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African Americans

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Rêverie, Adrien de Witte (1850-1935). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
African Americans sleep on average almost an hour less than do Euro Americans. The two groups have mean sleep times of 6.05 hours and 6.85 hours. This finding has recently been discussed by Brian Resnick in National Journal and by our Steve Sailer. Researchers reject a genetic explanation: "There is a consensus that innate biological... Read More
Chief Makwira and his wives, Malawi, 1903. Older men had first priority. Younger men could gain access to women only through war or adultery.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In my last column, I reviewed the findings of Butovskaya et al. (2015) on testosterone and polygyny in two East African peoples: - Testosterone levels were higher in the polygynous Datoga than in the monogamous Hadza. This difference is innate. - Datoga men were more aggressive than Hadza men on all measures used (physical aggression,... Read More
Solitude - Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In a mixed group, women become quieter, less assertive, and more compliant. This deference is shown only to men and not to other women in the group. A related phenomenon is the sex gap in self-esteem: women tend to feel less self-esteem in all social settings. The gap begins at puberty and is greatest in... Read More
The Perfume Maker, Rudolf Ernst (1854-1932).  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It has long been known that we vary not only in our sensitivity to different smells but also in our preferences for them—the degree to which they seem pleasant or unpleasant. This variability often contains a large genetic component (Gross-Isseroff et al., 1992; Karstensen and Tommerup, 2012; Keller et al., 2007; Keller et al., 2012;... Read More
As a professor at Columbia, Franz Boas encountered the elite liberal culture of the American Northeast, one example being Mary White Ovington, a founder of the NAACP, Credit Wikimedia Commons
Antiracism has roots that go back to early Christianity and the assimilationist Roman and Hellenistic empires. In its modern form, however, it is a much more recent development, particularly in its special focus on relations between whites and blacks and its emphasis on discrimination as the cause of any mental or behavioral differences. Modern antiracism... Read More
Allele dominance (source). A single copy of a dominant allele is as effective as two copies of a recessive allele. The current thinking is that intellectual capacity has increased in humans through new alleles that cause small positive effects at a large number of gene loci. It now seems that some of these new alleles... Read More
Crystal Gayle, American country music singer (source). In humans of Eurasian origin, head hair can grow down to the mid-back and even farther. Long silky hair must have evolved relatively late, certainly no earlier than the last 50,000 years. All of us are born pale, and this infant pallor is striking in otherwise dark-skinned families.... Read More
Fulani woman, Nigeria. Source. African Americans aren’t just sub-Saharan Africans with European admixture. There has also been admixture from Amerindian peoples and from groups partly of North African origin, like the Fulani. Have African Americans evolved since they first came to North America? The question may seem strange. Doesn’t evolution happen over millions of years?... Read More
Figurine of African American grandmother and child. Is teenage childbearing pathological? Anthropologist Linda Burton argues otherwise in her study of an African American community, and she cites other researchers who have come to similar conclusions: By viewing teenage childbearing as a reproductive strategy, with its own logic and life goals, we may better understand why... Read More
Y-axis: Mean attractiveness rating X-axis: Black faces, Mixed-Race faces, White faces Top curve – ratings by female students Bottom curve – ratings by male students (Lewis, 2010) This study has attracted much notice in the media and on the Internet. When photos of black, white, and mixed-race faces were shown to twenty white psychology students... Read More
This year, look for advances in the following areas: Brain growth genes Back in 2005, it was found that human populations vary considerably at two genes, ASPM and microcephalin, that control the growth of brain tissue. The finding seemed to be ‘huge’ in its implications. Then, it all fizzled out. No correlation could be found... Read More
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