Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In 2011, whites lean Republican across the board

Don't look now, but the Sailer strategy is implementing itself, even if the focus of GOP head honchos like Ed Gillespie remains elsewhere. Pew Research just released a report comparing political leanings by demographic group in 2008 and 2011. The following table, comprised of data from that report, shows the Democratic or Republican advantage in partisan support in 2008 and 2011 followed by the change over that period of time, with blue indicating a change beneficial to Democrats and red indicating a change beneficial to Republicans. All white and black figures are for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks only:

Group
'08 advantage
'11 advantage
Change '08-'11
Whites
2
13
11
Blacks
82
78
4
Hispanics
38
42
4
Jews
52
29
23
Whites only
x
x
x
Men
11
21
10
Women
7
5
12
18-29 (age)
7
11
18
30-49
7
19
12
50-64
0
9
9
65+
2
12
10
College grad
1
7
8
Some college
5
16
11
High school or less
1
17
16
$75k+ (annually)
11
14
3
$30k-$75k
1
16
15
Less than $30k
15
4
19
Northeast
12
1
11
Midwest
3
14
17
South
15
22
7
West
2
9
11

Despite putative frustration with the Obama administration's 'lack of action' on "comprehensive immigration reform" and the national Republican party's leadership continued obsession with "reaching out" to Hispanics, Hispanic support for Democrats has actually solidified a bit in the last three years. And despite Cornell West's inability to see why blacks would support the president, the vast majority still do (not at all surprisingly). As a gentile, I never feel as though I have much of a grasp on Jewish psychology, but the easy explanation for a substantial slackening in Jewish support for Democrats is the Obama administration's continued strained relationship with Israel.

The big story concerns whites, especially younger and less affluent ones, who have shifted significantly towards the GOP during Obama's presidency. The hipness of hope and change that memorized a few years ago has given way to the realities many white 20-somethings face, having moved back into their childhood bedrooms with little prospect of being able to get out from under a boatload of college loans anytime soon, having to compete with an expanding pool of low-skilled labor for even entry-level work.

The Sailer strategy is going to be a focal point of an upcoming NPI conference in Washington DC, but pithily, it directs the Republican party to structure itself and strive towards policies that benefit its white base rather than be leftist-lite by pandering to groups naturally antagonistic towards it and paying homage to the supposedly legion (but never articulated) benefits of diversity.

Notice how whites of both sexes and all ages and educational and income levels currently back the GOP. Even in the Northeast, the one region of the country where the majority of whites have consistently voted Democrat for decades, white support is now split.

By bringing attention back home and away from nation-building efforts in the sandpits and teetering peaks of the third-world, the "debt crisis" and the rapid growth in deficit spending have thrust Republican legislators into Sailer strategy leadership roles, even if the tactics they are employing are not explicitly acknowledged (and I'm not sure Steve recommends Republican leaders doing so even if the GOP were to embrace his strategy).

Federal government spending in the US results from resources largely being taken from whites and disproportionately given to non-whites. When times are tough economically and non-beneficiaries of government largess perceive themselves to be suffering, the insistence on protecting those benefiting from that largess (whether it be through direct welfare payments or through employment in cushy government jobs that are disproportionately held by blacks) has the consequence of pitting whites against non-whites. Further, whites have relatively greater affinity than NAMs do for programs the Obama administration has shown the greatest willingness to give a haircut to, like NASA and Social Security.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Profile of an alpha

Game, as it currently exists, is a qualitative subject rather than a quantitative one. That qualitative narrative bumps up uncomfortably against the hard data available, so the latter is either minimized or dismissed outright. While this is not the primary reason I find that Game and human biodiversity make strange bedfellows (the primary reason being that the utility of Game is inversely related to the importance of HBD), I'm inherently skeptical of anything that lives by anecdote alone.

Consequently, I seek to interject empirical information into the subject of Game whenever I am able to. We've previously seen that in the US sexual activity has remained steady or declined gently over the last couple of decades, that men of all races with fewer partners have more children than men with many partners do, and that men who cheat have more kids than men who don't but women who cheat have fewer kids than women who do not.

Now, we'll try and add some insights into the demographic characteristics of alphas and betas. Propitiously, the GSS has a great question that, according to the Game narrative, gets right at a crucial distinction between alphas and betas: Alphas do not put the objects of their affection before themselves, while betas do.

The question asks the respondent if he agrees with the statement that he would rather suffer himself than have a woman he is in a relationship with suffer. Being openly willing to suffer for a lover is clearly the mark of a beta. If you're engaged in pumping-and-dumping, the girl is in the process of suffering for your pleasure even as the GSS question is being considered. Your answer is obvious.

Responses are on a five point scale, from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing. Not surprisingly, a majority of men strongly agree--chivalrous ideals are not dead, and by definition betas outnumber alphas. Where the alpha-beta dividing line among the four other responses is placed is contingent upon what percentage of the total male population is alpha and what percentage is beta. Of course the Game narrative does not maintain that an absolute dichotomy exists, but for empirical purposes distinctions have to be made somewhere.

In his definitive post on what constitutes an alpha, Roissy puts the low end ("lesser") alpha at 7 on the 0-10 point scale, while Adonis ("greater alpha") is obviously at 10. Since it's actually an 11 point scale, the 0-6 beta and omega range comprises 64% of the population while the 7-10 alpha range comprises the remaining 36%. Separating the "strongly agree" beta response from the other four yields a 69.3%/30.7% split, corresponding very well to the chart included in Roissy's post. As Roissy is one of the Game narrative's intellectual giants, this is how the alpha/beta split is defined in what proceeds.

The following tables show what percentage of men in each of the respective demographic categories are alphas and what percentage are betas. As the question was only posed in 2004 (622 men answered the question), Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans are combined--much to the President's relief--into the "other" category:

Party
Alpha
Beta
Republican
24.7%
75.3%
Independent
27.6%
72.4%
Democrat
37.2%
62.8%

Philosophy
Alpha
Beta
Conservative
25.4%
74.6%
Moderate
30.1%
69.9%
Liberal
40.7%
59.3%

Race
Alpha
Beta
White
27.9%
72.1%
Black
42.9%
57.1%
Other
39.5%
60.5%

Kids?
Alpha
Beta
Yes
25.0%
75.0%
No
41.1%
58.9%

Married?
Alpha
Beta
Yes
22.6%
77.4%
No
42.5%
57.5%

Go to bar
Alpha
Beta
At least once a month
36.1%
63.9%
Less than monthly
26.7%
73.3%

Go to church
Alpha
Beta
Never
42.5%
57.5%
Less than monthly
30.3%
69.7%
Less than weekly
34.4%
65.6%
Weekly+
18.9%
81.1%

Education
Alpha
Beta
Less than high school
36.5%
63.5%
High school
29.4%
70.6%
Some college
28.7%
71.3%
Bachelor's degree
33.4%
66.6%
Post-graduate
28.0%
72.0%

Lifetime partners
Alpha
Beta
1
20.3%
79.7%
2-5
29.3%
70.7%
6-10
26.7%
73.3%
11-20
29.6%
70.4%
21+
34.6%
65.4%

Unfortunately, belief in God and wordsum scores were not cross-referenced with the question, so church attendance and educational attainment are about the closest proxies available. Speaking of, betas are slightly more educated than alphas are, but the differences are minor.

Excepting that, they are fairly pronounced. Alphas are disproportionately non-white (especially black), non-religious, unmarried, liberal, Democratic, childless, bar-goers who have been with a lot of women--in short, the glue that holds Western Civilization together! The good news for the ladies is that demographic trends portend more alphas and fewer betas in the future. Tingle tingle!

GSS variables used: AGAPE1, RACECEN(1)(2)(3-16), SEX(1), PARTYID(0-2)(3)(4-6), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), CHILDS(0)(1-8), EDUC(0-11)(12)(13-15)(16-17)(18-20), MARITAL(1)(2-5), NUMWOMEN(1)(2-5)(6-10)(11-20)(21-800), SOCBAR(1-4)(5-7), ATTEND(0)(1-3)(4-6)(7-8)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happiness by occupation

As I've been on a happiness trip as of late, it seemed natural to look at happiness levels by occupation. The GSS uses the international standard classification of occupations (ISCO88) to record the occupations of respondents and routinely asks a three point question on self-assessed personal happiness. To facilitate comprehension, scores are inverted so that higher values indicate greater levels of happiness. To achieve some level of statistical rigor, only occupations with more than 35 respondents are included:

Occupation
Happiness
1. Clergyman
2.66
2. Actor
2.51
3. Architect
2.47
4. Firefighter
2.44
5. Police officer
2.40
6. Physician
2.39
7. Teacher
2.38
7. Economist
2.38
7. Real estate agent
2.38
10. Electrical engineer
2.37
10. College professor
2.37
12. Accountant
2.36
13. Sales representative
2.35
14. Dental hygienist
2.33
15. Civil engineer
2.31
15. Bricklayer
2.31
17. Computer systems analyst
2.30
17. Registered nurse
2.30
17. Insurance agent
2.30
17. Secretary
2.30
21. Attorney
2.29
21. Psychologist
2.29
21. Child care worker
2.29
24. Government official
2.28
24. Stockbroker
2.28
26. Social worker
2.27
26. Engineering technician
2.27
26. Bank teller
2.27
26. Receptionist
2.27
30. Bus driver
2.26
31. Author
2.25
31. Physical therapist
2.25
33. Maid
2.24
34. Computer programmer
2.23
34. Mechanical engineer
2.23
36. Mail carrier
2.22
36. Barber
2.22
36. Butcher
2.22
39. Stenographer
2.21
39. Electrician
2.21
41. Librarian
2.19
41. Retail salesman
2.19
41. Plumber
2.19
41. Tool-and-die maker
2.19
41. Taxi driver
2.19
41. Truck driver
2.19
47. Carpet and tile installer
2.17
47. Sheet metal worker
2.17
49. Artist (fine art)
2.16
49. Welder
2.16
51.Telephone operator
2.15
51. Waiter
2.15
51. Security guard
2.15
51. Painter
2.15
55. Licensed practical nurse
2.14
56. Aircraft mechanic
2.12
57. Forklift operator
2.09
58. Cashier
2.08
58. Automobile mechanic
2.08
60. Data entry clerk
2.07
61. Construction worker
1.98
62. Janitor
1.93

Once again, religiosity and happiness appear to go hand-in-hand. One standard deviation is .62 on the happiness scale, so clergymen claim to be a lot happier than the bulk of people in other occupations.

People doing professional work that requires more brain than brawn cluster near the top, while the most menial job doers settle at the bottom (sorry Office Space fans!). The blue collar occupations of policeman and firefighter are exceptions to this loose rule. To the extent that the amount of personal fulfillment found in one's job correlates with happiness, this doesn't seem surprising--these guys are making war on the forces that hurt innocent people. They aren't routinely referred to as heroes for nothing.

There also appears to be a positive relationship between how publicly esteemed members of an occupation are and how happy those people actually say they are--pastors, policemen, firefighters, actors, and doctors are all in the upper echelons, while stockbrokers, computer programmers, and lawyers fall somewhere in the middle of the pack, despite these middling occupations providing their practitioners with good working conditions and compensation.

Speaking of esteem, that janitors come in at rock bottom brings to mind Principal Skinner's contempt for the unglamorous work:
Principal Skinner (to Nelson): All right, Mr. Smartenheimer, that does it. First, you're going to give back everything you've stolen. Then, I'm sentencing you to one week of the lowest, most degrading work known to man - janitorial work.

Groundskeeper Willie: Ah, geez. I'm standing right here, sir.

Principal Skinner: Ah, yes. Uh ... Take a good look at him, Nelson, 'cause that's where you're headed.

GSS variables used: ISCO88, HAPPY

Monday, July 18, 2011

Drank too much so don't drink enough?

I never particularly enjoy new acquaintances discovering that I'm a teetotaler. It's especially annoying in bars after games because in the non-professional sports world (as I was reminded of in Des Moines recently), abstention infringes on the ritual of hosting or being hosted, smashing each other up, shaking hands afterward, and then getting smashed together that night. I'm not out to be an iconoclast or pass judgment on you for your dipsomania chump, I've just never touched the stuff and see no compelling reason to do so now! I have a terrible family history of it on the paternal side, and my behavioral vocabulary is devoid of the word "moderation".

Tangentially, I wondered if there might be an inverse relationship between getting plastered and avoiding alcohol like the plague. At the individual level, of course, there obviously must be, since someone can't both binge and abstain. Perhaps among ethnic groups like Finns that are at greater risk for destructively heavy drinking (which I suppose is more-or-less the definition of alcoholism) than those who've had a longer ancestral exposure to alcohol, like Greeks, abstention rates are also higher, a sort of self-imposed defense against the threat of losing control.

The GSS formerly posed two questions that allow for looking at this. One simply asks whether or not a person ever drinks any alcohol at all. The other asks respondents if they are prone to drinking more than they should. Taking the respective percentages for 24 ethnic groups (including East Asian as a combination of those of Chinese or Japanese ancestry, and "American", whose members are found in the McCain belt), I found a correlation of... .03. There is no apparent relationship between the two behaviors whatsoever.

The question on excessive drinking excludes those who abstain completely. So it could be that the teetotalers tend to be the same people who are at disproportionately high risk of alcoholism (like me), while the remainder who drink do so excessively at roughly equal levels across ethnic groups. That's merely speculation, and it presumes a lot given from the fewer than 3 in 10 respondents who said they didn't drink, but if the GSS question on excessive drinking included the minority of non-drinkers, it would at least be testable.

GSS variables used: DRINK, DRUNK, ETHNIC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where white conservatives and NAMs find common ground

There are those on the right who, attuned to the (liberal) zeitgeist, attempt to bring NAMs into their political ranks by emphasizing the putative social conservatism of blacks and Hispanics. Rick Santorum recently illustrated this, and the late Richard Nadler epitomized it.

As the US becomes increasingly multiracial and multicultural, our democratic system will increasingly turn into a spoils system, where votes are determined by the demographic characteristics of the candidates in question, who, once elected, will use their power to redistribute wealth away from out-group members to the in-group members who elected them. Even at the federal level, where this is less of an issue than it is at more local levels of government, it is certainly detectable.

While that is related to this post's purpose, the focus should be on the data. The following table shows the percentages of SWPLS (liberal and very liberal whites), white conservatives (conservative and very conservative whites), and NAMs (blacks and Hispanics) who agree with a host of political and social statements. The 20 items are broken up into four categories; those in which SWPLs and NAMs are on the same page, those in which NAMs fall midway between SWPLs and white conservatives, those in which whites of all political persuasions are lined up against NAMs, and those in which white conservatives and NAMs are aligned against SWPLs. For contemporary relevancy, all responses are from 2000 onward:

SWPLs and NAMs agree
SWPLs
WhtCons
NAMs
The death penalty should be given to those who commit murder
50.4
84.8
48.2
Pornography should be made illegal
19.8
52.2
33.1
Expresses a great deal of confidence in the US military
36.3
67.8
42.9
Favors increases nuclear power generation in the US
66.4
86.6
50.0
The government should spend more on health care
85.5
59.5
87.7
Immigration into the US should be increased
14.9
6.7
11.9
The government should raise taxes to reduce income inequality
67.5
24.0
55.6
NAMs fall in between SWPLs and white conservatives



The government should spend more to protect the environment
79.7
26.6
55.9
The government should spend more on the military
15.2
55.7
38.4
The government should spend more on culture and the arts
48.1
6.2
31.0
Background checks should be required for gun ownership
87.0
70.5
79.9
Environmental threats are exaggerated
14.9
67.5
32.5
Whites band together against NAMs



Special preferences should be given to minorities in hiring decisions
22.8
6.1
37.9
The government should spend more on unemployment benefits
34.3
20.1
54.5
White conservatives and NAMs agree



A woman should be able to have an abortion for any reason
69.7
21.8
35.3
Marijuana should be legalized
66.4
22.6
31.7
Same sex marriage should be allowed
81.5
14.5
28.7
Prayer should be permissible in public schools
35.3
68.9
68.2
It is okay to spank a child for disciplinary purposes
52.3
81.0
77.4
Terminal patients should be allowed to die if they choose to do so
86.3
50.4
53.4

Even though white conservatives and NAMs are more closely aligned with one another than either is with SWPLs on multiple social issues, pocketbook concerns trump moral values, especially among those who are not affluent, and of course NAMs disproportionately are not. SWPLs want to take from whites and give to NAMs to achieve social justice and NAMs want to take from whites and give to themselves to realize a higher material standard of living. Even on issues that are not of great interest to NAMs, like the arts (a liberal cause) and the military (a conservative cause), NAMs tend to favor more spending than the opposing white group does. Politically, the best strategy for Republicans is probably to highlight Democratic attitudes on things like religion, drug legalization*, and abortion and hope that reduces NAM voters' enthusiasm for going out and voting.

GSS variables used: RACECEN(1)(2, 15-16), POLVIEWS(1-2)(6-7), YEAR(2000-2010), ABANY, GRASS, MARHOMO, PRAYER, SPANKING, LETDIE1, SPENVIRO, SPARMS, GUNSALES, GRNEXAGG, AFFACT, SPUNEMP, CAPPUN, EQWLTH, PORNLAW, SPARTS, SPHLTH, CONARMY, LETIN, NUKEELEC

* Because of its pervasiveness among the (largely NAM) underclass, lots of whites presume that non-whites are amenable to the idea of decriminalizing drug use. I've spent enough time around blacks to know that among those who aren't users, the stuff is not smiled upon. Blacks living in the hood see its consequences firsthand and they don't like it anymore than you or I do.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Spare and spoil? Not in the US

Recently, a woman in Texas lost custody of her two children and was sentenced to five months of probation for spanking one of them, aged two, hard enough to leave the kid with red marks. In his ruling, the judge in the case apparently set court precedent that the spanking of a child is a criminal act:
"You don't spank children today," Judge Jose Longoria told Rosina Gonzales.

...

"In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel," Judge Longoria of 214th District Court told Gonzales. "You don't spank children. You understand?"
The Derb is understandably incensed by this blatant instance of judicial activism:
It seems to me that the judge is out of line. It may indeed be that our standards have shifted so much that the generality of citizens would like spanking banned. If that's the case, let them press their representatives to pass appropriate legislation. The current situation in the U.S.A. is that spanking in the home is legal in every state; 19 states, Texas among them, also permit spanking in schools. This judge, name of José Longoria, is therefore legislating from the bench — a far more serious offense against public standards, in my opinion, than smacking a 2-year-old on the rear end.
While the idea of corporal punishment horrifies many SWPLs no matter how deserving of it a child may be (and despite being named Jose, the judge looks enough like a SWPL), the general public does not share the court's thoughts. The GSS has asked respondents if they think it is sometimes necessary to give a child a "good, hard spanking". In 2010, 69% of those surveyed agree that it is, compared to only 31% who do not. In 1986, the first year the question was posed, spanking was favored 84% to 16%, so there has been a little shifting towards wussification in the last couple of decades, but a substantial majority of Americans still believe a swat on the ass is justified at times. The Derb does not need to entertain the thought that the judge may have been channeling public sentiment in his authoritarian ruling.

If this precedence becomes relevant by way of other court rulings referencing it I suspect there will be public push back, and the advocates of outlawing spanking will run across the same minefield that those calling for Michael Vicks' head following revelations of the brutality he inflicted upon pit bulls ran through. Spanking, too, has a racial component. Namely, blacks are its strongest advocate. The following table shows the percentages who agree that spanking is justifiable, by race. For both contemporary relevance and ample sample size for Native Americans and Asians, responses are from 2000 onward (n = 7,393--all proceeding tables have the same parameters):

Blacks
83.2%
Native Americans
79.6%
Whites
70.7%
Asians
64.7%
Hispanics
64.9%

There is a political component as well, and as is rather often the case on social matters, reliably Democratic blacks and reliably Democratic SWPLs are not on the same page (n = 8,026):

Conservatives
77.4%
Moderates
73.0%
Liberals
63.0%

Even among white liberals, though, spanking has majority support (56.4% to 43.6%). Banning corporal punishment may be a progressive issue, but intruding on parental rights is not a popular one.

Parenthetically, spanking also finds relatively greater support among men than it does among women, and among those of more modest intelligence than it does among the more intelligent (and, surprisingly, the least intelligent):

Men
76.5%
Women
68.2%

Really dumbs*
69.5%
Pretty dumbs
77.4%
Normals
72.9%
Pretty smarts
69.2%
Really smarts
56.7%

GSS variables used: SPANKING(1-2)(3-4), YEAR, SEX, RACECEN1(1)(2)(3)(4-10)(15-16), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), WORDSUM

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

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Church attendance and happiness

In a previous post that took a look at marriage and happiness among the under-thirty crowd, a commenter wondered how church attendance would influence self-reported levels of happiness.

At its vernacular core, Pascal's Wager exhorts one to go through the religious motions and try to believe for a rational reason--the worst that happens to you after you die if you're wrong is the best that happens to the non-believer who is right. Of course, a similar argument could be made in favor of any behavior, no matter how seemingly absurd (and there is no shortage of people who'd say sitting idly in pews for an hour or two a week with the understanding that it'll bring eternal redemption is absurd), if the potential reward is eternal euphoria. I've heard tongue-in-cheek criticisms that there are drawbacks to the churchgoing life, like having less fun on Saturday nights.

Well, maybe the wager needs an update! Drop the eschatological stuff and just focus on the secular life, because those who attend religious services are happier than those who don't (of course correlation does not necessarily equal causation, etc etc). The GSS poses a simple question on self-perceptions of happiness levels. It's measured on a three point scale, inverted here so that higher scores indicate greater happiness. The following table shows average (mean) scores for men and women, by frequency of church attendance*, between the ages of 18-29 at the time of their participation in the survey. For contemporary relevance, only responses from 2000 onward are included (n = 2,610):

Attendance
Never
LT monthly
LT weekly
Weekly+
Men
2.07
2.10
2.23
2.21
Women
2.11
2.13
2.18
2.37

One standard deviation is .62. The difference in happiness levels among women who never attend and those who attend regularly is twice as large as it is among comparable groups of men. Women are not only more religious than men are, this also suggests that among those who are seriously committed, women benefit more from religious activities and experiences than men do.

Church and marriage are both positively associated with happiness. So what does the comparison between unmarried, non-attenders and married, churchgoers look like?


Unmarried, no church
Married, weekly+
Men
2.02
2.46
Women
2.05
2.58

The gap is more than two-thirds of a standard deviation wide for both sexes. Ladies, don't devote yourselves to yourselves, devote yourselves to your man and to your God. The feminists can suck it--they don't want you to be happy, anyway.

GSS variables used: MARITAL(1)(2-5), HAPPY, SEX, AGE(18-29), YEAR(2000-2010), ATTEND(0)(1-3)(4-6)(7-8)

* My amateur grasp of html programming is precluding the use of the carrot sign to indicate "less than", so an acronym has to suffice.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Child abuse in Stockholm

From The Onion comes - wait, it's not from TO? It's from the AP? C'mon, look at the school's name for crying out loud... Well, it's beyond parody all the same:
At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.

...

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

...

Lego bricks and other building blocks are intentionally placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.

Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg [ROFLMFAO!].

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," ''Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.

...

Gender studies permeate academic life in Sweden. Bergkvist noted on her blog that the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $80,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship aimed at analyzing "the trumpet as a symbol of gender."
You know it's bad when a professor out of UC Davis has to defend the realities of human biodiversity:
Jay Belsky, a child psychologist at the University of California, Davis, said he's not aware of any other school like Egalia, and he questioned whether it was the right way to go.

"The kind of things that boys like to do — run around and turn sticks into swords — will soon be disapproved of," he said. "So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness."

...

"We use the word 'Hen' for example when a doctor, police [sic--why not "policeperson"?!], electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten," Rajalin says. "We don't know if it's a he or a she so we just say 'Hen is coming around 2 p.m.' Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view."
Sweden celebrates itself for being among the world's leading nations in the 'global initiative' to end child abuse, most notably by being the first country to outlaw corporal punishment of children by their parents. This is a form of child abuse that is an order of magnitude harsher than spanking ever could be on all the little Swedish hens who happen to have a Y chromosome.

When, despite Egalia's best efforts at mind-bending soft authoritarianism, the young boys do better in math and worse in grammar than the girls do, and want to play football at recess while the girls do hopscotch, will school officials resign themselves to the fact that sexual differences are more than just anatomically deep? Doubtful. I'd bet on a subsequent doubling down, although I don't know how it can get much more absurd than this.


Thaddeus McCotter for President?

He blows the rest of the field out of the water when it comes to immigration restrictionism (see A+). Since that issue dwarfs all others in my mind, I guess I have to say he's my guy. He was also the first Congress critter to attack the 2008 Bush-Paulson bailout plan and he voted against Obamacare. He's definitely on board with the neocon warhawks, however. Still, an aspiring President who wants to break two of the three prongs steadily moving towards our nation's heart--described ingeniously by Steve as "invade the world, invite the world, in hoc to the world"--is certainly tolerable at this point.

Although his national name recognition is almost nonexistent at the moment, Thaddeus (who goes by "Thad") has the benefit of a monosyllabic, uncommon--and therefore memorable--first name (ie, "Rush" and "Mitt"). I hope he catches on.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Why are gay men less promiscuous today than they used to be?

Agnostic suggests that the (gay) AIDS epidemic had the effect of curtailing male homosexual promiscuity. As Pat Buchanan famously wrote, "they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution."

Using the GSS, Agnostic looks at the number of partners a respondent has had in the last year. He finds that gay male promiscuity has decreased from the the late eighties through today, presumably as the consequences of AIDS became more firmly established in the public consciousness. This line of reasoning appears sound, although it doesn't mesh with my personal experience. Among all the gay people I know or have known, never has one indicated to me (explicitly, perhaps obviously, but not implicitly, either) that the dangers of sexual promiscuity are an inhibiting factor in his actual sexual behavior.

As the question set on sexual behavior only extends back to 1989, the method precludes any self-reported data prior to the 'discovery' of AIDS (initially referred to as "gay-related immune deficiency" in popular culture and "the 4H disease" by the CDC, as Haitians, homosexuals, hemophiliacs, and heroin users were disproportionately afflicted).

However, the GSS offers an alternative route to tracking gay promiscuity prior to and after the onset of AIDS. I looked at the percentage of gay and bisexual men, aged 45-60 at the time of the survey, who had ten or more male partners in the course of their adult lives. I did this for the time periods 1989-1994 and also 2006-2010. For the early nineties cohort, who were romping around well before AIDS hit the scene, 40.4% of gays reported having ten or more male partners. For the contemporary cohort, the figure is 33.6%.

Given the greater acceptance of homosexuality in the popular culture that has occurred over the two decade period, gays should feel less social pressure for restraint, and so promiscuity should have increased in the contemporary cohort. We see, however, that the opposite has taken place. This corroborates Agnostic's claim.

But we've also witnessed a stagnant, and even declining, level of sexual activity across the American population over time. Men and women are not having more sex or seeking out more partners than they did in the past. If anything, they are having less sex and seeking out fewer partners than they used to. Maybe the decline in promiscuity among gay men simply parallels the decline in promiscuity among the heterosexual majority.

Comparatively, consider the same analysis mentioned above, but this time for lesbian and bisexual women, again aged 45-60 during the periods 1989-1994 and 2006-2008. Among members of the early nineties cohort, 22.9% reported having ten or more female partners in the course of their adult lives. For the contemporary cohort, the figure is only 8.9%. So it looks like lesbians, who have nothing to fear from AIDS, have, like gay men, also become less promiscuous over the last couple of decades than they were before.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN, NUMWOMEN, SEX, AGE(45-60), YEAR(1989-1994)(2006-2010)