June 27, 2009

The Secret History of the Stonewall Riot

In "Stonewall at 40," Frank Rich celebrates in the NYT the June 28, 1969 Greenwich Village drag bar riot that symbolically launched the gay liberation era:
On Monday, President Obama will commemorate Stonewall with an East Room reception for gay leaders.

Rich never mentions, and I suspect that Obama won't either, that the catalyst for the riot was Judy Garland's funeral the previous day, and that most of the rioters were cross-dressers.

Rich goes on:
After the gay liberation movement was born at Stonewall, this strand of history advanced haltingly until the 1980s. It took AIDS and the new wave of gay activism it engendered to fully awaken many, including me, to the gay people all around them. But that tardy and still embryonic national awareness did not save the lives of those whose abridged rights made them even more vulnerable during a rampaging plague.

Uh, I think a big chunk of history has been shoved down the Memory Hole here. The 1970s were not a time when gay liberation "advanced haltingly;" in reality, the 1970s were when all effective legal restrictions on industrial scale homosexual promiscuity were utterly ended in precisely those cities -- e.g., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York -- where AIDS broke out most virulently in the early 1980s.

Gay liberation caused the AIDS epidemic.

What's even more striking is that this huge historical event of the recent past has been so distorted that, according to Google, nobody in the history of the Internet has ever before posted the words:

"Gay liberation caused the AIDS epidemic"

Instead, we're all supposed to believe AIDS was caused by discrimination against homosexuals in the military, the absence of gay marriage, and/or Ronald Reagan. Indeed, it's precisely because the evidence for cause and effect is so overwhelmingly clear that the pressure to lie and to submit to others' lies is so intense.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Great Divide

Popular liberal economics commentator Barry Ritholtz has posted what struck me originally as a curious response to Connie Bruck's New Yorker article on Angelo Mozilo, which touched in surprising measure on the sizable role that minority lending played in Countrywide's debacle. Ritholtz writes:

Yet another example of how the sub-prime market was a creature of the profit motive, and not government mandates.

There is this fascinating little anecdote in Connie Bruck’s Angelo’s Ashes — about Angelo Mozilo’s experiences in Florida as a dark skinned NY Italian, and how that impacted his later venture into minority lending (early 90s) amnd subprime lending (middle 90s):

“The new company [Countrywide] sent Mozilo first to Virginia Beach and then to Orlando. He had never lived outside the Bronx, and years later he told friends that it had been difficult to be a darkskinned Italian-American in these communities. In Virginia Beach, the local club where businesspeople congregated refused to admit him, and in Orlando he had trouble selling mortgages until he met a group of Jewish homebuilders who couldn’t get financing. As his sister, Lori, told me, “Angelo said, ‘Nobody wants to work with you. Nobody wants to work with me. Let’s do it together.’

He was always this Italian guy people didn’t want to accept.” She went on, “When he tans he gets really dark. My mother told me that when he worked in Florida he was asked to sit in the back of the bus.”

And just what might have this done to Angelo’s world view later on? Alex, I’ll take pop psychology for $100:

Despite Mozilo’s ideals, Countrywide did not have a strong record of lending to minorities. In 1992, shortly after Mozilo became chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston issued a report stating that it had found systemic discrimination by mortgage lenders against African-American and Hispanic borrowers. Robert Gnaizda, former general counsel of the Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit organization focussed on minority rights, sent the report to Mozilo and other mortgage bankers. “I received a harsh response from Mozilo,” Gnaizda told me.

Privately, however, Mozilo was appalled. He ordered that all Countrywide’s records on rejected minority applicants be sent to him, and he retroactively approved about half of them. Then he dispatched African-Americans, posing as prospective borrowers—he called them “mystery shoppers”—to Countrywide branches, and concluded that they were indeed treated differently from white borrowers.

Countrywide opened new offices in inner-city areas, created counselling centers, and loosened some lending standards, to include borrowers with less than pristine credit histories. Between 1993 and 1994, the company’s loans to African-American borrowers rose three hundred and twenty-five per cent, and to Hispanics they increased a hundred and sixty-three per cent. In 1994, Countrywide became the first mortgage lender to sign a fair-lending agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Countrywide went from close to the bottom in lending to minorities to near the top,” Gnaizda said. “I remember Mozilo telling me, ‘I don’t want to narrow the gap in lending to minorities, I want to end it.’ ”

Eventually, subprime loans became too attractive a business for Countrywide to resist. In September, 1996, it created a new subsidiary for these loans, called Full Spectrum Lending; if the loans performed poorly, the Countrywide brand would not be tarnished. “It was a careful entry, considered closely by those at the top of the company,” a former high-level Countrywide executive recalled. “We sat together and asked each other, ‘Would you make this loan with your money?’ ”

To offset the credit risk posed by subprime lending, the company required borrowers to make a substantial equity investment, ranging from fifteen to thirty-five per cent. . .”

It was the Private sector that saw a profit opportunity and went for it. They made the loans. The government’s role was to provide rhetoric . . .

This is representative of the quality of public debate over what caused the mortgage meltdown. In public, there are only two sides: the liberal (Corporate Greed!) and the libertarian (Government Interference!).

In contrast, the real divide is between the overwhelmingly dominant Diversity Dogmatists, liberal and libertarian, versus the tiny number of Diversity Heretics. Personally, I don't oppose government regulation of the mortgage business to prevent over-optimistic borrowers and lenders from causing defaults down the road, so I'm not a libertarian on this. But, in this case, the federal government was (and still is) regulating in the wrong direction: toward more risk.

Would minorities have ended up getting vast amounts of overly optimistic loans anyway even if the government had been neutral on the question? Perhaps -- the Diversity Dogma is so entrenched in our society that supposedly hard-headed businessmen like Mozilo believe it just as much as the politicians -- at least judging from their public statements. And, in the long run, few people have the strength of character to be hypocritical enough to act prudently when acting on the "ideals" you constantly extol (but don't actually believe) can you make a lot of money in the short run.

Finally, even if government and business had been sensible, the brute fact of population change in California, replacing middle class people with peasant class people, would have caused massive problems in generating enough productivity to repay debts.

But this way of thinking is so foreign, so unthinkable that almost nobody understands the catastrophe that just happened to us.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Interview with Richard Nisbett at HBD Books

Here's a probing interview with Richard Nisbett, author of Intelligence and How to Get It, at HBD Books.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

It's time for your Ricci case predictions

Supposedly, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in Ricci v. DeStefano on Monday.

What are your predictions?

Also, feel free to make predictions about how the Sotomayor hearings will play out.

And if you feel an urgent need to refresh yourself on all the wisdom I've been dispensing on the topics of "Ricci" or "Sotomayor," just click the Labels below.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

"Slumdog Millionaire"

Traditionally, I post on iSteve teaser excerpts from my movie reviews when I write them, then post the whole thing here months later after the DVD comes out. So, here's last winter's full-length American Conservative review of the Oscar Best Picture-winner "Slumdog Millionaire:"
After sweeping the Golden Globe awards, “Slumdog Millionaire,” the plucky movie about an uneducated underdog from the slums of Bombay who wins 20 million rupees on the local version of the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, has become the Oscar race overdog.

Seven-year-old Jamal and his older brother Salim are orphaned in 1992 when Hindu nationalist mobs torch their Muslim slum in Bombay. (Or “Mumbai,” as the Shiv Sena politicians who fomented these pogroms renamed the city in 1996. Although trendy Westerners all use “Mumbai” now, no locals call their famous film industry “Mullywood.”)

In their Dickensian struggle to survive, the brothers, along with a pretty foundling girl named Latika, scavenge in a vast garbage dump. They are lured away to an “orphanage” run by a Fagin-like impresario of child beggars who blinds his best prospects to make them more pitiable. Fortunately, they escape to peddle snacks on India’s famous trains and guide gullible Western tourists around the Taj Mahal. As adolescents, they finally make it back to Bombay to try to rescue Latika from the pimp. Salim becomes a hit man, while Jamal sticks to humble but honest work.

Six years of economic growth later, Jamal, now delivering tea in an outsourced call center, finds Latika enslaved as the moll of his brother’s mob boss. (I suspect this plot twist was hoary when Jimmy Cagney was young …) To make enough money to run off with his beloved, Jamal goes on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. There, as fate, karma, or kismet would have it, he finds he knows the answer to each trivia question because it had already come up at a memorably dramatic moment in his life.

Jamal’s run of good fortune entrances India, but the evil game show host (who resembles a subcontinental version of comedian Dennis Miller), doesn’t care about his booming ratings. Before the final round, he has Jamal arrested and tortured to find out how he’s cheating. By recounting his life in flashback, Jamal convinces the police captain of his true-heartedness and returns for the final showdown question.

Unfortunately, “Slumdog’s” success in the year-end awards largely reflects a lack of competition. The film contains, in theory, most of the elements of a crowd pleaser, but the actual product turns out to be less enjoyable to watch than a good episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

One problem is aesthetic. The specialty of eclectic British director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) is cranking the kinetic energy onscreen up to 11. He revitalized the zombie genre with “28 Days Later” by having the rotting undead sprint after their terrified prey like Usain Bolt. Granted, turbocharging dilapidated zombies didn’t make much sense, but it was exciting. Similarly, Boyle’s directorial razzmatazz made a young lad’s life in an English exurb look eventful in the underrated “Millions.”

Bombay, however, doesn’t need to be juiced with the latest video fads. As Salman Rushdie has noted, Indian cities induce sensory overload (most famously conveyed by the bravura opening chapter of Kipling’s Kim). A more stately approach, such as David Lean’s in “A Passage to India,” would have been more watchable. Boyle comes up with one useful innovation—floating subtitles onscreen next to the character speaking (about one-third of the dialogue is in Hindi). Overall, though, the combination of the teeming masses of India’s “maximum city” and Boyle’s zap-pow digital dynamics is exhausting.

Worse, the script is as on-the-nose as the dog comedy “Marley and Me.” Sadly, Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy didn’t trust their gimmick. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire has been a hit around the world because its slow pacing (the opposite of Jeopardy!) allows viewers to think along with the contestant as he talks out his thought processes. Thinking is fun.

“Crash” (an equally contrived but more interactive film) allowed viewers a half minute to rewind the plot in their heads and figure out for themselves the climactic conundrum of why nobody was killed when the angry Iranian shot the Mexican locksmith’s angelic daughter at point-blank range.

Sadly, “Slumdog Millionaire” doesn’t encourage any thinking about earlier scenes. Instead, each quiz question is followed by a lengthy flashback ending with The Answer. For example, after “Who invented the revolver?” comes Jamal’s recollection that concludes with his gangster brother waving a gun around and shouting, “The man with the Colt .45 says shut up!”

Okay, we get it.

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Double or Nothing

If Obama is serious about persuading Israel to pull its settlements out of the bulk of the West Bank in order to allow the Palestinians to have their own state there instead of having to live like prison inmates under the thumb of the Israeli Army guarding the settlements, then here's a suggestion for a simple proposal that would strike a lot of people as a square deal:

Double or Nothing

In other words, if Israel pulls out of all but the fringes of the West Bank, then the U.S. would double its annual aid to Israel. If it doesn't, then Israel gets nothing from the U.S.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

"Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star"

I just realized that my review of David Spade's 2003 movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" has not been available on the Internet for the past half decade. I also just realized that in those years, nobody, including me, has ever missed it. Still, it seems kind of timely, so, for the iSteve Completists out there, here it is:
I certainly hope you don't feel like I do, but a part of me believes that anybody who was ever a star somehow deserves to never have to work again in a non-celebrity capacity. I hope I'm alone in experiencing involuntary repugnance at the thought of former television personalities having to do honest work, but I fear I'm not.

We Americans like to kid ourselves that we have a strong Work Ethic, but since perhaps the Gold Rush of 1849, we've instead had the world's leading Get Rich Quick Dream. I think we'd rather hear that somebody we once idolized has choked on his own vomit in a crackhouse (ah, the tragic price of fame!) than learn that he's writing COBOL code in Cincinnati (ugh, the boring ignominy of anonymity!).

Fortunately, even after they're washed up, our American celebrities have so many opportunities to cash in by letting us bask in their reflected glory that they seldom let us down quite that much. For example, I've long followed the charmed life of Mike Eruzione, the amateur hockey player whose sole achievement was scoring the winning goal to beat the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics, just to see if he'll ever have to get a real job. After 23 years, he's still going strong as a motivational speaker and professional guest at charity golf tournaments.

What about child stars? Adorable little girl actresses, like Elizabeth Taylor and Drew Barrymore, often grow up to be adorable young women, but boy entertainers frequently fail dismally to become permanent celebrities.

Boys are less mature than girls while growing up, so producers have a hard time finding talented-enough normal lads who can, literally, act their age on screen. Therefore, they search out undersized, undersexed older boys who can play younger than their real ages. Similarly, impresarios putting together boy bands look for high-pitched singers who will seem like unthreatening "practice boyfriends" to adolescent girl fans.

Unfortunately for them, being late to reach puberty is not what audiences look for in adult leading men and rock stars. Many male child stars are quickly surpassed by their more manly peers and are left with no marketable skills, twisted Hollywood values, an all-consuming hunger to get back into the limelight, and a certain aura of freakishness.

Although he didn't get on television until his mid-20s, David Spade -- the snippy little blond receptionist on the sitcom "Just Shoot Me!" -- has perfectly cast himself in the not-too-bad comedy "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star."

There's not much of a market on TV for fairly androgynous heterosexuals, but what there is, Spade has had cornered since he started on Saturday Night Live in 1990. (His career peak was probably the 1995 comedy "Tommy Boy" with the late Chris Farley.) In his stand-up act and this movie he co-wrote with SNL scribe Fred Wolf, Spade emphasizes both his innate lack of masculinity and the effeminizing effect of being in showbiz -- the jealous gossiping and obsession with your looks.

Dickie Roberts is a 35-year-old valet parker whose TV show was canceled 23 long years ago, causing his mother to leave him. He's paying the rent by getting pummeled by 3'-4" Emmanuel Lewis of "Webster" fame in celebrity boxing matches.

Dickie hopes to make his comeback in a hotly anticipated Rob Reiner movie. (Apparently, this is a period piece.) But Reiner won't let him audition, saying, "Dickie, you're not a real person." To learn how people with healthy upbringings feel, Dickie hires a suburban family to let him live for a month as one of their children.

Like a lot of movie comedies, "Dickie Roberts," especially in its first half, isn't as funny as a strong sit-com. One reason is that "Dickie Roberts" was written by just two people, while TV shows bring far more manpower to bear on joke writing.

Moreover, promising sit-coms have longer to gel. For instance, "The Simpsons" organization evolved into the most perfect script writing machine ever, but not until after the show's uneven first year. Thus, movie comedies are generally more slapdash than the sit-coms that make it to syndication.

In the second half, as Dickie develops a warm relationship with his temporary siblings, there's an unexpected turn away from satire and toward a sentimental family film. Oddly enough, as the movie gets soppier, it actually gets funnier. Still, it's too tawdry for children and too childish for adults.

Like a lot of comedies, if you were to stumble upon this movie flipping channels one evening, you'd probably be entertained. It's not "Tommy Boy," but it's not awful either. Unfortunately, if you have to talk somebody into going to the theatre to see it with you, you'd worry too much about whether your companion hates it to enjoy it.

Rated PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor, language, and drug references.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 26, 2009

The White Michael Jackson ...

... was Donny Osmond of the Osmonds, who was a regular on network television from age five.

The Mormon Osmond Brothers had a Jackson 5 sound-alike #1 hit with "One Bad Apple" released when Donny was 12 going on 13 in late 1970. (An older Osmond, Merrill, does the lead singing, but little Donny's soprano kicks it into overdrive.) Osmond said Michael Jackson later told him that the Jackson 5 had been offered "One Bad Apple" first, but chose to record "ABC" instead. (Neither song has as exciting a chord progression as the Jackson 5's first hit "I Want You Back," but, then, what song does? Now that I think about it, I'm not sure that the Jacksons' version of that song by Berry Gordy and other Motown insiders does full justice to the potential of the material. British pub-rockers Graham Parker and the Rumour used a rather different arrangement of "I Want You Back" as their concert closer, and somebody might do well right now with their own cover.)

At age 18, Donny had a hit Sonny & Cher-type TV series with his sister Marie, which, when you think about it, is pretty weird in a sort of William and Dorothy Wordsworth kind of way.

Osmond always got a lot of grief for not being quite as talented as Michael Jackson, but, then, who was?

In retrospect, you have to give Donny Osmond a lot of credit for staying reasonably sane all these years.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, RIP

Here's something I wrote about Michael Jackson in 2005:

We're the same age, and his troubles reminded me than when we were eleven and I was still in my he-man-girl-hating phase (I invited girls to my 6th and 7th birthday parties, but for the next four or five years after that couldn't recall what madness had ever made me like girls), I felt sorry for him because his family wasn't letting him enjoy his "latency period" (as the Freudians called it). I figured, even then, that forcing him to sing love songs to girls at that age would lead to trouble. (In contrast, I highly approved of his hit "Ben," from the movie "Willard," which was a much more age-appropriate love song to a pet rat )

Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate, feels the same way today (not about girls, I mean, but about Jackson's upbringing). In "Arrested Development," he writes:

People tend to throw up hands at Michael Jackson's multifarious bizarreness. But is it really so strange? The boy was forced to work by a cruel and physically abusive father starting at the age of 7. (If he'd been sent into a factory or coal mine, instead of onstage, we'd have more compassion for him.) As a boy, he was denied what even most abused and underprivileged children have: school, friends, and play.

Instead, Michael was made into a performing sexualized freak, a boy whose soprano voice kindled passion in grown women. He was made to witness adult sexuality at an age when it can only have been terrifying and incomprehensible to him. By 10, he was performing in strip clubs and hiding under the covers in hotel rooms while his older brothers got it on with groupies. At 11—the age at which his psyche seems frozen—he was a superstar. "My childhood was completely taken away from me," he has said. Almost everything that seems freakish about him can be explained by his poignant, doomed effort to get his stolen childhood back.

P.S., Dennis Dale at Untethered on Michael Jackson.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Me: How Multiculti Closed the Generation Gap

My weekly culture column is up at Taki's Magazine:

Although increasing ethnic diversity is widely assumed to make the arts more “vibrant,” the triumph of the ideology of multiculturalism appears to have instead helped cause pop music to stagnate stylistically.

There’s a fundamental connection between the growth of ethnic pride and the decline of generational rebellion, because to rebel against your forefathers is to rebel against your race. Thus, for a group of young black musicians to issue a manifesto pointing out that 30 years of rap is plenty would be racial treason. Although long exhausted musically, hip-hop has become so emotionally entwined with African-American identity that we’re all stuck with it.

You can read it there and comment on it here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Eric Holder: That 88-year-old kook will be our Marinus van der Lubbe

Obama's attorney general Eric Holder continues to use that 88-year-old nut who shot the poor security guard at the Holocaust Museum as his personal Marinus van der Lubbe in pressing for new federal Hate Crimes legislation.

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress Thursday to pass a new hate crimes law which would allow the federal government to prosecute cases of violence based on sexual orientation, gender or disability.

Holder, who testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, cited the recent killing of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The alleged assailant is a white supremacist.

Yeah, we desperately need a federal statute because, apparently (if I'm understanding Holder's logic correctly), murder is currently legal in most states and the District of Columbia. That's why that 88-year-old maniac was just let off with a stern warning. We must plug the murder loophole now!

As far as I can surmise, the point of this legislation is to get around the Constitution's ban on double jeopardy by giving prosecutors two tries at politically unpopular defendants: first at the state level, then at the federal level. (Recall the fate of the cops who beat up Rodney King.)

Lawmakers at the hearing debated the possible impact of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The bill - named after a gay man killed in Wyoming in 1998 - would allow federal prosecution of violence committed because of the actual or perceived gender, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity of the victim.

For more than a decade, Democrats have sought to update the hate crimes law, which already makes it a federal crime to attack someone because of their race, creed or color.

Republicans at the hearing questioned whether the change would expand federal power unnecessarily into cases already being prosecuted by state and local officials. They also questioned why certain victims of violence should be singled out for particular types of protection.

"That's part of the problem. Some are protected groups and get special protection under this law," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "You argued your case. I've listened to it and I'm not persuaded." According to FBI data, the number of hate crimes per year is relatively unchanged in the past 10 years. In 1998, the FBI reported 7,755 hate crime incidents, and in 2007 the bureau reported 7,624.

About half of all hate crimes are motivated by racial bias. The other two most frequent hate crimes are those motivated by religion or sexual orientation.

Holder said the statistics show hate crimes against Hispanics have increased four years in a row.

You know, that just might have something to do with the overall number of Hispanics increasing four years in a row. Also, there has been an increase in Hispanic-on-black gang violence lately, so black retaliation shows up as a hate crime against Hispanics.

Does the government even track hate crimes committed by Hispanics, or do they get lumped in with whites, which is the practice with most crime statistics?

Sessions and a Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, both voiced concerns that the bill could be used to prosecute a church leader who speaks out against homosexuality, if a member of their congregation then assaults a gay person.

"This is a bill to hold people accountable for conduct, not for speech," Holder insisted.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Iran 2009 v. Mexico 2006

I haven't been paying much attention to Iran, so don't take my word for it, but it seems to be playing out a lot like the disputed election in Mexico in 2006: the party in power says they won the election, the party out of power says they cheated and that they're going to demonstrate until they turn blue, and eventually they turn blue and give up and go home, and the party in power stays in power.

At least, the Washington Post headlines suggest such a scenario:
Hope Fades for Iranian Protesters
Numbers dwindle after government crackdown against demonstrators, but their anger remains.
- Thomas Erdbrink

Keep in mind that I haven't actually read these articles and probably won't get around to reading them, so I don't know what I'm talking about, but it all sounds a lot like the PRD's months of mass demonstrations in Mexico City's Zocalo from early July 2006 into September, along with mass acts of civil disobedience, before they eventually gave up.

The question that interests me is why almost nobody who is anybody in America cared about Mexico in 2006, but everybody was supposed to care about Iran in 2009.

Indeed, how many elections in that general part of the world, centered around the old Byzantine Empire, have we Americans been told to get excited about in this decade? There was the Ukraine Orange thing, and the purple finger whoop-tee-doo in Iraq, and the whiskey sexy election in Lebanon, and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, and the mob violence in Serbia where the nonviolent democrats burnt down the Parliament building and seized power. And now Iran.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Newsweek v. Evolutionary Psychology

Like all of us, Newsweek's Sharon Begley isn't getting any younger. And she's not getting any happier either about that tenet of evolutionary psychology that asserts, in her scoffing words in the current issue of Newsweek:
Men attracted to young, curvaceous babes were fitter because such women were the most fertile; mating with dumpy, barren hags is not a good way to grow a big family tree.

So, she spends 4300 words renewing her long-running attack on Evolutionary Psychology in:
Why Do We Rape, Kill and Sleep Around?
The fault, dear Darwin, lies not in our ancestors, but in ourselves.

... Evo psych took its first big hit in 2005, when NIU's Buller exposed flaw after fatal flaw in key studies underlying its claims, as he laid out in his book Adapting Minds.

I don't think it's too unfair to claim that Begley enunciated her most personal objection to evolutionary psychology in her 2005 review of David J. Buller's book in the Wall Street Journal:
Besides, if you scrutinize the data, you find that 50-ish men prefer 40-something women, not 25-year-olds, undermining a core claim of evo psych.

So that's why 45 year old strippers make so much more money than 25 year old strippers!

I give economists a hard time sometimes, but they all know this very useful concept -- "all else being equal" -- that Begley seems unfamiliar with, even though it's obviously essential to putting evolutionary psychology's assertions in proper perspective.

The really funny thing is that Begley has never figured out that David J. Buller’s attack on mainstream Evolutionary Psychology comes from an even more politically incorrect direction than does EP. Buller focused on two weak links in EP:

1. The brain evolved a wide variety of domain-specific modules.

2. The human race evolved a single human nature back during the Stone Age, with only sex differences being the only differences among humans of interest or importance.

And those premises are indeed weak, but their weakness has major implications that Begley would not want to mention in public.

1. Evolutionary psychology has tended to ignore the key insight of the last 105 years of psychometrics: the existence of a g factor, a general intelligence factor. This is not to say that there aren’t domain specific mental modules, just that the g factor glass is not just half empty, it’s also half full, and thus needs to be included in evolutionary psychology, or, indeed, any form of psychology.

2. Similarly, standard EP has tended to gloss over the fact that The Era of Evolutionary Adaptation has extended up to the present. Indeed, as Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending argued recently in The 10,000 Year Explosion, the coming of agriculture likely accelerated the rate of genetic change. But continued Darwinian selection after the dispersal of the human race out of Africa to quite different environments on different continents raises ticklish issues about human biodiversity that can be career killers in modern America. (Just ask James D. Watson!)

Considering how much eminent thinkers such as Watson, Arthur Jensen, and Charles Murray have been abused for their frankness in recent decades, it was perfectly reasonable for the founders of evolutionary psychology to shy away from these issues. After all, their taking on Feminist Orthodoxy at the peak of its power two decades ago was enormously brave.

Nonetheless, the future evolution of evolutionary psychology will depend upon finding solutions for these two shortcomings in its fundamental approach. (While somehow avoiding getting Watsoned.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 24, 2009

The numbers on affirmative action in admissions at Duke U.

A recent paper, "Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch: A New Test and Evidence" by four economists (Arcidiacomo, Aucejo, Fang, and Spenner) has some inside info from the Duke U. admissions department on Duke students, including SAT scores and freshmen grades. The table on p. 14 shows the standard rank order -- Asian, white, Latino, black -- on most of the various measures that the Admissions department worries about, as well as freshman grades. The overall results aren't surprising:

Asian: SAT 1464, freshman year GPA 3.40
White: SAT 1417 (s.d. 100), freshman year GPA 3.33 (s.d. 0.46)
Latino: SAT 1349, freshman year GPA 3.13
Black: SAT 1281, freshman year GPA 2.90

An SAT gap between whites and blacks of 136 points is not particularly large. (The Bell Curve lists SAT gaps from the early 1990s for 26 well-known colleges, ranging from 95 points at Harvard, the apex predator in the black recruitment game, to 271 at Rice, which is a small school that competes in big time sports, so a high proportion of Rice's black students are also jocks.) Perhaps Duke's famous basketball team raises its profile in the black community, letting it do well in recruiting strong black students (e.g., its black basketball players tend to be from upscale backgrounds, like Grant Hill and Shane Battier, plus Italian-speaking Kobe Bryant and his 1100 SAT score were headed to Duke from Lower Merion HS until the Lakers picked him straight out of high school).

The standard deviation for white students on the SAT (100) is about half of what it is for whites overall, so the 136 point racial gap is equal to 1.36 standard deviations. In contrast, the GPA gap is only about 0.94 standard deviations, probably due to to blacks taking easier courses.

The economists are concerned about investigating whether or not affirmative action admissions to Duke could hurt the NAM students by tossing them in over their heads. To my mind, it all depends on something they don't look at: intended major. If you just want a soft major, then you should of course take any opportunity presented to you to attend an elite private college with a huge endowment. High tuition colleges don't flunk out many people, so about the worst that could happen to you is that you spend four years feeling like Michelle Obama or Sonia Sotomayor, worried that people can tell that you got in on affirmative action and angry at them for noticing. But, really, cry me a river ...

On the other hand, if you want to major in something hard like mechanical engineering, then maybe you shouldn't jump in too far over your head.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Sanford and Ensign

Compared to the GOP sex scandals of the last few years, the brouhahas involving the two Republican politicians are surprising, since they involve women.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 23, 2009

Almost Two Orders of Magnitude

It's interesting to compare the number of hits turned up by Google for searches of two figures important in the history of IQ research:

- Sir Cyril Burt, who among much else, conducted early research on separated twins from which he derived a high estimate of the heritability of IQ.

- Rick Heber, whose Milwaukee Project to use intensive daycare to raise the IQs of poor black children was widely lauded at the time and continues to be cited unskeptically, as in Richard J. Nisbett's new book Intelligence and How to Get It.

The day after Burt's death in 1971 at 88, an anti-hereditarian colleague advised Burt's distraught housekeeper to burn his papers. Soon, widely publicized charges appeared claiming that Burt had fabricated his twin research, charges which couldn't be disproved from Burt's papers, which were now ashes. Leon Kamin and Stephen Jay Gould jumped in. Later research did much to salvage Burt's reputation, but by then the conventional wisdom had hardened. (Arthur Jensen concluded in his 1998 magnum opus The g Factor that most of the charges against Burt were exaggerations, but that he wouldn't use Burt's later publications, but that it hardly matters since subsequent separated twin studies, such as the famous Minnesota Twins project, came to almost identical conclusions.)

In contrast to Burt, Rick Heber turned out to be a conman who was sent to federal prison for stealing from the Milwaukee Project. In a way, Heber's criminality makes the Milwaukee Project a little more usable to nurturists, since the costs of the project -- $14 million supposedly spent on just 40 children over a half dozen years beginning in the relatively low-cost 1960s -- were so insanely high that they couldn't possibly be replicated on a mass scale. So, knowing that Heber was skimming some of that $14 million actually makes the Milwaukee Project look less ridiculous on the cost front. However, that knowledge also raises questions about it on the findings front. So, Heber's crimes have, unlike whatever it was that Burt did, been shoved down the Memory Hole.

A Google search of

"Cyril Burt" scandal

turns up 2,310 hits.


"Rick Heber" scandal

turns up 26 hits.

They say history is written by the winners, but I say that history is written by the history-writers.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Generation Length

Here's a simplified thought experiment to demonstrate the impact of generation length on the size of future populations:

Two babies girls are born today. They both will give birth to twins and to no other children, so their lifetime fertility will be at the idealized replacement rate of two. The only difference is that Tiffany will give birth to her twins at age 24 and Emma at age 32. Their descendants will continue these patterns: giving birth to twins at either age 24 or 32 years apart. Ninety-six years in the future, Tiffany's 16 great-great grandchildren and Emma's 8 great-grandchildren will be born.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Power of Procrastination

One of the advantages of not getting work done on a reasonable schedule is that new material keeps popping up. For example, while I was working on my new VDARE.com article about mortgage-meister Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial last night, at midnight The New Yorker happened to post a new article on the defendant in a new SEC fraud and insider trading suit that confirmed my interpretation.

Here's an excerpt from my VDARE.com piece on Mozilo:
Over the decades, the federal government changed the entire culture of the mortgage industry from penny-pinching skeptics to politically correct pollyannas.

Nobody took less persuading, however, than Mozilo. He always felt discriminated against by the old WASP financial elite. Jeff Bailey’s 2005 NYT article about Mozilo begins:
"A touch of resentment—based on income, education, social class—motivates countless ambitious people, though few will admit to it once they become successful. An exception is Angelo R. Mozilo …

Connie Bruck’s fairly sympathetic new article, Angelo’s Ashes: The man who became the face of the financial crisis, in the June 29, 2009 New Yorker (an abstract is online here) documents just how driven Mozilo always has been by his Commitment to Diversity. Mozilo’s sister told Bruck:
"He was always this Italian guy people didn’t want to accept. When he tans he gets really dark. My mother told me that when he worked in Florida he was asked to sit in the back of the bus."

(Actually, in many photographs, Mozilo looks less brown than orange, more like an Oompa-Loompa in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or the victim of a bad spray-on tan.)

Bruck notes:
"Mozilo always saw himself as providing mortgages to many who were like him -- disenfranchised. ('So they’re not upper-middle-class white people—so what?' he would say. 'They’re Hispanics, and maybe their money is not in a bank—but they are responsible.')'

Bruck’s article suggests that Mozilo actually believes what he told Congress in 2008:
"By the early 1990s, the government had recognized the obvious truth that our housing finance system was leaving major segments of society behind. In 1992, a landmark study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston made it clear that there were systemic underwriting issues relating to the treatment of African American and Hispanic borrowers. Policymakers called upon the mortgage industry to change their practices and redouble their efforts to better serve minorities and underserved communities. While many in the industry discounted the Boston Fed study as flawed, at Countrywide, we stepped up to the challenge by creating our affordable lending initiative known as 'House America.' "

Bruck’s New Yorker article supports Mozilo’s sincerity—or self-delusion:
"… In 1992, shortly after Mozilo became chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston issued a report stating that it had found systemic discrimination by mortgage lenders against African-American and Hispanic borrowers. … Mozilo was appalled. He ordered that all Countrywide’s records on rejected minority applicants be sent to him, and he retroactively approved about half of them. …"

In 2002, a UCLA business professor named Eric Flamholtz suggested to Mozilo the disastrous strategy of trying to grow Countrywide’s share of the mortgage market from ten percent to an oligopolistic 30 to 40 percent. But to pursue its goal of market dominance, Countrywide’s marginal customers would inevitably have to be drawn increasingly from the ranks of those who had never qualified for a mortgage before: in other words, they’d be largely minority.

Result: Mozilo grew into the ultimate embodiment of the type of financial executive the federal government had been cultivating: a monster of ambition combined with a diva of diversity.

Bruck goes on:
"By 2004, Countrywide had become a leading U.S. mortgage lender to what it called ‘multicultural market communities.’ Mozilo always described Countrywide’s inclusion of minority and immigrant populations as both business and mission, and he had become perhaps the single most important advocate of those who believed in advancing homeownership as a means of achieving a more equitable society."

According to The New Yorker, my kind of thinking about origins of the Mortgage Meltdown is personally and politically offensive to Mozilo:
"Several years ago, at the Midwinter Housing Conference, in Park City, Utah, after hearing some mortgage bankers saying that minorities didn’t deserve loans, he declared in a speech, ‘Homeownership is not a privilege but a right!’ Now he abhors the idea that the retrograde view has gained credence. As the Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said last September, 'Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.'"

Sorry about that, Angelo.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 22, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor: Barack Obama's ideological soul mate

Mickey Kaus points to an NYT article about Sonia Sotomayor's service on some kind of New York housing handout board a couple of decades ago, which documents both her Obama-like Who? Whom? worldview and her anti-Obama tendency to rub people the wrong way.

“She wanted lower-income people served, and that’s a good goal,” said Royce Mulholland, who represented the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal on the board. “But we also explained that the insurance program was intended to serve moderate- and middle-income apartments — and we only provided the insurance, which means we had very little leverage.”

Ms. Sotomayor did not confine her scrutiny to the balance between low- and middle-income housing.

After receiving a report about the agency’s affirmative action program in 1989, she requested a breakdown of the number of black and Hispanic workers. Later that year, when she was informed that just 8 percent of the agency’s contracts went to businesses owned by women or members of minorities, she called its performance “abysmal.”

“It was like a boys’ club when we came there,” recalled Hazel Dukes, who is black and joined the board about the same time as Ms. Sotomayor. “We knew how to be pushy. We were like bees in their bonnet.”

Fioravante G. Perrotta, a former agency board member, did not care for Ms. Sotomayor’s views. Mr. Perrotta recalls her as conscientious and knowledgeable, but he said she was an “extreme partisan” on questions of class and ethnicity.

“She made it very clear that she was very liberal and a Democrat,” Mr. Perrotta said, “and that really should have been a nonpolitical organization.”

Basically, Sotomayor is what Barack Obama would be if he had never mastered his "I have understood you" Jedi mind control shtick where he recounts his interlocutor's argument more eloquently that his conversational partner put it himself, thus persuading 99% of the people he talks to that he shares their views. After all, if he understands my views, how could he possibly not hold my views?

John Carney at Business Insider offers a more lucid explanation of what this government thing-a-mabob was supposed to do, and how Sotomayor's activism is relevant to today's mortgage meltdown.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 21, 2009

Jason Malloy's latest collection

Jason Malloy of GNXP has collected a bunch of interesting abstracts from the National Bureau of Economic Research, including Ted Joyce's latest on the Steven Levitt abortion-cuts-crime theory:
1. No link Abortion and Crime US and UK
2. Genetically closer nations more likely to go to war
3. Taller people are happier
4. B-W gap narrowed b/c Southern hospital desegregation
5. Fat white women and fat black men dislike themselves
6. Educated women are having more babies
7. Latin Americans are poor b/c they have low IQ
8. People just as likely to help different races
1. Abortion and Crime: A Review
Theodore J. Joyce

Abstract -----

Ten years have passed since John Donohue and Steven Levitt initially proposed that legalized abortion played a major role in the dramatic decline in crime during the 1990s. Criminologists largely dismiss the association because simple plots of age-specific crime rates are inconsistent with a large cohort affect following the legalization of abortion. Economists, on the other hand, have corrected mistakes in the original analyses, added new data, offered alternative tests and tried to replicate the association in other countries. Donohue and Levitt have responded to each challenge with more data and additional regressions. Making sense of the dueling econometrics has proven difficult for even the most seasoned empiricists. In this paper I review the evidence. I argue that the most straightforward test given available data involves age-specific arrest and homicide rates regressed on lagged abortion rates in the 1970s or indicators of abortion legalization in 1970 and 1973. Such models provide little support for the Donohue and Levitt hypothesis in either the US or the United Kingdom.


So, after a decade, we're back to where we were in August 1999 right after the debate in Slate between Steven Freakonomics Levitt and me: there's just not much convincing evidence for Levitt's abortion-cut-crime theory. On the other hand, Levitt's net worth is a lot higher than in August 1999, so, from a bottom line point-of-view, why should he care about whether he was right or not?
2. War and Relatedness
Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg

Abstract -----

We develop a theory of interstate conflict in which the degree of genealogical relatedness between populations has a positive effect on their conflict propensities because more closely related populations, on average, tend to interact more and develop more disputes over sets of common issues. We examine the empirical relationship between the occurrence of interstate conflicts and the degree of relatedness between countries, showing that populations that are genetically closer are more prone to go to war with each other, even after controlling for a wide set of measures of geographic distance and other factors that affect conflict, including measures of trade and democracy.


Dynastic marriages were often arranged in Europe to ensure piece between different countries, although they generally just caused worse problems in later generations by multiplying the number of claimants to the throne. One common type of war well into the 18th Century were Wars of Succession between rival claimants who ruled other countries to a vacant throne. For example, in 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy first put forward his claim to the throne of England based upon three different genealogical lines of descent. Similarly, English predation on France in the Hundred Years War was justified based on various genealogical theories legitimizing the King of England's claim to the French throne. Joan of Arc was one of the first to forcibly advance the modern nationalist view that the English should just go home to their island and leave the French alone.

It would be interesting to see examples of adjoining peoples who aren't closely related to each other. The most obvious I can think of are Tibetans and lowland Indians. I suspect they haven't fought that much because they don't want each other's land. Indian women can't reliably bear children at Tibet's altitude and Tibetans suffer grievously from malaria below about 5000 feet.
3. Life at the top: the benefits of height
Angus S. Deaton, Raksha Arora

Abstract -----

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index daily poll of the US population, taller people live better lives, at least on average. They evaluate their lives more favorably, and they are more likely to report a range of positive emotions such as enjoyment and happiness. They are also less likely to report a range of negative experiences, like sadness, and physical pain, though they are more likely to experience stress and anger, and if they are women, to worry. These findings cannot be attributed to different demographic or ethnic characteristics of taller people, but are almost entirely explained by the positive association between height and both income and education, both of which are positively linked to better lives.


The British Tory cabinet of 1895, the last to be dominated by members of the House of Lords, averaged over six feet in height. I suspect it wasn't just better nutrition and fewer infections, but also selection for height in the mating market.

Back when Hollywood used to make femme fatale movies, the femme fatales were notable for their long legs. It was a signal to the audience that the regular guy hero was getting himself in over his head.
4. Birth Cohort and the Black-White Achievement Gap: The Roles of Access and Health Soon After Birth
Kenneth Y. Chay, Jonathan Guryan, Bhashkar Mazumder

Abstract -----

One literature documents a significant, black-white gap in average test scores, while another finds a substantial narrowing of the gap during the 1980's, and stagnation in convergence after. We use two data sources -- the Long Term Trends NAEP and AFQT scores for the universe of applicants to the U.S. military between 1976 and 1991 -- to show: 1) the 1980's convergence is due to relative improvements across successive cohorts of blacks born between 1963 and the early 1970's and not a secular narrowing in the gap over time; and 2) the across-cohort gains were concentrated among blacks in the South. We then demonstrate that the timing and variation across states in the AFQT convergence closely tracks racial convergence in measures of health and hospital access in the years immediately following birth. We show that the AFQT convergence is highly correlated with post-neonatal mortality rates and not with neonatal mortality and low birth weight rates, and that this result cannot be explained by schooling desegregation and changes in family background. We conclude that investments in health through increased access at very early ages have large, long-term effects on achievement, and that the integration of hospitals during the 1960's affected the test performance of black teenagers in the 1980's.


Basically, being a black sharecropper in the Jim Crow South stunk.
5. Obesity, Self-esteem and Wages
Naci H. Mocan, Erdal Tekin

Abstract -----

Obesity is associated with serious health problems, and it can generate adverse economic outcomes. We analyze a nationally-representative sample of young American adults to investigate the interplay between obesity, wages and self-esteem. Wages can be impacted directly by obesity, and they can be influenced by obesity indirectly through the channel of obesity to self-esteem to wages. We find that female wages are directly influenced by body weight, and self-esteem has an impact on wages in case of whites. Being overweight or obese has a negative impact on the self-esteem of females and of black males. The results suggest that obesity has the most significant impact on white women's wages.


Upper middle class people are least likely to be obese, but those who are obese are probably most likely to suffer low self-esteem since it's most disfavored among their class. (This is one of those abstracts where you wonder if they looked at IQ.)

6. Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women
Qingyan Shang, Bruce A. Weinberg

Abstract -----

Observers have argued about whether highly-educated women are opting out of their careers and for families. If so, it is natural to expect fertility to increase and, insofar as children are associated with lower employment, further declines in employment. This paper provides a comprehensive study of recent trends in the fertility of college-graduate women. We study fertility at a range of ages; consider both the intensive and extensive margins, explore a range of data sets; and study the period from 1940 to 2006. In contrast to most existing work, we find that college graduate women are indeed opting for families. Fertility increases at almost all ages along both the intensive and extensive margins since the late 1990s or 2000 and this recent increase in fertility is consistent across datasets.


I do have a sense that upper middle class Americans are carving out of the rubble left over from the changes of the 1960s a semi-sustainable culture based on a lot of unspoken rules (monogamy, births within marriage, intensive investment in children, etc.). Still, they're in danger of getting swamped: the birth data shows that from 2005 to 2007, the number of babies born in the United States to married women declined 0.3 percent. In contrast, the number born to unmarried women grew 12.3 percent.

7. Schooling, Cognitive Skills, and the Latin American Growth Puzzle

Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann

Abstract -----

Economic development in Latin America has trailed most other world regions over the past four decades despite its relatively high initial development and school attainment levels. This puzzle can be resolved by considering the actual learning as expressed in tests of cognitive skills, on which Latin American countries consistently perform at the bottom. In growth models estimated across world regions, these low levels of cognitive skills can account for the poor growth performance of Latin America. Given the limitations of worldwide tests in discriminating performance at low levels, we also introduce measures from two regional tests designed to measure performance for all Latin American countries with internationally comparable income data. Our growth analysis using these data confirms the significant effects of cognitive skills on intra-regional variations. Splicing the new regional tests into the worldwide tests, we also confirm this effect in extended worldwide regressions, although it appears somewhat smaller in the regional Latin American data than in the worldwide data.


Not surprising.

8. Do Race and Fairness Matter in Generosity? Evidence from a Nationally Representative Charity Experiment
Christina M. Fong, Erzo F.P. Luttmer

Abstract -----

We present a dictator game experiment where the recipients are local charities that serve the poor. Donors consist of approximately 1000 participants from a nationally representative respondent panel that is maintained by a private survey research firm, Knowledge Networks. We randomly manipulate the perceived race and worthiness of the charity recipients by showing respondents an audiovisual presentation about the recipients. The experiment yields three main findings. First, we find significant racial bias in perceptions of worthiness: respondents rate recipients of their own racial group as more worthy. Second, respondents give significantly more when the recipients are described as more worthy. These findings may lead one to expect that respondents would also give more generously when shown pictures of recipients belonging to their own racial group. However, our third result shows that this is not the case; despite our successfully manipulating perceptions of race, giving does not respond significantly to recipient race. Thus, while our respondents do seem to rate ingroup members as more worthy, they appear to overcome this bias when it comes to giving.



My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

A theory of historical cultural stagnation

One important finding in Charles Murray's 2003 book Human Accomplishment is that during the rise of the West from 1500 onward, most major civilizations outside the West were stagnating culturally -- even in categories where they only compete against themselves (e.g., Arabic Literature, Chinese Literature, Indian Literature, Chinese Painting, Indian Philosophy, and Chinese Philosophy).

Only the Japanese seemed to be making steady progress on broad fronts. Not as fast as Europe, but during their isolationist period from 1601-1853, the Japanese were developing many of the features of modern Japan (geisha culture, sumo wrestling, etc.) and continued to progress in the arts. This forward movement may explain why they responded more impressively to the Western challenge when it finally arrived in 1853.

I think there may be a general historical pattern in which a culture goes through a growth phase, classics emerge, and then subsequent generations settle down to memorizing the classic books, which slowly leaches the dynamism from a society.

For example, during the competition of the Warring States era, the Chinese developed lots of ideas about politics and behavior. Subsequent generations judged Confucius, reasonably enough, to be the most sensible of the early Chinese thinkers. They then erected a meritocratic system for choosing government officials based more or less on who can memorize the most Confucius. This worked pretty well for a long time, but by, say, 1800, the Chinese have coasted about as far as they can go on Confucius and aren't prepared for the modern world. (Substitute Mohamed, Plato and Aristotle, Buddha, Aquinas, etc. for other civilizations.)

The invention of the printing press in the 1450s liberated Europe from the tyranny of memorization by making books cheap.

Here's my question about Japan: What are the classics that have dominated Japanese thought? Do they have many? Did they just pay lip service to Confucius. Is this relative lack of classics a key to their continued progress? In Modern Times, Paul Johnson says, "In a sense, the Japanese had always been modern-minded people."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Is Love Colorblind, Part MLXXVI

Anthropometry of Love: Height and Gender Asymmetries in Interethnic Marriages

Michèle Belot , Jan Fidrmuc

Both in the UK and in the US, we observe puzzling gender asymmetries in the propensity to outmarry: Black men are substantially more likely to have white spouses than Black women, but the opposite is true for Chinese: Chinese men are half less likely to be married to a White person than Chinese women. We argue that differences in height distributions, combined with a simple preference for a taller husband, can explain a large proportion of these ethnic-specific gender asymmetries. Blacks are taller than Asians, and we argue that this significantly affects their marriage prospects with whites. We provide empirical support for this hypothesis using data from the Health Survey for England and the Millenium Cohort Study, which contains valuable and unique information on heights of married couples.

Yes, I'm sure height plays a role, as I wrote in 1997 (citing height along with hair length and muscularity as visible differences) but black and white men are almost identical in height in the U.S. (Non-Hispanic white men are 0.4 inches taller on average than black men.) Moreover, Asians appear to have been getting taller at a fairly fast rate, both in Asia and in America, while whites and blacks have barely been getting taller. (White men age 20-39 are only 0.4" taller than white men age 40-59.)

And yet the Gender Gaps did not shrink between the 1990 and 2000 Censuses.

Black women have seemed to be getting fatter, while black men have tended to stay in decent shape. Among blacks 20-39, women now have larger waists than men, which can't help black women in the mating market.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer