Race Differences in Behavior

Remembering a Scientific Pioneer—Arthur R. Jensen (1923–2012)

Jen-sen-ism (jen’se niz’em), n. the theory that an individual’s IQ is largely due to heredity, including racial heritage. [1965-1970]; after Arthur R. Jensen (born 1923), U.S. educational psychologist, who proposed such a theory; see -ism]—Jen’sen-ist, Jen’sen-ite’, n., adj.

— The Random House and Webster’s Unabridged Dictionaries

Arthur Jensen’s death on October 22 is a pathetic reminder of the strangehold of political correctness on our society. To the extent that it has been mentioned at all, Professor Jensen’s death has been contextualized in such a manner that leaves little doubt among readers that Jensen was wrong about his ideas on race differences in IQ. Thus the New York Times obituary mentions Stephen Jay Gould’s critique of IQ testing, despite Gould’s well-established track record as a leftist activist who likely engaged in fraud to support his views (see also here). The obituary also gives far less prominence to Jensen than to one Sonja C. Grover, an educational psychologist at Lakehead University in Ontario who feels that “you cannot separate social science from human rights.”

However it also quotes Prof. James Flynn whose work has indicated rising intelligence over recent decades and has taken the rather cautious view that “The best we can say is that it is more probable that the I.Q. gap between black and white is entirely environmental in origin.”

“Jensen was a true scientist, and he was without racial bias,” Professor Flynn added. “It never occurred to Arthur Jensen that people would use his data to argue for racial supremacy. Now, to be fair to his critics, over time he became more and more convinced that the evidence did show a genetic component.”

I suppose we should be grateful for the statement that Jensen was a true scientist, but how in the world are his critics supported by the simple fact that Jensen continued to believe that racial differences were genetically influenced when his own views are hardly a ringing endorsement of environmentalism? Read more

Race realism: Breaking into the mainstream

A friend  and I were talking about Arthur Jensen–the psychologist who reignited the race and IQ debate with his 1969 paper “How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?” published in the Harvard Educational Review. My friend said that starting with that paper there had been a huge amount of supportive research published in reputable academic journals like Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences. There have also been major works like The Bell Curve that provoked a national discussion in newspapers and intellectual media. And there have been major works by J. Philippe Rushton and Richard Lynn published by academic presses.

The thrust of my friend’s comments was that it was just a matter of time before it becomes standard wisdom, informing all respectable discussions of the issue, even among politicians and the mainstream media. Read more

How Jewish is The Social Network?

The Jewish Social Network

The Jewish Social Network

A recent article in The Jewish Chronicle asks, How Jewish is Facebook?

Very.

The basic idea of Facebook, creating a simple and exclusive alternative to MySpace, isn’t Jewish. But the project was hijacked when the gullible Winklevoss twins entrusted Mark Zuckerberg and his accomplice, Eduardo Saverin, to help execute the project. (See also Kevin MacDonald’s review.) The movie adaptation of this true story is a fevered Jewish revenge fantasy against their hapless arch-enemies, the reviled WASP “insiders.” Both the book, by Ben Mezrich,  and the screenplay, by Aaron Sorkin,  wallow in defeating the earnest brothers, heaping these two iconic American Christians with humiliation after humiliation.

The schadenfreud reaches hysterical proportions in this scene where they narrowly lose a rowing competition…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdDeui011iA

And what did these honest and trusting twins do to deserve this antipathy? Better yet, what did White America do to deserve this antipathy? How, when the President of Harvard himself is a powerful Jewish oligarch who laughed the twins out of his office, can Mezrich see himself, his people, or Zuckerberg as the sympathetic underdogs in this context? It’s simple: he’s Jewish and sympathizes with his own. To ask why he hates them is to make the same mistake the Winklevii made: grasping for a universal honor code in a tribal universe.

Mezrich explains why he hates them… Read more

Too Hot to Miss: Above the Law Debates Race and Intelligence

Legal blog Above the Law posted a Harvard law student’s e-mail suggesting that race and intelligence might be linked — and it set off a highly unusual debate between the original poster, Elie Mystal (who is partly black) and the blog’s founder, David Lat (who is partly Asian).  The comments are a must-read.

In a rare move, Lat, a former federal prosecutor, posts in the comments and backs the Harvard Law student:

Let me play devil’s advocate for a second….

If we accept “race” as a biological concept — which I realize is questionable, becoming diluted through intermarriage, etc. — is it really so insane to suggest that some races might, ON AVERAGE, possess certain qualities to a greater or lesser degree than other races?

For example, would it be racist to say that, ON AVERAGE, African-Americans are taller than Asian-Americans? Or that Caucasians are more likely to have blond hair than Asian-Americans?

Mystal provides a lengthy response, summing that it’s “insane” to believe such a thing.  But of course.

A great point from Lat — made by race realists for years — is that it’s impossible to deny that race exists while maintaining affirmative action policies at the same time.

I for one am encouraged that 1) a Harvard law student is at least aware of — and doesn’t reject out of hand — a race/intelligence link, and 2) that an Internet pundit like Lat would put in a cautious defense and 3) that the entire business is now spilled over onto the Internet for robust consideration.  Is the Internet helping to dismantle one of the biggest myths of the 20th Century?

Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist. Email him

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The Dissolution of the Family among Non-Elite Whites: Review of “Red Families v. Blue Families” by Naomi Cahn and June Carbone

I heard Naomi Cahn and June Carbone talk about their book, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture (Oxford, 2010), on Commie Radio Pacifica, so you can be sure there is a “progressive” message. As summarized in their op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor, the idea is that families in Blue State America are thriving, while families in Red State America are failing because they are too hung up on old fashioned ideas like sexual abstinence.

There is an obvious dishonesty in this approach because it completely ignores race in the analysis in an effort to pin the blame on traditional sexual beliefs and customs. Blacks and Latinos who live in urban areas and in very Blue States exhibit high rates of teenage pregnancy, non-marriage, and dropping out of the education process — much higher than Whites in Red State America.

So what they are really trying to explain is variation in family patterns among White people. And there they have a point. Red State White America is in a crisis. (Indeed, it’s no accident that Red State America is where most of the much-commented-on White anger is coming from.) The data they are summarizing really relate to some of the correlates of education which are in turn linked to IQ. But we have known at least since The Bell Curve that higher IQ people not only are more likely to go further in the  educational system, they are more likely to have stable marriages, they don’t have babies outside of marriage, and they begin child bearing later. These people are more likely to live in large urban and suburban areas where there are jobs for educated people.

The Whites in non-urban Red State America have a lot to be angry about. The present economic crisis is just the most recent disaster in the long pattern of dispossession of Whites who are less educated. Good jobs in the private sector have pretty much evaporated — the unions are gone and the jobs have been shipped overseas. These people see their communities invaded by racial and cultural aliens, many of them illegal, making a middle class life impossible. They see themselves losing political power to the coalition of minorities and elite Whites that has become the Democratic Party.

As The Bell Curve emphasized, since World War II the cognitive elite are pulling away from the rest of America. Hard economic times only make it worse.

And hard times are always difficult on families. As Cahn and Carbone note, “the latest studies show that as the economy has gone south, teen and nonmarital births and abortions have all increased. … Employment figures also demonstrate that male employment has fallen even further than female employment, making youthful weddings that much riskier.”

In evolutionary terms, the high-investment style of reproduction becomes non-viable as men are unable to provide for their families. Women start having babies sooner and don’t expect to receive support from males over a long period of time, especially where welfare programs are available.

Being on the left, however, C & C use this opportunity to propose that the real culprit is traditional family values. If we could just get rid of those Bible Belt ideas, all would be well:

Missing from this debate is recognition of the bankruptcy of traditionalist family values as policy for the postindustrial era. …

In the United States, states that emphasize abstinence-only education, limit public subsidies of contraception, restrict access to abortion – and, yes, oppose gay marriage – have higher teen birth and divorce rates.

Yet the failure of the family values movement simply produces another round of moral panic and calls for more draconian restrictions.

Their solution combines typical leftist utopianism with a very real program of lowering the birth rate of people with traditional values.

The solution? As we outline in great detail in our book “Red Families v. Blue Families,” there are three critical steps we can take: (1) promote access to contraception – within marriage as well as outside it; (2) develop a greater ability to combine not only work and family, but family and education; and (3) make sure the next generation stays in school, learns the skills to be employed, and cultivates values that can adapt to the future.

This is a nice distillation of the bizarre idea that all Americans have the potential to be college graduates with lots of skills suitable for a post-industrial economy. IQ never enters the equation. But this utopian future is just not going to happen. A far better program would be to provide better economic opportunities for White people, especially White males, whose prospects have been blunted by the present regime.

The fact is that traditional sexual attitudes worked perfectly well in the West to produce a very adaptive culture of high-investment parenting combined with individualist social institutions. C & C attempt to tar traditional values with the stigma of Muslim and African societies where female virtue is prized: “We are entirely sympathetic with those inclined to lock up their daughters from puberty until marriage, but we do recognize that the societies abroad most insistent on policing women’s virtue are locked into cycles of poverty.”

But there is no reason to suppose that the problem with Muslim and African societies is policing the sexual behavior of women. Other traits of these cultures are far more likely culprits,  including low average IQ and social institutions like cousin marriage and clan-based social and political systems.

The reality is that social support for high-investment parenting has always been a critical feature of Western social structure until the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Since then, all of the markers of family stability have headed south  — including divorce rates and births out of wedlock for all races and ethnic groups. (Nevertheless, there are very large differences between races and ethnic groups in conformity with Rushton’s lifespan theory of race differences.)

But this relative lack of social support for marriage has had very different effects depending on traits like IQ. For example, a well-known study in behavior genetics shows that the heritability of age of first sexual intercourse increased dramatically after the sexual revolution of the 1960s. In other words, after the social supports for traditional sexuality disappeared, genetic influences became more important. Before the sexual revolution, traditional sexual mores applied to everyone. After the revolution, genes mattered more. People with higher IQ were able to produce stable families and marriages, but lower IQ people were less prone to doing so, and these trends have been exacerbated by the current economic climate. Hence the Red State/Blue State dichotomy among White people observed by C & C.

And this brings me to thinking about Jews and particularly Jewish influence on sexual culture. In their book, C & C note that Jews tend to exhibit  the Blue State pattern— an unsurprising result given Jewish IQ patterns. A theme of Chapter 4 of The Culture of Critique is that the psychoanalytic assault on traditional Western sexual culture had a disparate impact on different IQ groups and benefited Jews:

Jews suffer to a lesser extent than [non-Jews] from the erosion of cultural supports for high-investment parenting, and Jews benefit by the decline in religious belief among [non-Jews]. As [Norman] Podhoretz (1995, 30) notes, it is in fact the case that Jewish intellectuals, Jewish organizations like the AJCongress, and Jewish-dominated organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union … have ridiculed Christian religious beliefs, attempted to undermine the public strength of Christianity, and have led the fight for unrestricted pornography. The evidence of this chapter indicates that psychoanalysis as a Jewish-dominated intellectual movement is a central component of this war on [non-Jewish] cultural supports for high-investment parenting. …

Although other factors are undoubtedly involved, it is remarkable that the increasing trend toward low-investment parenting in the United States largely coincides with the triumph of the psychoanalytic and radical critiques of American culture represented by the political and cultural success of the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s.

I then go into the academic version of the ideas presented here, especially the greater importance of social controls and traditional religious beliefs for people on the left side of the Bell Curve. (See here, in the  Conclusion).

There is nothing wrong with traditional Western sexual codes. C & C are trying to rationalize the destruction of the last vestiges of that culture by noting that people with traditional religious ideas on sexuality increasingly behave in ways that are contrary to those beliefs. But the problem is not the traditional culture. Rather it is the economic dispossession of non-elite Whites combined with a media culture that glorifies expressive individualism and uninhibited sexuality (i.e., drugs, sex, and Rock ‘n’ Roll) — a media culture that, in my view, was critically shaped by the Jewish intellectual movements reviewed in The  Culture of Critique.

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Brain imaging evidence for the genetic basis of IQ and behavioral restraint

A UCLA study points to very high heritability of IQ and behavioral restraint–probably the two most important traits in the modern world. It also points to the brain mechanisms responsible for differences in these traits. Paul Thompson and his colleagues

used a new type of brain-imaging scanner to show that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain’s axons, or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain. The faster the signaling, the faster the brain processes information. And since the integrity of the brain’s wiring is influenced by genes, the genes we inherit play a far greater role in intelligence than was previously thought.

Genes appear to influence intelligence by determining how well nerve axons are encased in myelin — the fatty sheath of “insulation” that coats our axons and allows for fast signaling bursts in our brains. The thicker the myelin, the faster the nerve impulses.

For example, the connections in the parietal lobe associated with math and logic are 85% heritable, while the connections in the frontal lobe responsible for working memory and  for inhibiting impulsive behavior are 65% heritable. Behavioral restraint not really IQ  but relate to behavioral control–things like being able to inhibit immediate gratification and plan for the future . These are traits that show important race differences associated with criminality, especially impulsive criminality (as opposed, say, to most white collar crime).

The difficulty for the left will be to convincingly argue that the sorts of interventions they have been championing will really change brain myelination. As noted in my previous blog, they seem to be running out of ideas on how to improve educability of low-IQ populations, and Head Start doesn’t work either. They may take comfort in the possibility that genetic engineering could actually do the trick:

And could this someday lead to a therapy that could make us smarter, enhancing our intelligence?
“It’s a long way off but within the realm of the possible,” Thompson said.
This sort of gene therapy would be socially beneficial because it would increase educability and behavioral restraint. But it certainly would not be a panacea for White ethnic interests. Indeed, it would make these groups more competitive while not making them less ethnocentric.

When will they finally start talking about IQ?

Diane Ravitch’s recent LA Times op-ed (“The Big Idea — it’s bad education policy“) opposes “Big Ideas” in education policy, but what it is really saying is that the educational establishment is running out of ideas. “We now face a wave of education reforms based on the belief that school choice, test-driven accountability and the resulting competition will dramatically improve student achievement.” She argues that none of this is working:

Today there is empirical evidence, and it shows clearly that choice, competition and accountability as education reform levers are not working. But with confidence bordering on recklessness, the Obama administration is plunging ahead, pushing an aggressive program of school reform — codified in its signature Race to the Top program — that relies on the power of incentives and competition. This approach may well make schools worse, not better. …

On the federal tests, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, from 2003 to 2009, charters have never outperformed public schools. Nor have black and Latino students in charter schools performed better than their counterparts in public schools.

When charter schools have performed well, it’s because of selection: Better, more motivated children attend them, and this does  nothing for the masses of Black and Latino children. Holding teachers accountable doesn’t work either.

But if course, Ravitch can’t really come to grips with the problem. In pointing to things that could affect student achievement besides teachers, she comes up with this list:  “students’ motivation, the schools’ curriculum, family support, poverty and distractions on testing day, such as the weather or even a dog barking in the school’s parking lot.”

No mention of IQ — 16 years after The Bell Curve placed IQ and the intractability of changing became front and center for the American public. Coming on the heels of the finding that the Head Start pre-school program has no demonstrable effects on IQ or academic achievement, one would think that at long last it would start to dawn on people that there are no easy solutions because no one has come up with a way to improve IQ. The result is that race differences in achievement are going to be here long into the future. And that means that importing millions of low-IQ people is a long term disaster for the country.

Ravitch herself seems to have given up the fight. There are no Big Ideas that will work, so she advocates returning to a well-rounded curriculum rather than the Obama Administration’s focus on math and reading. If you can’t teach them to read or do math, you might as well entertain them by having them do art and music.

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