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As a prerequisite, please see Heartiste’s post on a study positing criminal behavior as an alternative mating strategy that potentially increases evolutionary fitness.

It’s paygated, so we’re just working with the abstract here. Perhaps it is correctly identifying a meaningful phenomenon. Since the magnate threw down the gauntlet, though, there are reasons we might be wise to temper our enthusiasm.

Race and ethnicity do not appear to have been controlled for. The data comes from Sweden. Oops.

As Steve Sailer showed in one of his classic articles “Mapping the Unmentionable“, black-white incarceration ratios tend to be highest in non-vibrant, middle American mostly white states with low overall crime rates and relatively permissive policing. Iowa’s blacks are, relative to Iowa’s whites, more likely than those in other state to be imprisoned, with Wisconsin as runner-up.

The explanation for why there is so much racial/ethnic disparity in incarceration rates in places like Sweden and Wisconsin is that population differences are most notable at the extremes of the respective distributions. If asked to bet on the outcome of a race between a random kid of European ancestry and another of West African ancestry, the smart money would be on the latter, but not at much more than 50:50 odds. Betting on a sprinter of West African ancestry taking the gold in the 100m dash at the 2016 Olympics over any potential European competition, however, should feel about as risky as depositing money in a certificate of deposit at a member FDIC bank.

Anyway, if we were going to offer a US state most resembling Sweden, well, we’d be hard-pressed to do much better than Wisconsin or Iowa. Not surprisingly, Sweden, despite still being overwhelmingly native Swede (though getting more Middle Eastern by the day), has a lot of *ahem* diversity in its prisons:

During the period 1997–2001, 25% of the almost 1,520,000 offences for which a perpetrator was convicted were committed by people born in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, while almost 20% were committed by people with a foreign background who were born in Sweden. Those from North Africa and the Middle East were also overrepresented.

That was over a decade ago. The foreign-born (read Muslim) contribution to Swedish crime has almost certainly increased further still since then.

Not only are these un-Swedish Swedes heavily overrepresented among Sweden’s prison population, they’re also more fecund than are the Swedish Swedes (currently breeding at rates well below replacement level). Here’s a graph from a Princeton paper on the total fertility rates of Sweden’s foreign-born population by the amalgamated human development indices of the immigrants’ sending countries:

Basically, Low-HDI = Middle Eastern and North African; Middle-HDI = Eastern Europe; High-HDI = Finland. If a native Swedish rate were included, it would run parallel to the x-axis below the 2.

Europe’s MENA underclass isn’t completely analagous to the US’ black underclass, but there are similarities. The excerpt Heartiste parades in illustration of the sex advantage criminals in Sweden (largely MENA in ancestry) enjoy could easily be confused with the sex ‘advantage’ underclass black men in the US enjoy over their fellow middle-class white men:

Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders.

Replace “Criminal offenders” with “blacks” and this accurately characterizes patterns of behavior in the US (or don’t even explicitly make the swap–it’s implicitly stated in its current form). There is nothing here that contradicts Heartiste’s larger Game narrative–blacks are clearly more ‘alpha’ than whites are (see here for a propitiously good measure of the alpha/beta dichotomy and the resulting demographic differences between them as captured by the GSS).

Speaking in terms of r/K selection (to the extent that it is a useful framework through which to view human behavior), r-selection more accurately describes the procreation patterns of the underclass–a sector of society that churns out a disproportionately high percentage of society’s criminals, both in Sweden and in the US–while K-selection more aptly characterizes the serially monogamous behavior of the middle and upper classes.

Parenthetically, when the trope about love for convicted killers who’ve become death row inmates is employed, it should be kept in mind that the subjects of admiration are famous criminals, not just run-of-the-mill ne’er-do-wells. Famous rock stars, Hollywood actors, politicians, and even computer nerds are regularly the objects of copious quantities of female affection as well. When it comes to creating tingles, famous celebrity beats random inmate no one has ever heard of in the penitentiary just about every time.

As for the idea that Idiocracy is coming soon to a Western nation near you, I’ve actually become guardedly optimistic–or cautiously less pessimistic, anyhow–that our future will be one in which handjobs are on offer at the local Starbucks. There is little evidence for dysgenic male fertility in the US. To the contrary, there is a slightly positive correlation between educational attainment and fertility among American white men. Heartiste has himself approvingly noted as much.

Shifting gears to full speculation mode, we could conceivably be in the midst of the -genic pendulum swinging away from the dys- and back towards the eu-.

A la Gregory Clark, in medieval England prior to the onset of the industrial revolution, probity and affluence were rewarded by successful fertility. High time preference and poverty, in contrast, tended to result in fewer surviving offspring. The industrious were better equipped to avoid becoming casualties of the Malthusian trap than were the hapless menial masses. The prosperity explosion of the late 18th and early 19th centuries pushed large parts of humanity–first Northwestern Europe and its diaspora before radiating out through other parts of Europe and into parts of East Asia–past the hand-to-mouth precariousness that characterized life for so many before the dawn of the industrial age.

This period, from the early 1800s through the mid-1900s, is when dysgenic trends in reproduction became a salient phenomenon. Not surprisingly, all the conventionally ugly things associated with eugenics were in full bloom in the early 20th century, as the consequences of unlimited reproductive potential for all classes in society became increasingly obvious for all to see. World War II cast this sort of thinking in a darker light, although progressive eugenics policies and ideas existed in the developed world decades after the war’s conclusion. The real answer to the dysgenic problem came in the form of the pill.

Just as the explosion in wealth realized by the industrial revolution, by divorcing affluence from fertility, was a game changer in the game of human reproductive fitness, so was the introduction of modern contraceptives, which divorced sex from reproduction. Fornication and procreation haven’t been synonyms in the West for over half a century now. Indeed, the GSS shows that (beyond total celibacy, of course), the correlation between number of sexual partners and total fertility is an inverse one. That is, women who ride the cock carousel (and the men who provide the ride) reproduce less than men and women who stick to the same partner for an extended period of time do.

Today, excepting elements of the underclasses where fertility is still largely the result of biological desires being acted upon without regard to future consequences, the primary determinant of realized fertility is the desire to nurture and raise children. That sounds blatantly obvious, yet for the vast majority of human history it has not been the case. It’s now a deliberate act that can be avoided at only the marginal cost of contemporary contraceptives (which are free to users through many healthcare plans anyway), and one that is heavily informed by religious conviction. Not surprisingly, the pious are seriously outbreeding the secular, both in the West and outside of it.

Enjoy being poolside my good man. For my part, I actually enjoy getting in the water:

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. well put sir. Feminism, liberalism etc actually are providing freedom of choice of non-reproducing to people, who actually could be forced to reproduce. Imagine all those feminists who now can pursue they career or education at the cost of producing less offsprings. In the past they would be most likely forced to marry some guy and would bear children.

    The law of unintended consequences at action. Or of self-correcting universe 🙂

  2. OT: I've been looking at GSS data lately, and trying to find a way to limit to only recent surveys rather than the entire 1972-2012 range. Is this possible? The only option I see is running three tables, one for the data through 2006, one through 2010, and one through 2012. This would potentially allow me to see if older data is skewing the results, but would be time consuming g and cumbersome.

  3. "self-correcting universe"

    That is indeed what makes me feel cautiously optimistic.


    YEAR is a filterable variable. So, in the Selection Filter(s): box, enter YEAR(2000-2012) along with whatever Row: and Column: variables you're looking at if you only want responses from 2000 through 2012, etc.

  4. Anonymous [AKA "Abooba"] says:

    Roissy loves "science" when it agrees him put is skeptical when it disagrees. He is over eager when it's the first case too.

  5. Abooba, exactly.

    Hey what good is science otherwise?

  6. Thank you. Good to see a paper taken apart before I had tried to do a less good job on it myself. I think we need to demand that when a paper deals with subjects from different genetic groups the authors must say so, and show whether the results for the natives and the immigrants differ in any way.

  7. Dr. Thompson,

    I suspect the taking apart would've been more thorough and rigorous, but even much of what is in this post is superfluous.

    Pithily and non-technically, we can sum it up as follows: Apples-to-oranges comparisons often don't tell us much about what we're interested in.

  8. Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders.

    So how hard would it be to compare, in the U.S., black criminal offenders to black non-offenders, and white offenders to non-offenders? Is that data easily available?

    The real answer to the dysgenic problem came in the form of the pill.

    Not so much. Depo-Provera and Norplant probably had a bigger effect, because people who are able to reliably take one pill every day, and not screw up that schedule, are probably the people you want to reproduce more. However, when it's a matter of do something every 3 months (except that it's still 95% effective at 6 months), or something that's good for 5 years, you're going to have a bigger impact on the fertility of the less conscientious.

  9. Anthony,

    Re: the pill, good point–that's the argument running through Steve Sailer's side of debate from several years back with Stephen Levitt on the question of whether or not abortion legalization cut crime rates in the latter part of the 20th century in the US. There are things like Plan B though that allow for immediate reactive action.

    I don't currently have access to a dataset that breaks down offenders and abiders by race while also tracking fertility.

  10. Unfortunately, your self correcting Universe doesn't take into account the steadily accumulating mutation load of welfare State populations. So it doesn't take especially dysgenic breeding to cause increasing levels of unfitness in the population, and the continuing decline in SAT/ACT scores indicates it is happening in the US.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "That was over a decade ago. The foreign-born (read Muslim) contribution to Swedish crime has almost certainly increased further still since then."

    Multiculturalists used to make a point of the fact that most crime was perpetrated by regular Swedes, but now they find this statistic uninteresting as the absolute majority of crime is perpetrated by foreign-borns.

  12. While I was studying, I only had to log on to the campus WiFi on to get around many paywalls. University libraries subscribe to a lot of journals, that students get access to.

    If you happen to be lucky, just skim the article for any mentions of ethnicity.

  13. This is one of the references, so at least they thought about it

    Coleman D. Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries: A third demographic transition. Population and Development Review. 2006;32(3):401–446

  14. Pyrrhus,

    The number of test takers has steadily increased as well, though. Is the picture still discouraging with that taken into account (outside of the waste that is educational romanticism, I mean)?


    Do you happen to have an accompanying link for that? It'll be a coup de grace if you do.


    Now we just need incarceration data on top of that, but because of the low number of people that touches, those surveys generally have to be of prison populations specifically to be of much value.

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