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2012 December 29 Saturday
Correlation Between Fertility, IQ, Conservative Disposition?

Several months ago JayMan made a number of interesting points in a post about liberalism, conservatism, HBD, intelligence and fertility. His most interesting observation: the negative correlation between intelligence and fertility that most realists assume hold for all groups does not seem to hold for extreme conservatives. Not only do conservatives have more kids than liberals (as most of my regular readers surely already know) but also, conservatives at the 7-8 range on the WORDSUM score actually have higher than replacement fertility. Wow.

So among conservatives is the correlation between intelligence and fertility positive or negative? Surely among liberals fertility's correlation with intelligence appears to be negative. Liberal Vermont is not exactly a baby factory.

Another point: It might be a very good thing for the Right that liberals dominate higher education:

As we see here, for the liberals who are reproducing, it is the dumbest ones who are breeding most. The opposite is true for conservatives. Not only will conservatives come to numerically dominate liberals in the future, conservatives will soon intellectually dominate liberals as well.

To the extent that intelligent conservatives are repelled by liberal academia this drives them into the workforce sooner and therefore conservative alienation from the academy raises conservative fertility. Wow, hadn't considered that before.

This reminds me of my latest thought on the problem of dumber people having more kids than smarter people: We do not need dumber women to have fewer kids as much as we need dumber couples to have fewer children. If we could get women from the lower half of the bell curve to hook up with smart men then this would tend cause a rise in IQs. If serial monogamy was heavily weighted toward smart men hooking up with the full range of women this would be enough to prevent the great dumbing down.

I'm not saying I see a way to change social policies, laws, and popular culture to make this happen. But if it did happen it would select for higher intelligence levels in future generations.

Actually, a few countries might accidentally be carrying out this policy: the countries where there's selective female abortion. What's the result? More guys competing for fewer girls. The girls all get taken. I'm guessing the dumber guys tend to lose out to more affluent smarties in the sexual market. Though that's speculation on my part.

What I wonder about China specifically: Are lower, middle, or upper class couples most likely to do selective abortion of female fetuses? Which answer would have dysgenic or eugenic effects? Also, what's the marriage rate for men in China as a function of educational level? Do smarter guys get more interest from Chinese women? The Chinese women might actually be much more sensible (i.e. favoring smart guys) than American women in this regard.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 December 29 03:29 PM 


Comments
JayMan said at December 29, 2012 6:50 PM:

Thanks for the shout-out!

"We do not need dumber women to have fewer kids as much as we need dumber couples to have fewer children. If we could get women from the lower half of the bell curve to hook up with smart men then this would tend cause a rise in IQs. If serial monogamy was heavily weighted toward smart men hooking up with the full range of women this would be enough to prevent the great dumbing down."

You may be getting your wish.

bbartlog said at December 30, 2012 6:40 AM:

If stupid women outbreed smart ones while smart men outbreed dumb ones, the long term effect would be a divergence in male and female intelligence.
Anyway, if preimplantation genetic selection/screening takes off (and I think it will) we'll soon have a large part of the population to which the normal rules of genetics don't apply.

Henry Harpending said at December 30, 2012 8:25 AM:

The correlation is also positive among Mormons in Utah.

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2012 1:19 PM:

JayMan,

Declining female fertility by IQ seems to be sharper than rising male fertility by IQ.

What we need to do: Boost smart female fertility while lowering dumb male fertility.

To raise smart female fertility we need to accelerate their education. Send smart girls to school 12 months of the year starting around age 14 and get them thru a bachelor's degree by age 19. Online education would help.

I'm less clear on how to lower dumb male fertility. But propinquity is powerful. How get more women around smart men?

We need better laws around reproductive contracts. Smart men should be able to negotiate in advance their max monthly payments for children they sire.

Sinclair said at December 30, 2012 1:55 PM:

"I'm not saying I see a way to change social policies, laws, and popular culture to make this happen. But if it did happen it would select for higher intelligence levels in future generations."

Well that doesn't seem very intelligent to me. What's better, being intelligent living surrounded by dumb people or the other way around? Couldn't say, but if those "higher intelligences" are higher than yours and your kids', you'll become incompetent, boring and therefore extinct.

Watch out for what you wish for.

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2012 5:38 PM:

Sinclair,

Highly intelligent people are who make an industrialized society possible. Being surrounded by a bunch of dumb people is a recipe for poverty. The dummies can't design or do research or create complex computer systems.

Dumb people in smart societies have higher living standards because of what the smart people create.

bbartlog said at December 30, 2012 7:28 PM:

Getting smart girls a bachelor's degree by 19 just means you're preparing them for the work force. Seems like the better policy for boosting fertility would be to create mechanisms for encouraging them to have a couple kids first (while young), *then* getting them in the work force 10-15 years later. It's easier to start a career when you're 35 (at least if you're an intelligent woman) than it is to start a family at 35. I knew a successful COO who took that path.

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2012 8:30 PM:

bbartlog,

Lots of smart women do not consider making babies until they've got their master's or Ph.D. and then worked 2-3-4 years. By then they are in their 30s and their eggs are old and they do not make as many babies.

They aren't going to try to make babies sooner because they need money for a house. They also need a suitable husband (met at college or at work) who has similar earning power toward the house. Really, they are going to prepare for the workforce anyway. That's true of all the smart engineer women I've worked with (i.e. a lot of high IQ women).

JayMan said at January 1, 2013 10:53 AM:

@Randall Parker:

"JayMan,

Declining female fertility by IQ seems to be sharper than rising male fertility by IQ."

Yes, unfortunately.

"What we need to do: Boost smart female fertility while lowering dumb male fertility."

Definitely.

"To raise smart female fertility we need to accelerate their education. Send smart girls to school 12 months of the year starting around age 14 and get them thru a bachelor's degree by age 19. Online education would help."

While I agree, here's two stumbling blocks: one of the reasons that lengthy educations have become par for the course is the fact that IQ testing is essentially banned thanks to disparate impact laws. Hence, employers use degrees as a substitute. But, then there's the personality traits (work ethic, conformity, etc...) that education serves to signal, which would be hard to replicate unless we either get more accurate personality tests (which apparently do exist).

The second factor is that all these hoops employers make potential employees jump through is primarily because the supply of labor is too high. The flood of workers in the market for every job available means that employers are free to set whatever unreasonable expectations they want, forcing job-seekers to get ever more credentialed just to keep up.

"I'm less clear on how to lower dumb male fertility. But propinquity is powerful. How get more women around smart men?"

Two ways. One is simply to lower dumb female fertility, whom dumb males are primarily breeding with. Better family planning services, with easily available (i.e., free and heavily promoted) Norplant/Depo-Prova.

The second is to attack male fertility directly with the male equivalent of the above.

Randall Parker said at January 1, 2013 11:59 AM:

@JayMan,

The ability to earn one's bachelor's degree by age 19 or 20 is itself a demonstration of higher IQ. Accelerated education will be more successful for the smartest people. Once 15 year olds start taking online college courses and then show up somewhere to get tested in person that will demonstrate who is smart enough at age 15 to handle college courses. The 15 year olds who take the toughest courses will further stand out.

Supply of labor: in the higher IQ workplaces the supply of high IQ workers is never enough. If we can get 19 year olds to come in and do work that we normally wait for 24 year olds to do then we'll do it. We can figure out when new signals come along that demonstrate high intelligence.

Just Chillin said at January 2, 2013 10:20 AM:

"The ability to earn one's bachelor's degree by age 19 or 20 is itself a demonstration of higher IQ."

No, it isn't. Not necessarily. it all depends on the educational level of the country you are in. Remember that the educational level of a country is implicitly evaluated by it results, not the speed at which a student finishes whatever load of subjects, nor by the huge bulk of students that make it through because testing has been dumbed down.

We got to be careful Randall, really careful on what we believe to be absolute truths.


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