernumerary body parts: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernumerary_body_part
However, these are very rare, so to spot them, one needs a huge sample size. Surely the heritability of having 6 fingers is high, while the heritability of having 4 fingers is low, but not zero. Of the people who have 4 fingers, most of the casesare probably caused by unique environment (i.e. accidents), but some are caused by genetics.
(4) It is often said that in individual cases it is meaningless to compare
the importance of interacting causes: “If an event is the result of the joint
operation of a number of causative chains and if these causes ‘interact’
in any generally accepted meaning of the word, it becomes conceptually
impossible to assign quantitative values to the causes of that individual
event” (Lewontin 1976a: 181).But this is in fact not true.Take, for example,
the rectangle with width 2 and length 1 (from Figure 2.3). Its area is 2,
which is considerably below the average area for all rectangles (around
100). Why is that particular rectangle smaller than most others? Is its
width or its length more responsible for that? Actually, this question is
not absurd at all. It has a straightforward and perfectlymeaningful answer.
The rectangleswith thatwidth (2) have on average the area that is identical
to the mean area for all rectangles (100.66), so the explanation why the
area of that particular rectangle deviates so much from the mean value
cannot be in its width. It is its below-average length that is responsible.
Even the usually cautious David Lykken slips here by condemning
the measurement of causal inﬂuences in the individual case as inherently
absurd: “It is meaningless to ask whether Isaac Newton’s genius was due
more to his genes or his environment, as meaningless as asking whether
the area of a rectangle is due more to its length or its width” (Lykken
1998a: 24). Contrary to what he says, however, it makes perfect sense to
inquire whether Newton’s extraordinary contributions were more due to
his above-average inherited intellectual ability or to his being exposed
to an above-average stimulating intellectual environment (or to some
particular combination of the two). The Nufﬁeld Council on Bioethics
makes a similar mistake in its report on genetics and human behavior:
“It is vital to understand that neither concept of heritability [broad or
narrow] allows us to conclude anything about the role of heredity in the
development of a characteristic in an individual” (Nufﬁeld 2002: 40). On
the contrary, if the broad heritability of a trait is high, this does tell us
that any individual’s phenotypic divergence from the mean is probably
more caused by a non-standard genetic inﬂuence than by a non-typical
environment. For a characteristically clear explanation of why gauging
the contributions of heredity and environment is not meaningless even in
an individual case, see Sober 1994: 190–192.
This is a good point. The reason not to talk about the causes of a particular level of g in some person is not that it is a meaningless question, it is that it is difficult to know the answer. But in some cases, it is clearly possible, cf. my number of fingers scenario above.
Nesardic mentions two studies that fysical attractiveness is not correlated with intelligence. That goes against what i believe(d?). He cites:
Feingold, A. 1992, “Good-looking People Are NotWhatWe Think,” Psycholog-
ical Bulletin 111: 304–341.
Langlois, J. H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A. J., Larson, A., Hallam, M., and
Smoot, M. 2000, “Maxims or Myths of Beauty? A Meta-Analytic and Theo-
retical Review,” Psychological Bulletin 126: 390–423.
But i apparently dont have access to the first one. But the second one i do have. In it one can read:
According to this maxim, there is no necessary correspondence
between external appearance and the behavior or personality of an
individual (Ammer, 1992). Two meta-analyses have examined the
relation between attractiveness and some behaviors and traits
(Feingold, 1992b2; L. A. Jackson, Hunter, & Hodge, 1995). Fein-
gold (1992b) reported significant relations between attractiveness
and measures of mental health, social anxiety, popularity, and
sexual activity but nonsignificant relations between attractiveness
and sociability, internal locus of control, freedom from self-
absorption and manipulativeness, and sexual permissiveness in
adults. Feingold also found a nonsignificant relation between at-
tractiveness and intelligence (r = .04) for adults, whereas L. A.
Jackson et al. found a significant relation for both adults (d = .24
overall, d = .02 once selected studies were removed) and for
children (d = .41).
These meta-analyses suggest that there may be a relation be-
twe^n behavior and attractiveness, but the inconsistencies in re-
sults call for additional attention. Moreover, the vast majority of
dependent variables analyzed by Feingold (1992b) and L. A.
Jackson et al. (1995) assessed traits as defined by psychometric
tests (e.g., IQ) rather than behavior as defined by observations of
behaviors in actual interactions. Thus, to fully understand the
relations among appearance, behaviors, and traits, it is important to
broaden the conception of behavior beyond that used by Feingold
and L. A. Jackson et al. If beauty is only skin-deep, then a
comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature should find no sig-
nificant differences between attractive and unattractive people in
their behaviors, traits, or self-views.
So, maybe. It seems difficult that g and pa (phy. attract.) is NOT associated purely by effect of mating choices, since females prefer males with high SES and males prefer females with have pa. Then comes the mutational load hypothesis, and the fact that smarter people presumably are better at taking care of their bodies, which increases pa. I find it very difficult indeed to believe that they arent correlated.
In my opinion, this kind of deliberate misrepresentation in attacks on
hereditarianism is less frequent than sheer ignorance. But why is it that a
number of peoplewho publicly attack “Jensenism” are so poorly informed
about Jensen’s real views? Given the magnitude of their distortions and
the ease with which these misinterpretations spread, one is alerted to
the possibility that at least some of these anti-hereditarians did not get
their information about hereditarianismﬁrst hand, fromprimary sources,
but only indirectly, from the texts of unsympathetic and sometimes quite
biased critics.8In this connection, it is interesting to note that several
authors who strongly disagree with Jensen (Longino 1990; Bowler 1989;
Allen 1990; Billings et al. 1992; McInerney 1996; Beckwith 1993; Kassim
2002) refer to his classic paper from 1969 by citing the volume of the
Harvard Educational Review incorrectly as “33” (instead of “39”). What
makes this mis-citation noteworthy is that the very same mistake is to
be found in Gould’s Mismeasure of Man (in both editions). Now the
fact that Gould’s idiosyncratic lapsus calami gets repeated in the later
sources is either an extremely unlikely coincidence or else it reveals that
these authors’ references to Jensen’s paper actually originate from their
contact with Gould’s text, not Jensen’s.
Gotcha. A nice illustrating case of the thing map makers used to use to prove plagiarism. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_trap
Incidentally, in this case it ended up having another use! :)
In December 1986 our newly-born daughter was diagnosed to be suffering
from a genetically caused disease called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
(EB). This is a disease in which the skin of the sufferer is lacking in certain
essential ﬁbers. As a result, any contact with her skin caused large blisters
to form, which subsequently burst leaving raw open skin that healed only
slowly and left terrible scarring. As EB is a genetically caused disease it
is incurable and the form that our daughter suffered from usually causes
death within the ﬁrst sixmonths of life . . .Our daughter died after a painful
and short life at the age of only 12 weeks. (quoted in Glover 2001: 431 –
from: Glover, J. 2001, “Future People, Disability, and Screening,” in J. Harris (ed.),
Bioethics, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Nasty disease indeed. Only eugenics can avoid such atrocities.
On the contrary, empirical evidence suggests that for many important
psychological traits (particularly IQ), the environmental inﬂuences that
account for phenotypic variation among adults largely belong to the non-
shared variety. In particular, adoption studies of genetically unrelated
children raised in the same family show that for many traits the adult
phenotypic correlation among these children is very close to zero (Plomin
et al. 2001: 299–300). This very surprising but consistent result points
to the conclusion that we may have greatly overestimated the impact
of variation in shared environmental inﬂuences.6The fact that variation
within a normal range does not have much effect was dramatized in the
following way by neuroscientist Steve Petersen:
At a minimum, development really wants to happen. It takes very impov-
erished environments to interfere with development because the biological
system has evolved so that the environment alone stimulates development.
What does this mean? Don’t raise your children in a closet, starve them, or
hit them in the head with a frying pan. (Quoted in Bruer 1999: 188)
But if social reforms are mainly directed at eliminating precisely these
between-family inequalities (economic, social, and educational), and if
these differences are not so consequential as we thought, then egalitar-
ianism will ﬁnd a point of resistance not just in genes but also in the
non-heritable domain, i.e., in those uncontrollable and chaotically emerg-
ing environmental differences that by their very nature cannot be an easy
object for social manipulation.
All this shows that it is irresponsible to disregard constraints on mal-
leability and fan false hopes about what social or educational reforms can
do. As David Rowe said:
As social scientists, we should be wary of promisingmore than we are likely
to deliver. Physicists do not greet every new perpetual motion machine,
created by a basement inventor, with shouts of joy and claims of an endless
source of electrical or mechanical power; no, they know the laws of physics
would prevent it. (Rowe 1997: 154)
I will end this chapter with another qualiﬁcation.Although heritability
puts constraints on malleability it is, strictly speaking, incorrect to say
that the heritable part of phenotypic variance cannot be decreased by
environmentalmanipulation. It is true that if heritability is, say, 80 percent
then at most 20 percent of the variation can be eliminated by equalizing
environments. But if we consider redistributing environments, without
necessarily equalizing them, a larger portion of variance than 20 percent
can be removed.
Table 5.5 gives an illustration how this might work.
In this examplewith just two genotypes and two environments (equally
distributed in the population), themain effect of the genotype on the vari-
ation in the trait (say, IQ) is obviously stronger than the environmental
effect. Going from G2 to G1 increases IQ 20 points, while going from the
less favorable environment (E2) to the more favorable one (E1) leads
to an increase of only 10 points. Heritability is 80 percent, the genetic
variance being 100 and the environmental variance being 25. Now if we
expose everyone to the more favorable environment (E1) we will com-
pletely remove the environmental variance (25), and the variance in the
new population will be 100. The genetic variance survives environmental
But there is a way to make an incursion into the “genetic territory.”
Suppose we expose all those endowed with G1 to the less favorable
environment (E2) and those with G2 to the more favorable environment
(E1). In this way we would get rid of the highest and lowest score, and
we would be left only with scores of 95 and 105. In terms of variance, we
would have succeeded in eliminating 80 percent of variance by manipu-
lating environment, despite heritability being 80 percent.
How is this possible? The answer is in the formula for calculating vari-
ance in chapter 1 (see p. 21). One component of variance is genotype–
environment correlation, which can have a negative numerical value.
This is what has happened in our example. The phenotype-increasing
genotype was paired with the phenotype-decreasing environment, and
the phenotype-decreasing genotype was paired with the phenotype-
increasing environment. This move introduced the negative G–E corre-
lation and neutralized the main effects, bringing about a drastic drop in
The strategy calls to mind the famous Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison
Bergeron,” where the society intervenes very early and suppresses the
mere expression of superior innate abilities by imposing artiﬁcial obsta-
cles on gifted individuals. Here is just one short passage from Vonnegut:
And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little
mental-handicap radio in his ear – he was required by law to wear it at all
times. It was tuned to a government transmitter and, every twenty seconds
or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like
George from taking unfair advantage of their brains. (Vonnegut 1970: 7)
We all get a chill from the nightmare world of “Harrison Bergeron.” But
in its milder forms the idea that if the less talented cannot be brought
up to the level of those better endowed, the latter should then be held
back in their development for the sake of equality, is not entirely with-
out adherents. In one of the most carefully argued sociological studies
on inequality there is an interesting proposal in that direction, about
how to reduce differences in cognitive abilities that are caused by genetic
Asociety committed to achieving full cognitive equality would, for example,
probably have to exclude genetically advantaged children from school. It
might also have to impose other handicaps on them, like denying them
access to books and television. Virtually no one thinks cognitive equality
worth such a price.Certainlywe do not.But if our goalwere simply to reduce
cognitive inequality to, say, half its present level, instead of eliminating it
entirely, the pricemight bemuch lower. (Jencks et al. 1972: 75–76 – emphasis
So although Jencks and his associates concede that excluding geneti-
cally advantaged children from school and denying them access to books
may be too drastic, they appear to think that the price of equality could
become acceptable if the goalwas lowered andmeasuresmademoremod-
erate. Are they suggesting that George keeps the little mental-handicap
radio in his ear but that the noise volume should be set only at half
I wonder if someone cud make a good video based on this… Oh that’s right…
David Lykken had a good comment on this tendency of some
Darwinians (he had John Tooby and Leda Cosmides in mind) to pub-
licly dissociate themselves from behavior genetics, in the hope that this
move would make their own research less vulnerable to political criti-
cisms: “Are these folks just being politic, just claiming only the minimum
they need to pursue their own agenda while leaving the behavior geneti-
cists to contend with the main armies of political correctness?” (Lykken
There are some obvious, and other less obvious, consequences of polit-
ically inspired, vituperative attacks on a given hypothesisH.On the obvi-
ous side, many scientists who believe that H is true will be reluctant to
say so, many will publicly condemn it in order to eliminate suspicion that
they might support it, anonymous polls of scientists’ opinions will give
a different picture from the most vocal and most frequent public pro-
nouncements (Snyderman & Rothman 1988), it will be difﬁcult to get
funding for research on “sensitive” topics,19the whole research area will
be avoided by many because one could not be sure to end up with the
“right” conclusion,20texts insufﬁciently critical of “condemned” views
will not be accepted for publication,21etc.
On the less obvious side, a nasty campaign against H could have the
unintended effect of strengthening H epistemically, and making the criti-
cism of H look less convincing. Simply, if you happen to believe that H is
true and if you also know that opponents of H will be strongly tempted
to “play dirty,” that they will be eager to seize upon your smallest mis-
take, blow it out of all proportion, and label you with Dennett’s “good
epithets,” with a number of personal attacks thrown in for good measure,
then if you still want to advocate H, you will surely take extreme care to
present your argument in the strongest possible form. In the inhospitable
environment for your views, you will be aware that any major error is a
liability that you can hardly afford, because it willmore likely be regarded
as a reﬂection of your sinister political intentions than as a sign of your
fallibility. The last thing onewants in this situation is the disastrous combi-
nation of being politically denounced (say, as a “racist”) and being proved
to be seriously wrong about science. Therefore, in the attempt to make
themselves as little vulnerable as possible to attacks they can expect from
their uncharitable and strident critics, those who defendHwill tread very
cautiously and try to build a very solid case before committing themselves
publicly. As a result, the quality of their argument will tend to rise, if the
subject matter allows it.22
Interesting effects of the unpopularity of the views.
First of all, the issue about heritability is obviously a purely empirical
and factual one. So there is a strong case for denying that it can affect
our normative beliefs. But it is worth noting that the idea that a certain
heritability value could have political implications was not only criticized
for violatingHume’s law, but also for being politically dangerous. Bluntly,
if the high heritability of IQ differences between races really has racist
implications then it would seem that, after all, science could actually dis-
cover that racism is true.
The dangerwas clearly recognized byDavidHorowitz in his comments
on a statement on race that the Genetics Society of America (GSA)
wanted to issue in 1975. A committee preparing the statement took the
line that racism is best fought by demonstrating that racists’ belief in the
heritability of the black–white difference in IQ is disproved by science.
The proposed statement is weak morally, for the following reason: Racists
assert that blacks are genetically inferior in I.Q. and therefore need not
be treated as equals. The proposed statement disputes the premise of the
assertion, but not the logic of the conclusion. It does not perceive that the
premise, while it may be mistaken, is not by itself racist: it is the conclusion
drawn (wrongly) from it that is racist. Even if the premise were correct, the
conclusion would not be justiﬁed …Yetthe proposed statement directs its
main ﬁre at the premise, and by so doing seems to accept the racist logic.
It places itself in a morally vulnerable position, for if, at some future time,
that the premise is correct, then the whole GSA case collapses, together
with its case for equal opportunity. (Quoted in Provine 1986: 880)
The same argument was made by others:
To rest the case for equal treatment of national or racial minorities on
the assertion that they do not differ from other men is implicitly to admit
that factual inequality would justify unequal treatment. (Hayek 1960:
But to fear research on genetic racial differences, or the possible existence
of a biological basis for differences in abilities, is, in a sense, to grant the
racist’s assumption: that if it should be established beyond reasonable doubt
that there are biological or genetically conditioned differences in mental
abilities among individuals or groups, then we are justiﬁed in oppressing
or exploiting those who are most limited in genetic endowment. This is, of
course, a complete non sequitur. (Jensen 1972a: 329)
If someone defends racial discrimination on the grounds of genetic differ-
ences between races, it is more prudent to attack the logic of his argument
than to accept the argument and deny any differences. The latter stance can
leave one in an extremely awkward position if such a difference is subse-
quently shown to exist. (Loehlin et al. 1975: 240)
But it is a dangerousmistake to premise themoral equality of human beings
on biological similarity because dissimilarity, once revealed, then becomes
an argument for moral inequality. (Edwards 2003: 801)
Good point indeed.
This shortish book contains a wealth of information and 100s of citations. Unfortunately, the author has not kept a high standard of citing things, nor does he make it clear when he cites something less reliable. This makes it the case that one cannot just take the points for granted and have to check every interesting but potentially dubious claim.
I thought chapters 1-3 were the most interesting, as it was about the science of sex differences. The least interesting part was the one about fatherless families. Pretty much all he cites is a lot of correlational studies, and does not discuss the methodology either.
Its worth a read if one is interested in a huge collection of sex differences, but its not a good introduction to the science of that area. For that, try David Buss’s introduction to evolutionary psychology instead.
In 1966, a botched circumcision left one of two male identical
twins without a penis. A leading sex psychologist, Dr. John
Money of Johns Hopkins University, persuaded the parents to
raise the toddler as a female. When the child was twenty-two months
old, surgeons castrated him and constructed what appeared from
the outside to be female genitalia. Called Brenda and treated like a
girl, the child was later prescribed female steroids to “facilitate and
mimic female pubertal growth and feminization.”1
When Brenda was twelve, Dr. Money reported that she and
her parents had adjusted well.2 The media loved the story of the
“opposite-sex identical twins.” In a long report, Time magazine
called the case “strong support” for the view that “conventional
patterns of masculine and feminine behavior can be altered.” The
1979 Textbook of Sexual Medicine noted the girl’s “remarkably
feminine” development, which was taken as demonstrating the
flexibility and “plasticity of human gender identity and the rela-
tive importance of social learning and conditioning in this
In academia, numerous introductory psychology and sociol-
ogy texts used the case to argue that sex roles are basically learned.4
Theorists who believed that gender roles are socially constructed
were ecstatic. In 1994, Judith Lorber described how the girl’s par-
ents “bent over backwards to feminize the girl and succeeded. Frilly
dresses, hair ribbons, and jewelry created a pride in looks, neatness
and ‘daintiness.’” The social construction of gender, she concluded,
“overrode any possibly inborn traits.”5
In retrospect, one wonders whether it is fair to say that what
happened to Brenda was simply “social construction.” With the injec-
tion of female hormones and without the male hormones coming
from testicles, Brenda was getting a bit more encouragement toward
femininity than families and society usually administer. Nonethe-
less, when the facts became more accurately known, it was clear
that neither the chemicals nor the socialization efforts had succeeded
in making Brenda a girl. Some hardworking researchers and jour-
nalists were able to show that Dr. Money had completely misrepre-
sented the results of his experiment. In the early 1990s, they located
the grown-up Brenda and found that she was now named David,
working in a slaughterhouse, married to a woman, and the adop-
tive father of three children.6 At age fourteen, Brenda had decided
to start living as a male, and at ﬁfteen, she had been told the truth
about her biological past. She then announced that she had always
felt like a male and wanted to become one again. She was given a
mastectomy, male hormones and a constructed penis.
The story that emerged revealed that David had always acted
like a male even when everyone in his world had told him he was a
female and should behave like one. The ﬁrst time “Brenda” was put
in a dress, she pulled it off. When given a jump rope, she tied people
up or whipped them with it. At nine, she bought a toy machine gun
when she was supposed to buy an umbrella. The toy sewing machine
went untouched; she preferred to build forts and play with dump trucks.
She rejected cosmetics and imitated her dad shaving. On a trip to New
York, she found the Rockettes to be sexy. She wanted to urinate stand-
ing up. On the playground, her kindergarten and elementary school
teachers were struck by her “pressing, aggressive need to dominate.”7
As the real story of the reconstruction of David was made pub-
lic, responsible researchers on the Johns Hopkins medical staff
decided they should find out what had become of the many boys
born without penises, most of whom had been castrated and sub-
sequently raised as girls. Of twenty-ﬁve located (ranging in age from
five to sixteen), every single one exhibited the rough-and-tumble
play more characteristic of boys than girls. Fourteen had declared
themselves to be boys, in one case as early as age ﬁve. Two children
were found who were born without a penis but had not been cas-
trated or sexually reassigned. Both these children, raised as boys, ﬁt
in well with their male peers and “were better adjusted psycholog-
ically than the reassigned children.”8
On hearing this Johns Hopkins paper, Dr. Margaret Legato, a
Columbia University professor of medicine and an expert on sex-
ual differentiation, asserted: “When the brain has been masculin-
ized by exposure to testosterone [in the womb], it is kind of useless
to say to this individual, ‘you’re a girl.’ It is this impact of testos-
terone that gives males the feelings that they are men.”9
Im surprised it didnt work better than it did. This is a huge change in environment and hormonal levels, even castration. Nature is stubborn, very stubborn.
Other writers whose approach to gender has been inﬂuenced
by biology have more directly blamed feminists for ignoring or belit-
tling good science on sex differences.22 But the other side replies that
some of the sociobiological literature is ﬁlled with “sexism,” “biased
selection of examples” and “a social construction of gender that is
relatively independent of the facts.”23 Mainstream feminists regu-
larly charge that a hidden or not so hidden agenda meant to pre-
serve male status lies behind the sex difference research.24
Feminists who make charges of this kind are often remarkably
candid in declaring that their politics inﬂuence their scientiﬁc judg-
ments. Thus Anne Fausto-Sterling admits to demanding “the high-
est standards of proof . . . on claims about biological inequality.”25
Sheila Tobias, author of Overcoming Math Anxiety, says she does
research on girls and math to get the truth, but also to get the coun-
try to believe that girls have the potential to perform equally with
Ah, the difference of standards of evidence. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_goalposts
Note that this is not grounded in any claims about it being extraordinarily claims, and thus having a low prior and thus needing stronger evidence to get P>0.5.
Today, however, the majority of the sex difference researchers
who focus on biology are women. In preparing his book on sex dif-
ferences, Robert Pool read widely and spoke to many researchers
in the ﬁeld, and was struck by the fact that this research fraternity
was “really a sorority. Most of the scientists doing the provocative,
ground-breaking research into human sex preferences are women.”
This seems to be for two reasons: First, men are wary about pub-
lishing any findings that might bring charges of sexism. Second,
some female researchers seem to have been suspicious about what
their male colleagues were up to; these women say they got involved
because they believed that male researchers were neglecting the seri-
ous study of women. Others did so because they were intrigued and
troubled by some differences favoring men and they wanted to ﬁnd
out what could explain these results.37 Pool ﬁnds that almost all of
these female researchers “identify themselves as feminists or at least
sympathize with feminist goals. . . . They are not fools or tools of
male-dominated society, nor do they have any hidden agendas, and
they uniformly resent such implications.”38
Many of these female researchers also began their studies con-
vinced that sex differences were minimal and that societal forces
caused those that existed. John Williams and Deborah Best, for exam-
ple, began their international comparison of stereotypes believing
there was no basis for them, but concluded that they had “a substan-
tial degree of behavioral validity” and were explained in part by biol-
ogy.39 Similarly, Diane Halpern intended to demonstrate that any
gender differences in cognition were the result of “socialization prac-
tices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice.”
After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high
and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of
journal articles, I changed my mind. . . . [T]here are real, and in some
cases sizable, sex differences with respect to some cognitive abilities.
Socialization practices are undoubtedly important, [sic] there is also
good evidence that biological sex differences play a role.40
It is not usually pleasant to change one’s mind about core convic-
tions, but these researchers say the data has forced them to do so.41
Eleanor Maccoby’s research has led her to give more emphasis to
biology in her study of children. In a recent lecture, after noting the
stereotypical pattern of young boys’ and girls’ fantasy stories (Bat-
man and the like for boys, brides and ballet for girls), Maccoby told
her audience of fellow academics, “I too want to say, ‘ugh.’”42 But
the truth was the truth.
Nature really is stubborn.
Many other male hobbyists, like the Battlebot community of
technonerds, have interests that focus on machines or war. There
are the car enthusiasts, the model train lovers, the war board-game
connoisseurs, the Civil War buffs. These hobbyists are single-minded
about what they love; and studies have found single-mindedness
and a highly focused brain to be more characteristic of men than
This seems like an interesting claim, it is especially related to geniuses, of which there is an extreme sex ratio. Note 107 leads to: Moir, 1999, pp. 253–55; Lubinski et al., 1993, p. 702.
which leads to
Moir, Anne, and Bill Moir. 1999. Why Men Don’t Iron. New York:
Lubinski, David, C. P. Benbow and C. E. Sanders. 1993. Reconceptu-
alizing Gender Differences in Achievement among the Gifted. In
International Handbook of Research and Development of Gifted-
ness and Talent, ed. K. A. Heller, F. J. Monks and A. H. Passow.
London: Pergamon Press.
unfortunately, these are both books so i cant look them up easily.
In 1975, the California Department of Education went so far
as to reject reading texts with any portrayal of women in a house-
hold role. The publisher Open Court appealed the rejection of its
reading texts, which had already been revised to meet standards of
gender equality. (The publisher noted that California bureaucrats
had even complained about a brief reference to Mother Hubbard.)145
Open Court made little headway. In later editions of the text, for
example, The Little Engine That Could became female.
It may be time to start questioning the assumption that soci-
ety pressures young women to be homemakers. My observations of
bright University of Virginia students suggest that they feel pres-
sured in other directions entirely. I remember one young woman
with a 3.8 grade point average in economics who told me how furi-
ous she was at her economics professors. When she told them she
loved children and wanted to be an elementary school teacher, they
let her know they were disappointed—she could do so much more.
I encounter feminist students who seem to have absorbed all
of their teachers’ opinions but whose hearts appear to be at war
with their opinions. In class they are sure that women would be
physicists and engineers—or, at the very least, have demanding
careers of some kind—if it were not for discriminatory socializa-
tion. I remember one of my students who openly declared that she
was looking for a husband who would be the “wife” so she could
quickly advance in her career. But when our discussion meandered
into the popularity of romance novels, she said she read them all
the time. When I expressed surprise and asked why she would pur-
chase so many books ﬁlled with powerful and worldly heroes and
spirited but traditional heroines, she said, “Lots of things I do have
nothing to do with what I spout around campus all day.”
Indeed, the effect of the environment is proved to be of smaller importance, since women are routinely exposed to these anti-traditional stories, and yet they still prefer natural gender roles. Nature triumphs over environment here.
It is not surprising, though, that women everywhere seem to
care very much about how they look. In Syrian universities, women
attending classes with men spend as much time dressing for classes
as American women spend dressing for a dinner party. On the streets,
demure Muslim girls in head scarves practice a “below the knees
exhibitionism” with sheer stockings and sling-back heels beneath
their skirts.90 A student who spent a summer in a small Jordanian
city confirms that when Islamic women are not allowed to show
hair or ears and when they wear their skirts to their ankles, they use
more makeup than Western women do and spend more time on
pedicures. A recent study examining the self-images of Iranian-born
women living in Los Angeles and Tehran found that the latter group,
largely unexposed to Western media and required to wear body-
encasing clothes, were nonetheless more concerned about their weight
and more dissatisfied with their bodies, on average, than were the
women living in Los Angeles.91
We will see in the next section that men also have to compete,
in those areas that women care about. Still, it seems unfair, in some
cosmic sense, that men can attract women in different ways—through
success in politics, business, sports or music, for instance—whereas
for women so much depends on how they look. As a thoughtful author
of a book on beauty puts it, “Every woman finds herself, without her
consent, entered into a beauty contest with every other woman.”92
As long as men love female beauty, women will care about
their appearance. And the “male gaze” so often attacked bySex 61
mainstream feminists will continue to please as well as annoy. As a
younger woman, writer Anne Roche Muggeridge hated the street
taunts and the “horrid, cold-faced girl-watching in school corridors
and pubs.” But, like most women, she enjoyed being “approvingly
noticed.” She even liked—“very much” liked—the clearest sign of
such notice, the wolf-whistle:
Girls don’t know whether they are pretty or not. They stand in despair
in front of their mirrors and wail to their mothers: I look so ugly!
[Mothers reassure,] and the daughters don’t believe it. But when a
group of young, handsome male strangers spontaneously burst into
a chorus of admiring notes, a girl must, even in her confusion and
diffidence, experience a glow of pleasure and a dawning self-
Muggeridge wishes she were still in “the being-whistled-at age
bracket.”93 Other women approaching their fifties also feel a loss
because men no longer gaze at them in “that safe but sexual kind
of way.”94 Indeed, feminists such as Germaine Greer are among those
who have complained about becoming invisible to men as they grow
It is impossible to please these women. Damned if u whistle, damned if u dont…
It also reminds me of a similarly natural but irrational man thing: trying to impress prostitutes. maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/book-review-superfreakonomics/
A few years ago, a student brought me a romance novel, Laura
Taylor’s Anticipation, that was used in her course on women’s lit-
erature. She said the climactic scene appeared to her to be a rape.
In it Spence declares that Viva and he will marry, and Viva asserts
they will not. Her blue eyes flash as she walks out of the room toward
her bedroom. He follows, relieves her of her wine glass, and smiles
at the outraged expression on her face. He scoops her up and deposits
her on the bed while shedding his clothes in record time. She glares
at him and says, “Are you deaf?” He gently topples her on her back.
Leaning over her, he efficiently jerked the front of her caftan apart,
sending dozens of buttons flying every which way, then stripped it
off her body.
“What do you think you are doing?” she demanded as she glared
He watched her nipples tighten into mauve nuggets that invited his
mouth. “Easing your tension,” he announced in a matter of fact tone,
despite the heat flooding his loins and engorging his sex. He came
down over her, his hips lodging between her thighs, his upper body
weight braced by his arms. “As sexist as that probably sounds.”
She squirmed, trying to free herself, and a sound of fury burst out
of her when she failed to budge him.
Spence abruptly says their children should have names. She asks
what children; they are not getting married. He declares his love.
She asks if he is sure. He’s “‘never been more sure of anything in
my life.’” He asks if she will make babies and grow old with him.
“‘Yes, Yes, Yes!’” Then they make love “as their bodies, hearts and
souls mated forever.”141
This is very rough sex, in which consent comes only after the
man has forcefully and matter-of-factly stripped off the woman’s
clothes and placed his nude and aroused body between her legs. It
comes as the high point in a fantasy aimed at women.
There have been many academic studies of sexual fantasies.
One of the most interesting has found that pornographic films can
be classified by theme. Of the nine themes reported by psychologist
Roy Baumeister, the one that was by far the most sexually arousing
involved a woman who was initially reluctant to have sex but changed
her mind during the scene and became an active willing participant
in sexual activity.142 [This study and another] suggest that the woman’s
transition from no to yes, as an idea, increases sexual excitement.
A review of the literature on sexual fantasies found that fantasies
of being overpowered and forced to have sex were far more common
among women than men. In some studies, over half the female sam-
ple reported fantasies of being overpowered, and other research found
a third of women endorsing such specific fantasies as being a slave
who must obey a man’s every wish. When women are given lists of
sexual fantasies to choose among, that of being forced sexually is
sometimes the first or second most frequently chosen one.
And the ubiquitous rape fantasies: www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201001/womens-rape-fantasies-how-common-what-do-they-mean
To proliferate their genes, our male ancestors either mated with
many women or promoted their offspring’s survival by supporting
and defending the mother and children. In a subculture where it is
possible to take either the quantity or the quality approach to sir-
ing the next generation, McSeed, with less of what social scientists
call “embodied capital” than more mainstream males, is better able
to succeed with the quantity approach.60 A white version of McSeed
was more recently in the news when the Wisconsin Supreme Court
afﬁrmed a judgment forbidding a man named David Oakley from
having any more children until he supported those he already had.
Oakley, an unemployed factory worker, had nine children by four
that doesnt sound legal… where is the eugenics police?
besides, quality vs. quantity, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory
besides, the roles that fathers can provide: resources and protection, we now have the state to be and the police. to be sure, fathers are still those paying for the state and hence the police, but they arent the immediate helper, making them seem less important.
In addition, one letter writer had a question about how to greet
a guy she had hooked up with who never called again, and another
asked whether the guy she slept with on the ﬁrst date will think she
is a total slut. The “advice guy” responded that it depends on the
guy. A poll in another issue, however, found that 76 percent of male
respondents said they would not date again any girl they slept with
on the ﬁrst date.
No source given. Really? why does it matter?
Men want more space than women do. In the workplace, men
have a much stronger desire than women for jobs with no close
supervision. Studies show that women like to be alone within the
conﬁnes of a bedroom or an ofﬁce, whereas men are more likely to
need real isolation—a long drive or a trip to the mountains. Think
also of those frequently solitary and overwhelmingly male pastimes,
hunting and ﬁshing. No matter how good their relationships, men
are far more likely than women to report that they need free time
to relax and pursue hobbies away from their mates.119
Boys do travel in large groups, bonded by a mutual interest in
the same activities; but they are relatively more attached to things,
less to people. From childhood, girls but not boys focus on close
relationships and, especially, a best friend.120 When female college
students tell stories about themselves, they speak of friends and com-
munity; they are often giving or receiving advice, and if they act
alone, something bad happens. Men’s stories are very frequently
about acting alone in contests, and they have happy outcomes.121
There is an okcupid question on this one can data mine:
Very – I need some ME time to be happy
Sort of – I need friends outside of my partner
Not much – I like sharing stuff with my partner
I’d prefer not to have exclusive things
Moreover, it is a massive risk to rely on modern medicine to
help reset the biological clock and make late childbirth safer. Recent
studies have revealed increased rates of major birth defects in infants
born through intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertil-
ization over those conceived naturally. Even after controlling for the
age of the mother and other factors, a child conceived by either IVF
or ICSI is still more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with a major
birth defect than is a naturally conceived child.135
probably due to insufficient embryo selection: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_quality
Women in their late twenties are, with reason, much more pes-
simistic today about ever marrying.139 Studies show that “the older
she gets, the harder it is for a college-educated woman to ﬁnd a hus-
band.” College-educated women “tend to seek husbands who are
slightly older and have even higher levels of education and achieve-
ment than they do,”140 but the number of men in this already lim-
ited pool declines as women age. So it is not surprising that 63 percent
of women hope to meet their future husband in college. They will
never again be surrounded by so many eligible men who share their
interests and aspirations.
One wonders about the effects of the fact that there are now about 2 women per 1 man with a university degree. If womens hypergamy leads them to select blindly for degrees, there will be a lack of such men. Uh oh!
What does one say to a boy who continually badgers a girl for
oral sex? Or who sticks his crotch in the girl’s face? The answer is
that we can’t say much if we assume that there are no differences
between males and females. We often can get young people to be
more considerate by saying, “How would you feel if someone did
that to you?” That might work if a boy took a girl’s book bag. If
we say, “How would you feel if she did that to you” about the crotch-
in-the-face stunt, the boy is likely to say, “That would be great.”
Most boys don’t ﬁnd this sort of behavior degrading or obnox-
ious. Why should they believe that girls do? If sex is recreational,
why is it degrading?
Another failing of the golden rule. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule
the generalized failure condition for that is when people do not share interests or desires. if one tries to fix it one gets: act so that ur actions is what the other desires… which is just preference utilitarianism on a local level. ;)
Starting education early might be expected to improve the
school performance of inner-city children; and this does hold true
for girls. Those who went through Head Start are only one-third as
likely as girls of similar socioeconomic backgrounds to drop out of
high school years later. But for boys, Head Start seems to have no
effect on high school completion rates.104
cite goes to: Mathews and Strauss, 2000.
Mathews, Jay, and Valerie Strauss. 2000. Head Start Works for Girls.
Washington Post, 10 October.
I re-read Murrays description of Head Start studies.
This brings us to the third-grade follow-up of the national impact assessment of Head Start, submitted to the government in October and released to the public late last year. Head Start has been operating since the 1960s. After decades of evaluations that mostly showed no effects, Congress decided in 1998 to mandate a large-scale, rigorous, independent evaluation of Head Start’s impact, including randomized assignment, representative samplings of programs and a comprehensive set of outcomes observed over time.
Of the 47 outcome measures reported separately for the 3- year-old and 4-year-old cohorts that were selected for the treatment group, 94 separate results in all, only six of them showed a statistically significant difference between the treatment and control group at the .05 level of probability — just a little more than the number you would expect to occur by chance. The evaluators, recognizing this, applied a statistical test that guards against such “false discoveries.” Out of the 94 measures, just two survived that test, one positive and one negative.
The executive summary is here:
In summary, there were initial positive impacts from having access to Head Start, but
by the end of 3rd grade there were very few impacts found for either cohort in any of the four
domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices. The few impacts that
were found did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impacts for children.
Head start does NOT WORK.
But the progress that Senator Kennedy wants will come at the
expense of lost opportunities for still more male athletes. From 1985
to 1997, over 21,000 collegiate spots for male athletes disappeared.
Over 359 teams for men have disappeared just since 1992.8
Christine Stolba of the Independent Women’s Forum commented to the
Title IX commission that “Between 1993 and 1999 alone 53 men’s
golf teams, 39 men’s track teams, 43 wrestling teams, and 16 base-
ball teams have been eliminated. The University of Miami’s diving
team, which has produced 15 Olympic athletes, is gone.”9
I didnt know anyone was foolish enuf to have affirmative action for sports…
But the Ofﬁce of Civil Rights in the Department of Education
rules that cheerleading and competitive dance are not sports, and
that participants do not count for Title IX compliance purposes.
The principal problem seems to be that cheerleaders and dance teams
usually perform to raise spirit at contests played by other, usually
male, athletes.92 As one ex-cheerleader told me, cheerleading has a
selﬂess quality—it’s getting people to yell for other people.
Apparently it doesn’t matter if these people compete as well
as cheer for others. The Office of Civil Rights deems that at least
half their appearances must be in a competitive setting, or their activ-
ity is not a sport. In response, the University of Maryland recently
divided its cheerleading team into a “spirit squad” and a competi-
tive squad. The latter group will perform only at competitions and
will be eligible for scholarship money, a move “designed to keep
Maryland in compliance with Title IX while returning some schol-
arships to the school’s eight underfunded men’s programs.”
Senior team member Erin Valenti opted to stay with the spirit
squad, which must fundraise to cover its costs. “They’re splitting
us only so they can convince whoever the head of Title IX is that
cheerleading can be considered a sport,” she said. “To make it a
sport, you’re taking out the whole reason to do cheering to begin
with.” That is, the cheering part.93
The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Web page contains a posi-
tion statement supporting the current policies that deny sports sta-
tus to cheerleaders who compete less than they cheer for others.94
But the Web page also has a “Women’s Sports on TV” section that
includes listings for yoga and aerobics shows.95 If yoga and aero-
bics are sports, why aren’t cheerleading and dance?
I rather universities did not have these sports stuff. Its a US thing, or at least DA universities do not do this. They do something else tho, have science show competitions.
there is a european page about it here: wiki.europhysicsfun.org/
Not only do these feminists want to limit women’s choices, but
NOW also wants to withhold information that might lead women
to make the “wrong” choices. I noted earlier that many highly edu-
cated women greatly overestimate their chances of getting pregnant
after age forty. In the summer of 2002, the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine wanted to place public service ads in shop-
ping malls and movie theaters that could have helped correct this
misinformation. The ads were designed to enable women to make
reproductive choices based on the facts. In particular, they wanted
to tell women how they could prevent infertility.
The opposition of groups such as NOW aborted the whole
program. The ad that particularly angered NOW contained the mes-
sage: “Advancing Age Decreases Your Ability to Have Children.”
NOW accused the doctors of using “scare tactics.” They further
argued that “the ads sent a negative message to women who might
want to delay or skip childbearing in favor of career pursuits.”139
Some sleep scientists believe that the mothers’ breathing and
heartbeat would help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
if Western mothers slept with their children. This view is controver-
sial with some U.S. doctors who emphasize the instances of adults
inadvertently suffocating babies who share their bed.196 Nonethe-
less, the international comparisons are striking. The U.S. has far and
away the highest rate of SIDS in the world (2 per 1,000)—ten times
higher than Japan and one hundred times higher than Hong Kong,
both countries where mothers routinely sleep with their children. In
most of the world, parents sleep with their young children, and the
lowest incidences of SIDS are in societies with widespread co-sleeping.
Sounds too easy to be true. According to Wiki, it is: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome
I wrote Meg and asked if she did not think that people have a
tendency to say that things—like marriage—are not all that impor-
tant to them if they think that there is a decent chance they won’t
happen. Psychologically, it’s tough to get through days if things you
desperately want aren’t happening; it seems logical to downplay
their importance. So perhaps it can be tough for women to be hon-
est with themselves about their own desires.
She replied in the afﬁrmative:
I’d say your point about downplaying goals that seem out of reach
is quite valid. The problem is that it’s self-perpetuating; for societal
reasons marriage and family become difﬁcult to obtain, thus women
deny that they want these things, thus they become even more difﬁ-
cult to obtain because they’ve been deprioritized.
They do not generally understand female-style emotional support.
They are used to helping a pal by downplaying his troubles or giv-
ing advice, not by sympathetically hearing him out. In one study,
98 percent of wives reported that they wanted their husbands to
talk more about their thoughts and feelings.17 For men, problems
call for advice or action, not talk. When told he should show his
wife more affection, one man went home and washed her car.18
Very common problem in M-F relationships, i think.