The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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I was recently reading Sexual Behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women Ages 14–94. At N ~ 6,000 it's a large sample of American sexual behavior around 2010. There was one descriptive result which I thought was interesting, though not surprising. Before the age of 25 it... Read More
The Estonian Biocentre has put up lots of data in Plink pedigree format. Format is important because now many of you can manipulate these data. This the source of some of the data in PHYLO, so I need to double check the IDs or rebuild the data set (though for basic exploration I think PHYLO... Read More
I was at ASHG this week, so I've followed reactions to the election passively. But one thing I've seen is repeated commentary on the fact that Asian Americans have swung toward the Democrats over the past generation. The thing that pisses me off is that there is a very obvious low-hanging fruit sort of explanation... Read More
Last week the GSS was down. I was very sad. The SDA team explains the situation:
Despite the real estate bubble bursting, it looks as if Florida will surpass New York in population by the next Census. I once made some quick money by betting an older gentleman that Texas had a larger population than New York. I suspect there's even more money to be made by betting people that Florida... Read More
If you had the sense that Paul Ehrlich and Garrett Hardin are very much figures of the 1970s nexus of environmentalism and population control, it seems you are right. According to Google Ngrams mention of these topics has been declining since peaking during the oil crisis, in the afterglow of the influence of the late... Read More
  In the post below I took the time out to link to the GSS, as well as posting my exact queries. As payment for this consideration the first comment was absolute drivel. I understand people have political opinions, but I'm not too interested in your opinions. You may be interested in your opinions, but... Read More
After the post on fatness and homophobia I decided to query the GSS on the extent to which people think that fatness has a strong biological element, similar to homosexuality. There's a variable, GENENVO1. It asks: Character, personality, and many types of behavior are influenced both by the genes people inherit from their parents and... Read More
Over at Econlog Bryan Caplan bets that India's fertility will be sup-replacement within 20 years. My first inclination was to think that this was a totally easy call for Caplan to make. After all, much of southern India, and the northwest, is already sup-replacement. And then I realized that heterogeneity is a major issue. This... Read More
Over at Darwin Catholic a commenter asked whether a pro-choice commenter on this weblog also supported the death penalty. I presume that they were here pointing to the consistent life ethic issue. Many liberals who oppose capital punishment support abortion rights, and many conservatives who support capital punishment oppose abortion rights. These camps both have... Read More
It's basically impossible to avoid hearing about Todd Akin right now. My Twitter and Facebook feeds are kind of swamped. But it did make me wonder: what percentage of Americans reject abortion in cases of rape and incest? The GSS has a handy variable, ABRAPE, which asks respondents about the possibility of abortion if a... Read More
Long time readers know that one of my pet hobby-horses is to try and convince more pundits that they should use the GSS. Opinions based on opinions may be fun, but opinions based on facts may be useful. In general my appeals have fallen on deaf ears. But today I notice that Will Saletan is... Read More
Reihan Salam has a post up on the alignment of racism and political orientation. He begins: Chris is a good friend of mine, and we grew up in the same milieu. I can attest to the fact that the view he expressed is very widely held in the circles in which we both travel.... Salam... Read More
There was a question below in regards to the high fertility of some extreme ("ultra") religious groups, in particular Haredi Jews. The commenter correctly points out that these Jews utilize the Western welfare system to support large families. This is not limited to just Haredi Jews. The reason Somalis and Arabs have fertility ~3.5 in... Read More
A commenter below notes: First, let's not get caught in the assumption that for genes to be disfavored one has to have zero fitness in individuals carrying those genes. If, for example, in a situation of demographic expansion you had individuals who had eight children vs. those who had one child, there would be selection... Read More
There's a cliche, which isn't totally false, that more education tends to lead one toward heterodox viewpoints which challenge conventional norms. But one issue that has been coming to the fore over the last 10 years or so is that college educated Americans tend toward social liberalism, and yet often continue to live very bourgeois... Read More
The readers of this weblog are relatively non-fecund, at least going by reader surveys. But I was curious nonetheless about the attitudes toward number of children, and realized goals of number of children, in the General Social Survey. I decided to look at two variables: CHILDS CHLDIDEL The former asks the respondent how many children... Read More
In the year 2008 1,400 people were asked this question in the GSS: (variable ANSCITST) I was curious because I ran into some stuff on pro-life sites today about how animal rights activist don't oppose abortion, and how hypocritical that is. So naturally I was curious about how attitudes varied on that issue. Allow animal... Read More
Prompted by a comment below I was curious as to the correlation between intelligence and income. To indicate intelligence I used the GSS's WORDSUM variable, which has a ~0.70 correlation with IQ. For income, I used REALINC, which is indexed to 1986 values (so it is inflation adjusted) and aggregates the household income. Finally, I... Read More
In the further interests of putting quantitative data out their instead of vague impressions, I noticed two GSS variables which might be of interest. One queries the impression of effect on the environment of genetically modified crops. The second asks about whether science does more harm than good. The latter question exhibited almost no year... Read More
In the comments Chad says: First, I'm going to reiterate something: the majority of the human race consists of individuals who are not very smart. This is not meant as an insult, but it's basically the truth. We may not be talking about idiots, but the average person on the street can not come close... Read More
A weeks ago Robert Wright had a post up, Creationists vs. Evolutionists: An American Story. Here's the crux: A few decades ago, Darwinians and creationists had a de facto nonaggression pact: Creationists would let Darwinians reign in biology class, and otherwise Darwinians would leave creationists alone. The deal worked. I went to a public high... Read More
I often hear in the media that Hispanics are "socially conservative." For that sort of thing you do need "quick & dirty" rules-of-thumb, and the assertion seems broadly plausible. On the other hand, the Hispanic attitude toward gay marriage isn't really that different from non-Hispanic white (see GSS MARHOMO variable). So I decided to query... Read More
To my surprise there is apparently a move on the part of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to curtail funding for The American Community Survey. I am not too excited by the idea that you could get fined for not filling out a government survey form, but neither do I think that abolishing... Read More
A few years ago a book came out, American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. The title clearly was aimed to push copies, but the gist of the title has moderately wide circulation. The rough sketch is that conservative American Protestants are roughly equivalent to conservative Muslims. I... Read More
The magazine Foreign Policy recently had a "sex" issue out. This issue is particularly famous for Mona Eltahaway's jeremiad against Arab male culture, and their attitudes toward women. Over at bloggingheads.tv Charli Carpenter expresses some concern that the issue seemed so singularly focused on Arabs, as if women's rights is a problem with particular salience... Read More
Many of the people I socialize with in "real life" have a biological sciences background. That being said, a relatively deep understanding of ncRNA does not give you any better sense of behavior genetics than the person off the street. And of course when you have a small child conversation often goes in the direction... Read More
Is 4-Year-Old as Smart as Einstein? Not Quite, Scientists Say: I'm a little confused here. It seems to me that the biggest issue with IQ tests given to very young individuals is expected variance in outcomes across tests. Raise your hand if you know a moderately bright person who "tested off the charts" as a... Read More
I don't have time to do a detailed analysis of my group selection survey right now. So I've uploaded the raw results for anyone to play with (there is no personally identifying information obviously). You should be able to convert it into an appropriate format for R or something else pretty easily.
A few years ago I put up a post, WORDSUM & IQ & the correlation, as a "reference" post. Basically if anyone objected to using WORDSUM, a variable in the General Social Survey, then I would point to that post and observe that the correlation between WORDSUM and general intelligence is 0.71. That makes sense,... Read More
Update: There was a major coding error. I've rerun the analysis. No qualitative change. As is often the case a 10 minute post using the General Social Survey is getting a lot of attention. Apparently circa 1997 web interfaces are so intimidating to people that extracting a little data goes a long way. Instead of... Read More
A few months ago I listened to Frank Newport of Gallup tell Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace that upper class Americans tend to be Democrats. Ryssdal was skeptical, but Newport reiterated himself, and explained that's just how the numbers shook out. This is important because Newport shows up every now and then to offer up numbers... Read More
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative, White Working-Class ‘Seculars’: One way to answer this question is look at the GSS. I used the ATTEND (attend church that is) variable to ascertain secularity. Those who never attended church or did so less than once a year (in other words, some years they did attend, in other... Read More
The post below on teachers elicited some strange responses. Its ultimate aim was to show that teachers are not as dull as the average education major may imply to you. Instead many people were highly offended at the idea that physical education teachers may not be the sharpest tools in the shed due to their... Read More
You may not have noticed, but Google has been spiffing up its Data Explorer. Poking around you see nice illustrations of phenomena which you otherwise may just read about. For example, Argentina has been one of the classic illustrations in economic history of stagnation. To a great extent it peaked around 1900, and development has... Read More
Prompted by Andrea Mitchell's complaint that Iowa is not representative of America in racial terms the Audacious Epigone probed an American state's typicality in terms of racial demographics, using the overall American population as a measure. One of the major issues with judging the typicality of a given state is that there is a great... Read More
You probably know that the USA has officially withdrawn from Iraq. And you probably also know that in many ways Iraq became the de facto 51st American state for nearly a decade (I remember that my phone's news app had an "Iraq" section back in 2007). Looking back 10 years ago I recall my attitude... Read More
With the collapse various North African regimes there has been a great concern about the migration of people from the southern shore of the Mediterranean to the northern. The of the reasons for this concern is that there is an imbalance in population growth. So I thought I'd review some of the data on Mediterranean... Read More
A questioner below was curious if vocabulary test differences by ethnic and region persist across income. There's a problem with this. First, the INCOME variable isn't very fine-grained (there is a catchall $30,000 or greater category). Second, it doesn't seem to control for inflation. But, there is a variable, DEGREE, which asks the highest level... Read More
Mike the Mad Biologist has a post up, A Modest Proposal: Alabama Whites Are Genetically Inferior to Massachusetts Whites (FOR REALZ!). The post is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but it's actually an interesting question: what's the difference between whites in various regions of the United States? I've looked at this before, but I thought I'd revisit it... Read More
The above results are from an Ipsos MORI from last summer. Please note, the opinions above are restricted only to those who asserted a religious affiliation. Obviously in Saudi Arabia this is irrelevant, as nearly the whole population has a religious affiliation. But it is important in Japan, because there nearly 2 out of 3... Read More
We'll be talking about Iran a lot in the near future in the United States. I doubt we'll invade the country (thank god). But one thing I think needs to be emphasized: on social issues Iran is more "progressive" than many of our close allies in the region, like Saudi Arabia, and one of the... Read More
In the post below I stumbled upon a weird datum. Kuwait's total fertility is now below 3. The average estimates seem to be ~2.5 or so. This surprised me, as my impression was that Gulf Arab petroleum based states tended to encourage pro-natalism. This was both a matter of ideology, and also because the small... Read More
Argentina has famously gone from being the 10th wealthiest to the 60th wealthiest nation in the world over the past 100 years. But I was curious about the trends for its neighbors as well in a world context.
  I wanted to clarify a few issues with the Census' American Community Survey. These data come from the interval of 2006-2008, and they allowed me to query the proportional of various Latino/Hispanic groups who identified as white. I knew in the aggregate that the majority of America's Latinos identified as white, but I was... Read More
With the current economic malaise in the developed economies and the rise of the "B.R.I.C.s" you hear a lot about "China" and "India." There is often a tacit acknowledge that China and India are large diverse nations, but nevertheless in a few paragraphs they often get reduced to some very coarse generalizations. What's worse is... Read More
I recently noted that the SDA Archive has an American Community Survey interface. The ACS has huge sample sizes because the US government can afford to do extensive surveys. And naturally you find some really interesting facts. For example, there's a variable which tells you about the presence of grandchildren in the household. In some... Read More
One of the things I really hate are unqualified linear projections. They're so useless most of the time. A science fiction magazine will give you more insight about the future than the United Nations population projection for the year 2100. This is just as much of an issue when it comes to American Census demographic... Read More
In the comments below a weird fact came to light: it does not seem that liberal/Democrat reduced skepticism toward astrology vs. conservatives/Republicans can be explained just by a secularization, and therefore diminished Christian orthodoxy. There are two reasons for this. First, on a priori grounds most people are religious, liberals and conservatives. The difference between... Read More
Someone on twitter was curious about GOP attitudes toward astrology. I left the party breakdown out of the previous post because ideology accounts for most party differences. In other words, conservatives are more skeptical of astrology than liberals, and Republicans more than Democrats, but the second result just seems to emerge from the Republican's greater... Read More
Razib Khan
About Razib Khan

"I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com"