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51WB8ztO9qL Whenever I talk about The Nurture Assumption there are a minority of angry and peeved comments. Usually they’re not too coherent, but they don’t get me down. The reality is that the basic message of the book is very important to get out to the American public, by which I mean upper to upper middle class Americans (since these are the target of “think pieces”). The reason is that today the “nurture assumption” reigns ascendant, and makes superhuman demands on parents, especially mothers. This explains some of the reaction to a new paper, Does the Amount of Time Mothers Spend With Children or Adolescents Matter? (ungrated). For a representative example, see in The Washington Post, Making time for kids? Study says quality trumps quantity. Quality as in quality of time.

But one thing bothers me about these treatments in the press: the totally confounded nature of causality. Consider:

The one key instance Milkie and her co-authors found where the quantity of time parents spend does indeed matter is during adolescence: The more time a teen spends engaged with their mother, the fewer instances of delinquent behavior. And the more time teens spend with both their parents together in family time, such as during meals, the less likely they are to abuse drugs and alcohol and engage in other risky or illegal behavior. They also achieve higher math scores.

The implication above is that “time engaged with mother” → “less delinquent behavior.” But we don’t know that that’s causal at all. Rather, it could be a correlation between a third factor, term in “prosociality,” and these two variables. More generally if you look for references to genetics in the original paper you won’t find it. It strikes me that one of the reasons that parental investment doesn’t seem to matter so much is that there are many outcomes they just aren’t effecting, because their primary contribution in heritable, with a major secondary contribution to the environmental context in which children grow up (the “non-shared environment”).

High parental investment also isn’t about the children in the proximate sense (though parents sincerely believe that it matters ultimately). Rather, it’s a form of inter-familial status competition. The “best” parents are those who invest the most, and achieve the best outcomes in their offspring.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Behavior Genetics 
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  1. I think the tiger mom phenomenon, which seems to be primarily Asian, and the “impotance of spending time” phenomenon, which seems to me to have come out of a non-Asian tradition, are not precisely the same, although they make become conflated or reinforce each other in the US.

    I had a young English student in Japan whose mother sat next to him during lessons so she could smack him when he started to fall asleep. I don’t think any “nurture-assuming” social scientist in the US means this by “spending time.”

    What people should learn from distinctions like the one I’m making is that “nurturing” may not play a role even in highly aggressive mothering.

    • Replies: @Helga Vierich
    So let’s get real: “aggressive” mothering is abuse. It might get short term results in the same way that having a ferocious drill sergeant gets results by “whipping” raw recruits into shape.

    Consider this: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/05/_tiger_mom_study_shows_the_parenting_method_doesn_t_work.html

    And this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201209/shaming-children-is-emotionally-abusive?tr=MostViewed

    And this: http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime

    Or even this: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window

  2. It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    In one of Ron Unz’s articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California, but the other Asian subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were vastly over represented. That would seem to suggest Tiger Mothering can be useful in some circumstances.

    • Replies: @JayMan

    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.
     
    Ask and ye shall receive:

    Transracial adoption study: Lindblad et al, 2003 | Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Transracial adoption study: Stams et al, 2000 | Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Transracial adoption study: Bruce et al (2009) | Clear Language, Clear Mind
    , @Joe Q.

    In one of Ron Unz’s articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement.
     
    Your comment prompted me to dig up this discussion -- seems that Unz is not without his critics on this point (apparently his analysis is based on numbers of students with Jewish-sounding names at east-coast US universities)
    , @AshTon
    Documentary on Chinese-born twin sisters, raised apart.

    UK - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b053pxdt/twin-sisters-a-world-apart

    USA - http://video.pbs.org/video/2365338330/
    , @ohwilleke

    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.
     
    While only anecdotal, my wife and her sister were raised in a traditional Asian tiger mother environment, while my brother and I, and my own children were not. My own children say that one of the things they like most about our household is that it is "chill".

    Academically, however, my brother and I, and my children, performed better than my wife and her sister (their parents are both medical doctors who were academically very high achieving themselves by the way). For example, one of my children was the highest ranked in her class (three years of straight As in the most difficult classes available) and the other is number two or three so far, out of about 300 students in their class in middle school, and my eldest has performed similarly in high school (i.e. not quite perfect, but very close to the top of the class in the most demanding classes available). My brother and I were about the same when we were in school. My wife and sister were in the middle of their private school classes academically.

    On the other hand, while I don't know the story for my sister-in-law, my wife (raised by a "tiger mom") performed much better in terms of college grades, relative to her SAT scores, than I did (we had exactly the same college GPA but I had much higher test scores).

    Similarly, among my cousins, those with the least high pressured parents performed best academically in high school and college.

    This isn't statistically significant evidence and is subject to all sorts of confounds. But, at a minimum, it demonstrates that very exceptional academic achievement is not inconsistent with a very laid back, low pressure parenting style. On the other hand, this experience doesn't entirely discount the possibility that there could be academic benefits to high pressure parenting.

  3. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California

    Due to multi-generational intermarriage, many “Japanese-Americans” today aren’t full or even mostly Japanese in genetics.

    Nonetheless I agree that the generational collapse appears real. It certainly seems sufficiently real enough to the original Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, who writes of her fear of it constantly in the “Battle Hymns of…” book. In fact, she writes quite plainly that her Tiger Mothering is an effort to combat the generational decline disease among affluent immigrant progeny.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    True, but even if you examine just full-blooded Japanese-Americans you'll see the same pattern. Unz noted that of the Japanese names he saw on finalist list, a large percentage had ethnic first and last names. He noted this because it's often foreign expatriates (Japan has quite a few expats in America on business assignments) who keep ethnic names, while American-born Japanese have Americanized first names. So the Japanese-American decline is even steeper than we might realize.

    Also, marriages tend to be assortive for education and income. So the children of Japanese and white-American spouses would likely not see a drop in IQ. Especially since Japanese tend to outperform their IQ (relative to whites), Japanese would likely tend to marry up in IQ when they intermarry.
    , @ohwilleke

    Due to multi-generational intermarriage, many “Japanese-Americans” today aren’t full or even mostly Japanese in genetics.
     
    Many Japanese-Americans in California have immigrant origins in the United States in the 19th century (contemporaneous with most Southern European, Irish Catholic, Polish and Scandinavian immigration), while many other Asian-American populations in the United States have post-WWII immigration stories.

    But, most of the intermarriage among the ancestors of of current PSAT takers in California probably took place in their parents' marriage. Interracial marriage of Japanese-Americans has become much more common (approaching 50%) in very recent history than it was previously.
  4. @JohnnyWalker123
    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    In one of Ron Unz's articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California, but the other Asian subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were vastly over represented. That would seem to suggest Tiger Mothering can be useful in some circumstances.

    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    Ask and ye shall receive:

    Transracial adoption study: Lindblad et al, 2003 | Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Transracial adoption study: Stams et al, 2000 | Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Transracial adoption study: Bruce et al (2009) | Clear Language, Clear Mind

  5. High parental investment also isn’t about the children in the proximate sense (though parents sincerely believe that it matters ultimately). Rather, it’s a form of inter-familial status competition. The “best” parents are those who invest the most, and achieve the best outcomes in their offspring

    Yes. Though I don’t think it’s just that. Will have more on that later.

  6. • Replies: @ziel
    His (Wolfers's) critique seemed shockingly weak. What did you think?
    , @JayMan

    Well, Justin Wolfers disagrees
     
    Justin Wolfers is an idiot.
  7. @JohnnyWalker123
    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    In one of Ron Unz's articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California, but the other Asian subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were vastly over represented. That would seem to suggest Tiger Mothering can be useful in some circumstances.

    In one of Ron Unz’s articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement.

    Your comment prompted me to dig up this discussion — seems that Unz is not without his critics on this point (apparently his analysis is based on numbers of students with Jewish-sounding names at east-coast US universities)

  8. @Robert Ford
    Well, Justin Wolfers disagrees: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/upshot/yes-your-time-as-a-parent-does-make-a-difference.html

    His (Wolfers’s) critique seemed shockingly weak. What did you think?

    • Replies: @Robert Ford
    For sure, I kind of posted it as a joke cuz it was so bad. I tweeted at him about it (like he cares.) That's the kind of stuff we get from NYTIMES more often than we should.
  9. @Chrisnonymous
    I think the tiger mom phenomenon, which seems to be primarily Asian, and the "impotance of spending time" phenomenon, which seems to me to have come out of a non-Asian tradition, are not precisely the same, although they make become conflated or reinforce each other in the US.

    I had a young English student in Japan whose mother sat next to him during lessons so she could smack him when he started to fall asleep. I don't think any "nurture-assuming" social scientist in the US means this by "spending time."

    What people should learn from distinctions like the one I'm making is that "nurturing" may not play a role even in highly aggressive mothering.
    • Replies: @Bill P
    From a Western perspective, tiger mothering seems quite abusive indeed, but that's because we're thinking about white families who behave in a similar way. I spent some time with a Chinese family as a youth, and from what I observed Chinese are very loving toward their children and have a sense of duty concerning their obigations toward family that kids no doubt pick up on and perceive as love. When they shame or push their children it isn't seen so much as abusive as it is "for their own good."

    With whites, on the other hand, it's seen as a reflection on the value/utility of the child. Parents who are harsh are essentially saying "you're worthless." That and the fact that violence in white families is often mean-spirited and appalling, and sometimes includes threats to kill/annihilate. It isn't uncommon, for example, for white mothers to tell their children "I wish I'd aborted you," or for abusive white fathers to beat their kids to demonstrate their superiority as individuals rather than their authority as fathers.

    Another factor is the child-centric nature of the Chinese family. When Chinese are being authoritative and strict, they're doing it because they view the child as a project rather than the enemy. There are often disagreements between parents, with one taking on a strict role and another a supportive role. With whites, the two often team up on the kid to "put him in his place." It's a sort of tag-team for whites, with the father beating/controlling the child on behalf of the mother or the mother pushing the kid around so the father can ignore family and focus on making money, which benefits her personally.

    Therefore whites rightly see authoritative parenting as bad, selfish parenting, because the goals are fundamentally different: for them it's about making sure the children don't interfere with their "self-actualization," whereas for Chinese it's actually about the success of the kids.
    , @Sandgroper
    Amy Chua was abusive.

    I know a lot of Chinese mothers, through my own personal circumstances, and none of them have been anywhere near as extreme as she was. And a lot of them called Chua out for being an abusive mother.

    'Tiger mom' is not a single condition that describes all East Asian mothers, clearly - there is going to be a wide range of behaviours, just as there is among white American mothers. It means more than just making your kid do his homework, a lot more than that, and Chua was towards one extreme end. I'd say not the complete extreme, because it can get pretty nasty, but heading towards that extreme.

    I had to do my homework. It didn't scar me for life. What I do know is that during adolescence, I wanted as little to do with my mother as possible, and I did not exhibit delinquent behaviour. Sample of one.

  10. @ziel
    His (Wolfers's) critique seemed shockingly weak. What did you think?

    For sure, I kind of posted it as a joke cuz it was so bad. I tweeted at him about it (like he cares.) That’s the kind of stuff we get from NYTIMES more often than we should.

  11. @Robert Ford
    Well, Justin Wolfers disagrees: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/upshot/yes-your-time-as-a-parent-does-make-a-difference.html

    Well, Justin Wolfers disagrees

    Justin Wolfers is an idiot.

    • Replies: @Robert Ford
    I'd guess he'd disagree with that too!
  12. @JayMan

    Well, Justin Wolfers disagrees
     
    Justin Wolfers is an idiot.

    I’d guess he’d disagree with that too!

  13. @JohnnyWalker123
    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    In one of Ron Unz's articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California, but the other Asian subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were vastly over represented. That would seem to suggest Tiger Mothering can be useful in some circumstances.
  14. Helpful mothers make a big difference where a kid’s success in adolescence is concerned. Time with mothers is another matter.

    My guess is that children with difficult, unhelpful mothers deliberately avoid them, because more time with them would be even more problematic. My own mom was an ambitious, stressed out careerist who brought her work frustrations home, and I left home periodically for weeks on end to avoid her as a teen, suffering the inevitable academic consequences (missed classes, lower grades) as a result. On the positive side, I did learn how to take care of myself without adult assistance by my mid teens, but learning that you can’t rely on adults too early is not usually good for furthering one’s instutional achievement.

    Somehow I doubt readers of these articles would take well to one that stressed the importance of quality in mothering. American women take deep offense to anything that suggests they have any responsibility for social outcomes.

  15. @Helga Vierich
    So let’s get real: “aggressive” mothering is abuse. It might get short term results in the same way that having a ferocious drill sergeant gets results by “whipping” raw recruits into shape.

    Consider this: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/05/_tiger_mom_study_shows_the_parenting_method_doesn_t_work.html

    And this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201209/shaming-children-is-emotionally-abusive?tr=MostViewed

    And this: http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime

    Or even this: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window

    From a Western perspective, tiger mothering seems quite abusive indeed, but that’s because we’re thinking about white families who behave in a similar way. I spent some time with a Chinese family as a youth, and from what I observed Chinese are very loving toward their children and have a sense of duty concerning their obigations toward family that kids no doubt pick up on and perceive as love. When they shame or push their children it isn’t seen so much as abusive as it is “for their own good.”

    With whites, on the other hand, it’s seen as a reflection on the value/utility of the child. Parents who are harsh are essentially saying “you’re worthless.” That and the fact that violence in white families is often mean-spirited and appalling, and sometimes includes threats to kill/annihilate. It isn’t uncommon, for example, for white mothers to tell their children “I wish I’d aborted you,” or for abusive white fathers to beat their kids to demonstrate their superiority as individuals rather than their authority as fathers.

    Another factor is the child-centric nature of the Chinese family. When Chinese are being authoritative and strict, they’re doing it because they view the child as a project rather than the enemy. There are often disagreements between parents, with one taking on a strict role and another a supportive role. With whites, the two often team up on the kid to “put him in his place.” It’s a sort of tag-team for whites, with the father beating/controlling the child on behalf of the mother or the mother pushing the kid around so the father can ignore family and focus on making money, which benefits her personally.

    Therefore whites rightly see authoritative parenting as bad, selfish parenting, because the goals are fundamentally different: for them it’s about making sure the children don’t interfere with their “self-actualization,” whereas for Chinese it’s actually about the success of the kids.

    • Replies: @bossel

    I spent some time with a Chinese family as a youth, and from what I observed Chinese are very loving toward their children and have a sense of duty concerning their obigations toward family that kids no doubt pick up on and perceive as love.
     
    One family? Lack of data, I suppose...
    It varies widely in China & for what I have seen, children are seen as an investment in the future (the parents' future, that is).
    Counter example to your experience: my ex-girlfriends brother got totally spoilt when he was a child. When he was 14 or 15, fat & lazy, an obvious academic failure, the parents became completely abusive.
    But as I said, it varies widely...

    It isn’t uncommon, for example, for white mothers to tell their children “I wish I’d aborted you,”
     
    "Not uncommon"? Does that mean, you think it's common? Any numbers for that?
    Haven't heard that anywhere.
  16. @Twinkie

    He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California
     
    Due to multi-generational intermarriage, many "Japanese-Americans" today aren't full or even mostly Japanese in genetics.

    Nonetheless I agree that the generational collapse appears real. It certainly seems sufficiently real enough to the original Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, who writes of her fear of it constantly in the "Battle Hymns of..." book. In fact, she writes quite plainly that her Tiger Mothering is an effort to combat the generational decline disease among affluent immigrant progeny.

    True, but even if you examine just full-blooded Japanese-Americans you’ll see the same pattern. Unz noted that of the Japanese names he saw on finalist list, a large percentage had ethnic first and last names. He noted this because it’s often foreign expatriates (Japan has quite a few expats in America on business assignments) who keep ethnic names, while American-born Japanese have Americanized first names. So the Japanese-American decline is even steeper than we might realize.

    Also, marriages tend to be assortive for education and income. So the children of Japanese and white-American spouses would likely not see a drop in IQ. Especially since Japanese tend to outperform their IQ (relative to whites), Japanese would likely tend to marry up in IQ when they intermarry.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Good points.

    I agree that there does seem to be significant "generational decline" academically among Japanese-Americans and Jewish-Americans. Several Japanese-Americans I know (American-born, multi-generationals) are long-haired surfer types. They are most certainly not Tiger Cubs like some recent immigrant Chinese, Korean, and Indian youngsters.

    Interestingly enough, while that academic decline seems to have lowered the average Japanese-American income, the average Jewish-American income remains very high.

    In his "Myth of the American Meritocracy" article, I think Mr. Unz argues for the existence of strong nepotism for Jewish students at elite universities despite the poor academic pool of Jewish students today. Perhaps that provides for a *partial* explanation for the discrepancy between academic performance and income.
  17. @Helga Vierich
    So let’s get real: “aggressive” mothering is abuse. It might get short term results in the same way that having a ferocious drill sergeant gets results by “whipping” raw recruits into shape.

    Consider this: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/05/_tiger_mom_study_shows_the_parenting_method_doesn_t_work.html

    And this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201209/shaming-children-is-emotionally-abusive?tr=MostViewed

    And this: http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime

    Or even this: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window

    Amy Chua was abusive.

    I know a lot of Chinese mothers, through my own personal circumstances, and none of them have been anywhere near as extreme as she was. And a lot of them called Chua out for being an abusive mother.

    ‘Tiger mom’ is not a single condition that describes all East Asian mothers, clearly – there is going to be a wide range of behaviours, just as there is among white American mothers. It means more than just making your kid do his homework, a lot more than that, and Chua was towards one extreme end. I’d say not the complete extreme, because it can get pretty nasty, but heading towards that extreme.

    I had to do my homework. It didn’t scar me for life. What I do know is that during adolescence, I wanted as little to do with my mother as possible, and I did not exhibit delinquent behaviour. Sample of one.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Amy Chua was abusive.

    I know a lot of Chinese mothers, through my own personal circumstances, and none of them have been anywhere near as extreme as she was. And a lot of them called Chua out for being an abusive mother.
     
    That was not abuse. I knew really abusive Asian mothers who actually hit their kids hard for academic and moral failures. Amy Chua's "tough" exhortations were just garden-variety hard-driving mother talk. Nothing "extreme" there at all.

    Most media critics of Chua's book never read it, it seemed to me, because much of the book is quite self-deprecating and humorous.
  18. @JohnnyWalker123
    True, but even if you examine just full-blooded Japanese-Americans you'll see the same pattern. Unz noted that of the Japanese names he saw on finalist list, a large percentage had ethnic first and last names. He noted this because it's often foreign expatriates (Japan has quite a few expats in America on business assignments) who keep ethnic names, while American-born Japanese have Americanized first names. So the Japanese-American decline is even steeper than we might realize.

    Also, marriages tend to be assortive for education and income. So the children of Japanese and white-American spouses would likely not see a drop in IQ. Especially since Japanese tend to outperform their IQ (relative to whites), Japanese would likely tend to marry up in IQ when they intermarry.

    Good points.

    I agree that there does seem to be significant “generational decline” academically among Japanese-Americans and Jewish-Americans. Several Japanese-Americans I know (American-born, multi-generationals) are long-haired surfer types. They are most certainly not Tiger Cubs like some recent immigrant Chinese, Korean, and Indian youngsters.

    Interestingly enough, while that academic decline seems to have lowered the average Japanese-American income, the average Jewish-American income remains very high.

    In his “Myth of the American Meritocracy” article, I think Mr. Unz argues for the existence of strong nepotism for Jewish students at elite universities despite the poor academic pool of Jewish students today. Perhaps that provides for a *partial* explanation for the discrepancy between academic performance and income.

    • Replies: @Southfarthing
    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.

    But it's expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don't want the future leading drones who excel at memorization, but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes. Paul Graham is in the same position, and he uses the same strategy: Black swan farming. Thus, Jews brought the U.S. 40% of its science Nobel Prizes, and elite universities give 25% of their slots to Jews. This kind of reasoning will be familiar to readers of La Griffe du Lion.

    We can test whether Jews are successful because they "scammed their way into elite universities": look at real-world performance. <A href="4 of the 5 most respected venture capitalists are Jews. That's in line with that 5 of the 6 most influential libertarians of the 20th century were Jews.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.

    (That being said, I'm in favor of basing admissions on test scores.)
  19. @Sandgroper
    Amy Chua was abusive.

    I know a lot of Chinese mothers, through my own personal circumstances, and none of them have been anywhere near as extreme as she was. And a lot of them called Chua out for being an abusive mother.

    'Tiger mom' is not a single condition that describes all East Asian mothers, clearly - there is going to be a wide range of behaviours, just as there is among white American mothers. It means more than just making your kid do his homework, a lot more than that, and Chua was towards one extreme end. I'd say not the complete extreme, because it can get pretty nasty, but heading towards that extreme.

    I had to do my homework. It didn't scar me for life. What I do know is that during adolescence, I wanted as little to do with my mother as possible, and I did not exhibit delinquent behaviour. Sample of one.

    Amy Chua was abusive.

    I know a lot of Chinese mothers, through my own personal circumstances, and none of them have been anywhere near as extreme as she was. And a lot of them called Chua out for being an abusive mother.

    That was not abuse. I knew really abusive Asian mothers who actually hit their kids hard for academic and moral failures. Amy Chua’s “tough” exhortations were just garden-variety hard-driving mother talk. Nothing “extreme” there at all.

    Most media critics of Chua’s book never read it, it seemed to me, because much of the book is quite self-deprecating and humorous.

  20. By the way, with all due respect to Mr. Khan, I don’t think Tiger Mothering is “inter-familiar status signaling.” I’ve known a fair share of Tigers Mothers in my life (the types who stay up all night to make snacks for their kids while the latter study, pray every day at church for their children’s academic success, etc.), and most struck me as earnest believers in the idea that parental involvement = children’s success.

    They might be wrong (or not), but they are earnest. I don’t think the Tiger Mothering itself is status-signaling, I think being able to say “My son goes to MIT” is status-signaling for such mothers.

    • Replies: @Sandgroper
    I think you are on completely the wrong track here. Do you see what happens in predominantly (like 97%) Chinese societies?

    The competition starts at 3 years old. Short term, all that cramming and repetition yields some short term gains, like bragging rights over whose daughter came top of the class in Primary One. Long term - nothing.
  21. @Twinkie

    He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California
     
    Due to multi-generational intermarriage, many "Japanese-Americans" today aren't full or even mostly Japanese in genetics.

    Nonetheless I agree that the generational collapse appears real. It certainly seems sufficiently real enough to the original Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, who writes of her fear of it constantly in the "Battle Hymns of..." book. In fact, she writes quite plainly that her Tiger Mothering is an effort to combat the generational decline disease among affluent immigrant progeny.

    Due to multi-generational intermarriage, many “Japanese-Americans” today aren’t full or even mostly Japanese in genetics.

    Many Japanese-Americans in California have immigrant origins in the United States in the 19th century (contemporaneous with most Southern European, Irish Catholic, Polish and Scandinavian immigration), while many other Asian-American populations in the United States have post-WWII immigration stories.

    But, most of the intermarriage among the ancestors of of current PSAT takers in California probably took place in their parents’ marriage. Interracial marriage of Japanese-Americans has become much more common (approaching 50%) in very recent history than it was previously.

  22. @Bill P
    From a Western perspective, tiger mothering seems quite abusive indeed, but that's because we're thinking about white families who behave in a similar way. I spent some time with a Chinese family as a youth, and from what I observed Chinese are very loving toward their children and have a sense of duty concerning their obigations toward family that kids no doubt pick up on and perceive as love. When they shame or push their children it isn't seen so much as abusive as it is "for their own good."

    With whites, on the other hand, it's seen as a reflection on the value/utility of the child. Parents who are harsh are essentially saying "you're worthless." That and the fact that violence in white families is often mean-spirited and appalling, and sometimes includes threats to kill/annihilate. It isn't uncommon, for example, for white mothers to tell their children "I wish I'd aborted you," or for abusive white fathers to beat their kids to demonstrate their superiority as individuals rather than their authority as fathers.

    Another factor is the child-centric nature of the Chinese family. When Chinese are being authoritative and strict, they're doing it because they view the child as a project rather than the enemy. There are often disagreements between parents, with one taking on a strict role and another a supportive role. With whites, the two often team up on the kid to "put him in his place." It's a sort of tag-team for whites, with the father beating/controlling the child on behalf of the mother or the mother pushing the kid around so the father can ignore family and focus on making money, which benefits her personally.

    Therefore whites rightly see authoritative parenting as bad, selfish parenting, because the goals are fundamentally different: for them it's about making sure the children don't interfere with their "self-actualization," whereas for Chinese it's actually about the success of the kids.

    I spent some time with a Chinese family as a youth, and from what I observed Chinese are very loving toward their children and have a sense of duty concerning their obigations toward family that kids no doubt pick up on and perceive as love.

    One family? Lack of data, I suppose…
    It varies widely in China & for what I have seen, children are seen as an investment in the future (the parents’ future, that is).
    Counter example to your experience: my ex-girlfriends brother got totally spoilt when he was a child. When he was 14 or 15, fat & lazy, an obvious academic failure, the parents became completely abusive.
    But as I said, it varies widely…

    It isn’t uncommon, for example, for white mothers to tell their children “I wish I’d aborted you,”

    “Not uncommon”? Does that mean, you think it’s common? Any numbers for that?
    Haven’t heard that anywhere.

  23. @JohnnyWalker123
    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    In one of Ron Unz's articles, he noted the collapse of Jewish achievement. He also noted that Japanese-Americans were no better represented than white-Americans as PSAT finalists in California, but the other Asian subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Indian) were vastly over represented. That would seem to suggest Tiger Mothering can be useful in some circumstances.

    It would be interesting to study the life outcomes of children raised in a traditional Asian/Indian tiger mother environment and compare them to children raised under more holistic conditions.

    While only anecdotal, my wife and her sister were raised in a traditional Asian tiger mother environment, while my brother and I, and my own children were not. My own children say that one of the things they like most about our household is that it is “chill”.

    Academically, however, my brother and I, and my children, performed better than my wife and her sister (their parents are both medical doctors who were academically very high achieving themselves by the way). For example, one of my children was the highest ranked in her class (three years of straight As in the most difficult classes available) and the other is number two or three so far, out of about 300 students in their class in middle school, and my eldest has performed similarly in high school (i.e. not quite perfect, but very close to the top of the class in the most demanding classes available). My brother and I were about the same when we were in school. My wife and sister were in the middle of their private school classes academically.

    On the other hand, while I don’t know the story for my sister-in-law, my wife (raised by a “tiger mom”) performed much better in terms of college grades, relative to her SAT scores, than I did (we had exactly the same college GPA but I had much higher test scores).

    Similarly, among my cousins, those with the least high pressured parents performed best academically in high school and college.

    This isn’t statistically significant evidence and is subject to all sorts of confounds. But, at a minimum, it demonstrates that very exceptional academic achievement is not inconsistent with a very laid back, low pressure parenting style. On the other hand, this experience doesn’t entirely discount the possibility that there could be academic benefits to high pressure parenting.

  24. @Twinkie
    By the way, with all due respect to Mr. Khan, I don't think Tiger Mothering is "inter-familiar status signaling." I've known a fair share of Tigers Mothers in my life (the types who stay up all night to make snacks for their kids while the latter study, pray every day at church for their children's academic success, etc.), and most struck me as earnest believers in the idea that parental involvement = children's success.

    They might be wrong (or not), but they are earnest. I don't think the Tiger Mothering itself is status-signaling, I think being able to say "My son goes to MIT" is status-signaling for such mothers.

    I think you are on completely the wrong track here. Do you see what happens in predominantly (like 97%) Chinese societies?

    The competition starts at 3 years old. Short term, all that cramming and repetition yields some short term gains, like bragging rights over whose daughter came top of the class in Primary One. Long term – nothing.

    • Replies: @Michelle
    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends' parents. They didn't seem to love their children at all. I told my dad "Dad, I don't think Chinese people love each other."

    "Where did you get that idea? Don't be ridiculous," he told me. "Of course they love each other. If they didn't, there wouldn't be so goddamn many of them!"
  25. @Twinkie
    Good points.

    I agree that there does seem to be significant "generational decline" academically among Japanese-Americans and Jewish-Americans. Several Japanese-Americans I know (American-born, multi-generationals) are long-haired surfer types. They are most certainly not Tiger Cubs like some recent immigrant Chinese, Korean, and Indian youngsters.

    Interestingly enough, while that academic decline seems to have lowered the average Japanese-American income, the average Jewish-American income remains very high.

    In his "Myth of the American Meritocracy" article, I think Mr. Unz argues for the existence of strong nepotism for Jewish students at elite universities despite the poor academic pool of Jewish students today. Perhaps that provides for a *partial* explanation for the discrepancy between academic performance and income.

    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.

    But it’s expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don’t want the future leading drones who excel at memorization, but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes. Paul Graham is in the same position, and he uses the same strategy: Black swan farming. Thus, Jews brought the U.S. 40% of its science Nobel Prizes, and elite universities give 25% of their slots to Jews. This kind of reasoning will be familiar to readers of La Griffe du Lion.

    We can test whether Jews are successful because they “scammed their way into elite universities”: look at real-world performance. <A title=”"4 of the 5 most respected venture capitalists are Jews. That’s in line with that 5 of the 6 most influential libertarians of the 20th century were Jews.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.

    (That being said, I’m in favor of basing admissions on test scores.)

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.
     
    Not "racism" per se, but ethnic nepotism.

    But it’s expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don’t want the future leading drones who excel at memorization
     
    That's just a tired stereotype that has no basis in fact.

    but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes.
     
    1. The number of Nobel Prize winners is, as you point out, miniscule, and due to the small sampling is easily subject to distortions all types.

    2. Nominations for even the more scientific Nobel Prizes have a large international political component.

    3. For all that awards for Asians has risen dramatically in recent years. For example, 10 East Asians (from Asia and the U.S.) have won the Physics award since 1997.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.
     
    But it's not just about Jewish presidents of universities. Jews are overwhelmingly represented among administrators and admissions officers at elite universities. People tend to think of others like themselves as "future leaders of America." Liberal, secular Jews are more likely to select liberal, secular Jews over rural non-Jewish whites or Christian Asians as worthy of becoming the next generation of elites, especially when they know the families of these co-ethnics or are otherwise connected to them in some way via an ethnic network.

    While I was an undergrad at an Ivy League university, I worked part time at the admissions office and witnessed what Unz describes firsthand. The admissions officers didn't even try to hide it and were quite open about their preferences.
  26. @Sandgroper
    I think you are on completely the wrong track here. Do you see what happens in predominantly (like 97%) Chinese societies?

    The competition starts at 3 years old. Short term, all that cramming and repetition yields some short term gains, like bragging rights over whose daughter came top of the class in Primary One. Long term - nothing.

    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends’ parents. They didn’t seem to love their children at all. I told my dad “Dad, I don’t think Chinese people love each other.”

    “Where did you get that idea? Don’t be ridiculous,” he told me. “Of course they love each other. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be so goddamn many of them!”

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends’ parents.
     
    Obviously you missed the whole "Korean Wave" that has swept much of the non-English world.

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.
  27. Hjernevask – Brainwashing (Eng Sub) Part 2 – The Parental Effect

    Judith Rich Harris – 22:35

    Hjernevask – Brainwashing (Eng Sub) Part 2 – The Parental Effect

  28. @Michelle
    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends' parents. They didn't seem to love their children at all. I told my dad "Dad, I don't think Chinese people love each other."

    "Where did you get that idea? Don't be ridiculous," he told me. "Of course they love each other. If they didn't, there wouldn't be so goddamn many of them!"

    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends’ parents.

    Obviously you missed the whole “Korean Wave” that has swept much of the non-English world.

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.

    • Replies: @Anon

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.
     
    Not just K-dramas. Asian dramas in general. Netflix and Hulu have scads of subtitled Asian series, and they run pretty much along the same lines.
    , @Michelle
    I watch a lot of Korean movies. They are brutal, brutal stuff. Nothing maudlin about them!
  29. @Southfarthing
    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.

    But it's expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don't want the future leading drones who excel at memorization, but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes. Paul Graham is in the same position, and he uses the same strategy: Black swan farming. Thus, Jews brought the U.S. 40% of its science Nobel Prizes, and elite universities give 25% of their slots to Jews. This kind of reasoning will be familiar to readers of La Griffe du Lion.

    We can test whether Jews are successful because they "scammed their way into elite universities": look at real-world performance. <A href="4 of the 5 most respected venture capitalists are Jews. That's in line with that 5 of the 6 most influential libertarians of the 20th century were Jews.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.

    (That being said, I'm in favor of basing admissions on test scores.)

    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.

    Not “racism” per se, but ethnic nepotism.

    But it’s expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don’t want the future leading drones who excel at memorization

    That’s just a tired stereotype that has no basis in fact.

    but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes.

    1. The number of Nobel Prize winners is, as you point out, miniscule, and due to the small sampling is easily subject to distortions all types.

    2. Nominations for even the more scientific Nobel Prizes have a large international political component.

    3. For all that awards for Asians has risen dramatically in recent years. For example, 10 East Asians (from Asia and the U.S.) have won the Physics award since 1997.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.

    But it’s not just about Jewish presidents of universities. Jews are overwhelmingly represented among administrators and admissions officers at elite universities. People tend to think of others like themselves as “future leaders of America.” Liberal, secular Jews are more likely to select liberal, secular Jews over rural non-Jewish whites or Christian Asians as worthy of becoming the next generation of elites, especially when they know the families of these co-ethnics or are otherwise connected to them in some way via an ethnic network.

    While I was an undergrad at an Ivy League university, I worked part time at the admissions office and witnessed what Unz describes firsthand. The admissions officers didn’t even try to hide it and were quite open about their preferences.

    • Replies: @Southfarthing
    Westerners tend to perceive tiger parenting and "test-score factories" along the lines of Goodhart's Law: hyper-optimizing for a metric reduces the usefulness of the metric.

    If Western liberals in admissions departments are favoring applicants who aren't hyper-optimizing for test scores and are part of the liberal culture that e.g. supports gay marriage, that will produce the discrepancy in identity group proportions Unz identified. Asian-Americans don't support gay marriage at rates anywhere near as highly as other applicant groups. Gay-marriage-supporting White liberals favoring applicants like themselves, many of whom will be Jewish liberals like Howard Zinn, isn't Jewish ethnocentrism.

    But even without these points, the original suggesting that Jews' high average income might be partially due to elite university admissions seems unlikely for this reason: attending elite universities has been found to have no income benefit when compared with students who were accepted but attended other schools. It would seem "the man makes the education," rather than "the education makes the man."

    ----------------
    * Interestingly, Korean-Americans on average particularly favor traditional marriage, which might be consistent with Twinkie's writings on Asian groups and describing Korean-Americans as, for example, "drawn to the more masculine, gun-toting, military traditions of America."
  30. @Twinkie

    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends’ parents.
     
    Obviously you missed the whole "Korean Wave" that has swept much of the non-English world.

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.

    Not just K-dramas. Asian dramas in general. Netflix and Hulu have scads of subtitled Asian series, and they run pretty much along the same lines.

  31. Twinkie: In his “Myth of the American Meritocracy” article, I think Mr. Unz argues for the existence of strong nepotism for Jewish students at elite universities despite the poor academic pool of Jewish students today. Perhaps that provides for a *partial* explanation for the discrepancy between academic performance and income.

    Andrew Gelman has explained how this is oversold by Unz. You can check it out at his blog.

    I also think income -> education correlations are long oversold – on the US GSS, on an individual level, the correlation between Conrinc (income in constant dollars adjusted for inflation) and Wordsum is 0.2, within the class of White males aged 30-40, and usually less without that control (the education variable has correlation 0.32). (Education and wordsum are 0.52). The differences between the Wordsum groups is linear and positive, however within those classes there is a great deal of variation.

    Still, Jewish folks have been businessmen of a sort for over a millennium.

    After a while, you’re selecting for people who *like* doing business. They’ll bother with it even when they can’t really be bothered with education and tests. They become businessmen in a way disjointed from the usual personality predictors.

    No one has really been under selection for education. You do well in it if you’re smart, interested and are naturally compliant in the same patterns girls are relative to boys (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31751672 – the peculiarly underreported finding on girls’ work being marked up across the PISA). Education (particularly of the Prussian schooling sort) is not natural to anyone, as a trait in itself.

  32. @Twinkie

    Claims about Jews here are subject to much lower skepticism than any other claims. Mr. Unz showed Jews were represented at higher than expected rates, and thus everybody concludes the only explanation is racism.
     
    Not "racism" per se, but ethnic nepotism.

    But it’s expected that Jews will be represented at higher rates because elite universities don’t want the future leading drones who excel at memorization
     
    That's just a tired stereotype that has no basis in fact.

    but rather the future exceedingly rare people who will e.g. win Nobel prizes.
     
    1. The number of Nobel Prize winners is, as you point out, miniscule, and due to the small sampling is easily subject to distortions all types.

    2. Nominations for even the more scientific Nobel Prizes have a large international political component.

    3. For all that awards for Asians has risen dramatically in recent years. For example, 10 East Asians (from Asia and the U.S.) have won the Physics award since 1997.

    Demonstrating what people thought Unz demonstrated could actually be done: look for correlations between universities having Jewish presidents and having a larger proportion of Jewish students.
     
    But it's not just about Jewish presidents of universities. Jews are overwhelmingly represented among administrators and admissions officers at elite universities. People tend to think of others like themselves as "future leaders of America." Liberal, secular Jews are more likely to select liberal, secular Jews over rural non-Jewish whites or Christian Asians as worthy of becoming the next generation of elites, especially when they know the families of these co-ethnics or are otherwise connected to them in some way via an ethnic network.

    While I was an undergrad at an Ivy League university, I worked part time at the admissions office and witnessed what Unz describes firsthand. The admissions officers didn't even try to hide it and were quite open about their preferences.

    Westerners tend to perceive tiger parenting and “test-score factories” along the lines of Goodhart’s Law: hyper-optimizing for a metric reduces the usefulness of the metric.

    If Western liberals in admissions departments are favoring applicants who aren’t hyper-optimizing for test scores and are part of the liberal culture that e.g. supports gay marriage, that will produce the discrepancy in identity group proportions Unz identified. Asian-Americans don’t support gay marriage at rates anywhere near as highly as other applicant groups. Gay-marriage-supporting White liberals favoring applicants like themselves, many of whom will be Jewish liberals like Howard Zinn, isn’t Jewish ethnocentrism.

    But even without these points, the original suggesting that Jews’ high average income might be partially due to elite university admissions seems unlikely for this reason: attending elite universities has been found to have no income benefit when compared with students who were accepted but attended other schools. It would seem “the man makes the education,” rather than “the education makes the man.”

    —————-
    * Interestingly, Korean-Americans on average particularly favor traditional marriage, which might be consistent with Twinkie’s writings on Asian groups and describing Korean-Americans as, for example, “drawn to the more masculine, gun-toting, military traditions of America.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Westerners tend to perceive tiger parenting and “test-score factories” along the lines of Goodhart’s Law: hyper-optimizing for a metric reduces the usefulness of the metric.

    If Western liberals in admissions departments are favoring applicants who aren’t hyper-optimizing for test scores
     
    Of course, when the then dominant WASPs opted for "holistic admissions" in favor of the graduates of the right prep schools and the scions of the right families, Jews seemed to have no problem touting "hyper-optimization" of their test scores ("meritocracy!").

    Gay-marriage-supporting White liberals favoring applicants like themselves, many of whom will be Jewish liberals
     
    And is that a complete coincidence?

    I am pretty certain that among practicing Christian whites, the support for homosexual marriage is not exactly high either.

    Korean-Americans on average particularly favor traditional marriage
     
    That probably has to do with the fact that over 50% of Koreans in America are Christians and a significant proportion of them consists of evangelical Protestants. Koreans often dominate the Christian organizations on elite university campuses (thanks to them, Ivy League universities are now "more Christian" than have been in the past several decades).

    Twinkie’s writings on Asian groups and describing Korean-Americans as, for example, “drawn to the more masculine, gun-toting, military traditions of America.”
     
    Evidence for their gun-toting proclivities are everywhere - merchants having gun fights with black gangs and looters during the L.A. riots, local gun clubs (at least where there is a sufficient concentration of them), and their outlandish overrepresentation at West Point and the special operations community. The most common surname at West Point most years is "Kim."

    And in their homeland, they start'em young, apparently: https://youtu.be/he-489NUiqM
  33. @Twinkie

    I grew up around a lot of Chinese people and when I was a little girl I noticed an absence of sentimentality amongst my Asian friends’ parents.
     
    Obviously you missed the whole "Korean Wave" that has swept much of the non-English world.

    K-dramas overflow with sentimentality and melodrama. They are some seriously maudlin stuff.

    I watch a lot of Korean movies. They are brutal, brutal stuff. Nothing maudlin about them!

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I watch a lot of Korean movies. They are brutal, brutal stuff. Nothing maudlin about them!
     
    There is *a* strain of contemporary Korean cinema that is extremely vicious and sensational. While films of this genre and style might attract certain Western art house audiences, they are not what the mainstream South Koreans watch in the main.

    Korean dramas (K-dramas), along with Korean pop music (K-pop) are the two most identifiable products of the so-called Korean Wave (which has yet to reach any measure of popularity in the Anglophone countries, but are quite popular in much of Asia as well as in parts of Europe and Latin America). These are generally *quite* maudlin.

    Anyone with even a tiny modicum of knowledge about contemporary South Korean culture would know that their mass media products are saturated with one critic called "syrupy sentimentality."

    By the way, brutality and tearful melodrama are not incompatible in Korean cinema. For a quick and easy example, take a look at a relatively recent Korean hit, "The Brotherhood of War": https://youtu.be/IY3v9gMehf4

    There is considerable brutality (including portrayals of mass executions of civilians suspected of communist sympathies), but it is also drenched in overwrought emotions (including a scene in which a sickly young man, just barely more than a boy, is ripped from his screaming and tearful family, to be conscripted by force to the front line to fight the communist invasion).
  34. @Michelle
    I watch a lot of Korean movies. They are brutal, brutal stuff. Nothing maudlin about them!

    I watch a lot of Korean movies. They are brutal, brutal stuff. Nothing maudlin about them!

    There is *a* strain of contemporary Korean cinema that is extremely vicious and sensational. While films of this genre and style might attract certain Western art house audiences, they are not what the mainstream South Koreans watch in the main.

    Korean dramas (K-dramas), along with Korean pop music (K-pop) are the two most identifiable products of the so-called Korean Wave (which has yet to reach any measure of popularity in the Anglophone countries, but are quite popular in much of Asia as well as in parts of Europe and Latin America). These are generally *quite* maudlin.

    Anyone with even a tiny modicum of knowledge about contemporary South Korean culture would know that their mass media products are saturated with one critic called “syrupy sentimentality.”

    By the way, brutality and tearful melodrama are not incompatible in Korean cinema. For a quick and easy example, take a look at a relatively recent Korean hit, “The Brotherhood of War”:

    There is considerable brutality (including portrayals of mass executions of civilians suspected of communist sympathies), but it is also drenched in overwrought emotions (including a scene in which a sickly young man, just barely more than a boy, is ripped from his screaming and tearful family, to be conscripted by force to the front line to fight the communist invasion).

  35. @Southfarthing
    Westerners tend to perceive tiger parenting and "test-score factories" along the lines of Goodhart's Law: hyper-optimizing for a metric reduces the usefulness of the metric.

    If Western liberals in admissions departments are favoring applicants who aren't hyper-optimizing for test scores and are part of the liberal culture that e.g. supports gay marriage, that will produce the discrepancy in identity group proportions Unz identified. Asian-Americans don't support gay marriage at rates anywhere near as highly as other applicant groups. Gay-marriage-supporting White liberals favoring applicants like themselves, many of whom will be Jewish liberals like Howard Zinn, isn't Jewish ethnocentrism.

    But even without these points, the original suggesting that Jews' high average income might be partially due to elite university admissions seems unlikely for this reason: attending elite universities has been found to have no income benefit when compared with students who were accepted but attended other schools. It would seem "the man makes the education," rather than "the education makes the man."

    ----------------
    * Interestingly, Korean-Americans on average particularly favor traditional marriage, which might be consistent with Twinkie's writings on Asian groups and describing Korean-Americans as, for example, "drawn to the more masculine, gun-toting, military traditions of America."

    Westerners tend to perceive tiger parenting and “test-score factories” along the lines of Goodhart’s Law: hyper-optimizing for a metric reduces the usefulness of the metric.

    If Western liberals in admissions departments are favoring applicants who aren’t hyper-optimizing for test scores

    Of course, when the then dominant WASPs opted for “holistic admissions” in favor of the graduates of the right prep schools and the scions of the right families, Jews seemed to have no problem touting “hyper-optimization” of their test scores (“meritocracy!”).

    Gay-marriage-supporting White liberals favoring applicants like themselves, many of whom will be Jewish liberals

    And is that a complete coincidence?

    I am pretty certain that among practicing Christian whites, the support for homosexual marriage is not exactly high either.

    Korean-Americans on average particularly favor traditional marriage

    That probably has to do with the fact that over 50% of Koreans in America are Christians and a significant proportion of them consists of evangelical Protestants. Koreans often dominate the Christian organizations on elite university campuses (thanks to them, Ivy League universities are now “more Christian” than have been in the past several decades).

    Twinkie’s writings on Asian groups and describing Korean-Americans as, for example, “drawn to the more masculine, gun-toting, military traditions of America.”

    Evidence for their gun-toting proclivities are everywhere – merchants having gun fights with black gangs and looters during the L.A. riots, local gun clubs (at least where there is a sufficient concentration of them), and their outlandish overrepresentation at West Point and the special operations community. The most common surname at West Point most years is “Kim.”

    And in their homeland, they start’em young, apparently:

  36. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A new study from Sweden touches on a related note. It contrasted IQs from sibling pairs that were raised in different homes. In each case, one of the siblings was raised by birth parent(s) and the other was raised by adoptive parents. Researchers compared the educational attainment of parents and sibling IQ at 18 to 20 years (from military testing) and found that each extra quintile of parental education achievement was associated, on average, with an extra 1.84 IQ points.

    I’m certainly no expert in this area but I feel like I’ve read that nearly every adoption study has found just the opposite, that siblings raised apart are about as similar in every respect as siblings raised together. Such findings would seem to support Razib. The new findings would seem (to me) to do the opposite, assuming that different levels of educational attainment are as strongly associated with different parenting styles in Sweden as they are in the U.S.

    Of course, one mid-size study does not constitute proof of anything.http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/03/18/1417106112

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