Sunday, September 24, 2006

Demographics

The kind of culture we have is, in many ways, determined by biology. Take sexual mores. What they actually are is determined by the male to female ratio (M/F) in other words Demographics.

Many causes have been suggested for the rise of illegitimacy, including welfare dependency, an entrenched culture of poverty, the loss of industrial jobs, and economic frustration. But there is yet another explanation, one that is both surprising and surprisingly powerful: Illegitimacy and female-headed households are common wherever, as in the black inner city, a chronically low gender ratio exists.

The notion that sexual and marital behavior are connected to the balance of men and women dates back to the work of the sociologist Willard Waller, who studied U.S. courtship during the 1930s. Waller thought sexual relationships were governed by the principle of "least interest." The person who had less to lose-who was less in love, less dependent-exercised power over the other person, who was more willing to sacrifice to keep the relationship alive. The gender ratio figured in the least-interest equation because, if one person were in the minority, he or she had more alternative partners available. The minority party had less to lose if the relationship broke up and hence could make more demands.
Which explains the "girls gone wild phenmenon". In colleges these days the sex ratio approaches 2/3 (M/F). So what we see is a game of musical beds.
Historical studies have turned up interesting examples of dyadic power. Italian women in nineteenth-century Rochester, New York, married sooner than their counterparts in Southern Italy and were more successful in resisting premarital sexual advances. A firm "no" did not hurt their chances of marrying well because they were greatly outnumbered by Italian immigrant males who were denied the alternative of WASP brides by nativist prejudice. The reverse was true in impoverished Southern Italy, where men were scarcer than women because of the overseas exodus. Hence they exercised greater dyadic power.

Sociologists Scott South and Katherine Trent's systematic study of late-twentieth-century data from 117 countries found much the same thing. Controlling for differences in socioeconomic development, women in low-gender-ratio nations consistently had lower rates of marriage and fertility and higher rates of divorce and illegitimacy. Given favorable sexual odds, it seems that men everywhere act like, and produce, bastards.

Black America, which has had the lowest gender ratio of any of the major U.S. ethnic groups for the past century and a half, is no exception. The difference begins at birth. The gender ratio for black newborns is typically about 102 or 103 males for every 100 females, as compared with 105 or 106 for whites. The higher mortality of black male children and young men causes the gap to widen with age. At ages 20 to 24, the black gender ratio is 97, the white 105. By ages 40 to 44, the black ratio is 86, the white 100.
So it is not bad morals that is hurting the black community. It is simply a lack of men. Demographics explains the 1920s and the "sexual revolution" of the 60s. So it is not a black problem. It is a human problem.

In the case of the black community demographic problems are made worse by our laws and the way they are administered.
The gender ratio alone understates the extent of the problem. Young black urban men are far more likely than whites of comparable age to be unemployed, imprisoned, institutionalized, crippled, addicted, or otherwise bad bets as potential husbands. The post-civil rights era increase in interracial marriages has further contributed to the unavailability of black men, who take white wives twice as often as black women take white husbands.

Dyadic power equals sexual leverage. Black women unwilling to engage in premarital sex are at a huge disadvantage in an already tight market. Black men know this and can easily exploit the situation. But such sexual opportunism increases the prospect of illegitimacy, and illegitimacy feeds the problems of poverty, unemployment, and violence that make the inner cities so dangerous.
But there is more:
But marriage and family formation are not simply a function of the raw gender ratio. To be eligible for marriage, a young man has to be in circulation, not locked away somewhere. Yet by 1995, one of every three black American men in their twenties, the prime age for marriage, was in prison, on probation, or on parole. By comparison, only about one black woman in 20 was in similar straits.

Let's look more closely at the numbers. On any given day in 1994, more than 787,000 black men in their twenties were under some form of criminal justice control. Of these, 306,000 were behind bars; 351,000 on probation; and 130,000 on parole. An unknown but not inconsiderable number were hiding from arrest warrants. The cost to taxpayers for the criminal justice control of these black men is more than $6 billion per year. Of course, those among them who are behind bars are not committing street crimes, which is the point Bob Dole was making. Indeed, some observers think that the mass incarceration of young black men is what is behind the decline in violent crime rates in the past five years. Other theorists have stressed the progressive aging of the baby boomers; a temporary (and soon-to-be-reversed) decline in the relative number of teenagers; a healthier economy; the stabilization of urban drug markets; more aggressive police tactics; the proliferation of trauma centers (which, by saving more gunshot victims, lowers the homicide rate); and the notion that the number of violent crimes has, in some neighborhoods, fallen below an epidemic "tipping point." None of these theories is exclusive of the others.

Yet even if mass incarceration turns out to be causally related to the recent decline in violent crime rates, we need to consider its long-term social costs. The doubling of the inmate population since 1985 has diverted dollars from education, particularly state-supported higher education. Inflation-adjusted funding per credit hour has eroded as penal outlays have increased, thereby diminishing young people's future employment (and hence marital) prospects.

Children whose parents are in jail have suffered. More than 60 percent of male inmates have children, legitimate or otherwise, and most of those children are under18. The absence of their fathers and whatever financial and emotional support they might have provided does not improve their life prospects. Neither do their parents' criminal records. Marc Mauer and Tracy Huling, who assembled the black prison numbers, have argued that young men who have done time are at an economic and marital disadvantage when released. In a sense, they take their bars with them. A prior criminal record reduces their chance of finding gainful employment, making them less attractive as marriage partners and less able to provide for their children.

The most subtle effect of the prison boom, however, has been the unintended lowering of the ratio of marriageable men to women, particularly, as we have seen, in the black community, where young men are less numerous to begin with. The smaller the ratio, the greater men's sexual bargaining power and hence the likelihood of illegitimacy and single-parent families, which are the root causes of violence and disorder in the inner city. The solution makes the problem circular.
So in effect our mass incaceration promotes dysfunctional families which promotes mass incarceration. Swell.

What to do? Well for starters we could try to solve our drug problem by some method other than trying to police it. Which, if you look at alcohol prohibition, didn't work with that drug either.

On top of that we have turned some neighborhoods into war zones. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence increase drug use. Increased drug use brings the police. Police take away fathers and disrupt established territories for drug sellers. Such disruptions increase violence. Which increases the demand for drugs. Sounds like pouring gasoline on a fire to me.

Maybe with the the jihadists on our tail the drug war is a luxury we can no longer afford.

We have turned our inner cities into PTSD factories and then complain when the inhabitants there of self medicate for the problem. This is quite ironic because it turns out you don't catch drug addiction from drugs. Is Addiction Real?

You might as well say that insulin addiction is caused by insulin.

I note that even the NIDA now says that to become addicted you must have the right genetics and an environmental trigger. They say the environmental trigger is the drugs. However, it is pretty obvious that the real trigger is trauma. Dr. Lonnie Shavelson looked into that and his results are convincing and corroborated by other studies. Especially Dr. Raphael Mechoulam's look into PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System.

We are past time for a change. The trouble is that for the people as a whole our ignorance and misinformation out weighs our knowledge. Once that changes policies that work will inevitably follow.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Eh. I'm not impressed. When you see OJ marrying a blond woman. Ditto for Tiger Woods. You see what the statistics MISS.

And, the real number to notice in the future, is the dying away of blue eyed blondes. I guess it will be God's joke on the Aryan mindset. But the blondes are extremely desirable. That's also what russia supplies (in terms of prostitution)to asian men.

In other words, the reason Marilyn Monroe was considered so gorgeous was her ability to cross over many lines. And, she was the beauty men of many cultures, extolled. And, what really shortens the supplies for Black women, is the ability of successful Black men to date WHITE. Or, Asian. Or whatever arm candy works.

The "other" statistic not shown is the one that affected women throughout time. IN OTHER WORDS, BESIDES BIRTH RATES, you could have the BAD LUCK of being born at a time when the desirable males were TOO YOUNG. OR TOO OLD.

Was it notice-able? Hmm? Women didn't marry for love. They married "paychecks." Men with jobs. No beauty contests, there.

As a matter of fact, the song from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, "Do you love me?" Is asked by a husband. In a long-term marriage. Who met his wife, for the first time, under the marriage canopy.

The answer? Doing all the things involved with home. Cooking. Cleaning. Raising the kids. All brought this woman to count the many ways she did, indeed, love her husband.

Now are there differences between cultures? YOU HAVE TO ASK? You don't see it? You don't see that in some cultures the girls have hormonal changes earlier than other groups? THIS APPLIES!

What about having kids?

It begins with the slave women; used as goats. Who produced results. BUT WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THE CROSS-OVERS. How many generations to White? Thomas Jefferson's UNCLE impregnated Sally Hemming's MOM. Who was 1/2 White already. So, this was pretty usual down south. With the cross-overs happening as soon as the baby born "could pass for White.

How do I know that? I noticed when the DNA was tested, some of Jefferson's current stock were surprised to find Black DNA within their line. BECAUSE IT'S NOT OBVIOUS. And, these people have been "passing for White," BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE, for generations, now.

That there are Blacks who have not done well? What are you comparing this group to? DARFUR? Places in africa where things are worse?

And, why is it, when Jimmy Rogers wrote his book ADVENTURE CAPITALIST, and he was in many of the african states, he found American Blacks are DETESTED in Africa. There's a concensus in Africa that American Blacks are SPOILED. (And, there's no desire to see them come back. Even as visitors.) You don't find that odd?

M. Simon said...

Carol,

The OJ phenomenon was discussed in the original article and quoted right here.

In any case the "girls gone wild due to demographics" phenomenon is real.

Shahar said...

Another thing the statistics don't catch. In this, as in everything, the internet is changing everything.

It's very difficult now for a girl to compete for attention when every boy has a virtual red light district available to him on his laptop. If the internet has not created a race to the bottom in trashiness, it's only because we were so close to that already.

It's not only about competing for attention. The internet gives the impression that there is an unlimited supply of very pretty, smart, gregarious girls available. Even if "the girl next door" can get a boys attention, how is she going to measure up?

of course it goes both ways.

what's more, it's unstoppable. All we can do is talk about it and observe as the birth rate declines to historic lows.

anybody remember this story? -

More TV porn "may boost Sweden's birth rate"

typical libs, get it exactly backwards and don't have any idea why their schemes never work.

pretty soon, the only people even bothering to have real sex any more will be teenagers, but since we frown on teenage girls having babies, it will be just so much wasted lust.

linearthinker said...

Violence produces demand for drugs?
My first reaction was that the last place I'd want to get stoned would be a free-fire zone, but then I'm not sensitized to the desperation and futility in the lives of the oppressed minorities, blah, blah, blah, so I'll pass on trying to argue that particular sociological point. An occurrence that doesn't seem to fit though, is the epidemic use of and addiction to meth in the rural communities of the heartland. What community violence creates that particular addiction and lawlessness? NASCAR? Highschool football rivalries? Video games?

I don't mean to snark at your theme that the war on drugs is counterproductive and out of control. Just posing a situation that doesn't seem to fit the sociologists' models.

And, if violence does lead to demand for drugs, what are the numbers from Israel or Belfast or Kosovo that might support that premise?

M. Simon said...

Shahar,

Over the long run the problem is self correcting. Only those wanting to reproduce will do so. Thus making reproduction more likely in succeeding generations.

I'm doing my part. Four children.

linearthinker,

You must have missed my references to PTSD and what people do to self medicate for it. We know that people in war zones get PTSD. We know that chronic alcohol or drug use is common to the genetically susceptable to long term PTSD. In fact this sort of thing was understood much better 150 years ago at least in an ad hoc way:

The Soldiers Disease

Meth is just another stimulant. You know. Like the stuff they prescribe to children for ADD/ADHD. Perhaps that explains the desire for stimulants. BTW adult ADD/ADHD is a relatively new idea. It used to be thought that ADD/ADHD was the realm of children only.

Re: stimulants - you might find this of interest: The War On Unpatented Drugs.

Shahar said...

> the problem is self correcting

I don't think so, at least not in the way you suppose. Your children or their children are much more likely to be childless themselves than you are/were or than someone raised in a more conservative culture will be. There's a form of self selection here, but it's cultural not genetic.

There's irony in this. The jihadist believe the Jews and Americans will be defeated because they love life, while cultural trends both in Israel and the west are profoundly narcissistic and nihilistic. I'm not offering anything new - this is a well known critique. It's just ironic that we're racing to defend ourselves against an external enemy that is in so many ways a sort of monstrous visage of our internal destructive pathologies.

So jihad is also nihilistic and narcissistic, and there's irony enough to go around. Perhaps our version of nihilism will annihilate theirs just before annihilating us, or maybe the whole thing will go up in smoke and humanity will finally respond with a new longing for life.

in the meantime, ...

Anonymous said...

I suspect that if sexual mores are determined by the male to female ratio, this is only one factor of many and is probably not the most significant. In the UK we have seen a gradual decline of moral standards that I first noticed in the early 1960's.
I find other factors more persuasive, e.g.
The decline of the extended family to nuclear (and that has now progressed to single parent)
The resulting lack of a 'strong community' to criticise asocial behaviour.
The reduced influence of religion.
The increasing influence of the media to shape popular culture.

It would be interesting to compare strong rural traditional communities with cities.

Paul

M. Simon said...

Paul,

The '60s decline in morality was not the first time such a decline happened.

The flapper era of the 20s was another well documented time this has happened.

Each of these times there was an excess of marriageable females over males.

Women want to have children. This is a biological fact. They prefer, if possible, to have such children in a stable family structure. If such structure is not available due to a lack of men then they will have children without the benefit of such structure.

"Honor killings" and other such devices are how some cultures keep the M/F ratio in balance. If we do not wish to resort to such devices we are going to either have to figure another way of redressing the balance or accept that as much as we might prefer a traditiional morality, it may be biologically impossible to obtain. Or we may have to bring back another traditional form of marriage, polygamy.

Supply and demand rules sexual morality as much as it rules prices in an economic market. Bernard Shaw once pointed out that in terms of reproduction a woman would rather have 1/10th of a first rate man rather than all of a second rate one. Maybe he was on to something.

Anonymous said...

Simon,

OK, the dearth of males caused a pressure..but

from EB
For millions of Americans, the sober-minded Coolidge was a more appropriate symbol for the era than the journalistic terms Jazz Age or Roaring Twenties. These terms were exaggerations, but they did have some
basis in fact. Many young men and women who had been disillusioned by
their experiences in World War I rebelled against what they viewed as
unsuccessful, outmoded prewar conventions and attitudes. Women who had been forced to work outside the home because of labour shortages during the war were unwilling to give up their social and economic independence after the war had ended. Having won the right to vote when the
Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920, the new “emancipated” woman,
the flapper, demanded to be recognized as man's equal in all areas. She
adopted a masculine look, bobbing her hair and abandoning corsets; she
drank and smoked in public; and she was more open about sex.

from Wikipedia
Flapper behavior
Flappers went to jazz clubs at night where they danced provocatively, smoked cigarettes through long holders, and dated. They rode bicycles
and drove cars. They drank alcohol openly, a defiant act in the period
of Prohibition. Petting (physical intimacy without sexual penetration)
became much more common. Some people even threw "petting parties" where
petting was the main attraction. Flappers also wore "kissproof" lipstick and a lot of heavy makeup with beaded necklaces and bracelets. They liked to cut their hair into "boyish" bobs, often dyeing it jet black.

Petting == single parent families, surely there are other factors?

Paul

Duchess Of Austin said...

Ok, how about we go with the "all of the above" theory.

I will stipulate that the PTSD theory accounts for some of the problems in the black community, however it doesn't explain it all.

I stand by my postulation that the great Welfare Society of the 60s had the unintended consequences of reducing black men to nothing more than sperm donors. I think this is what has led to your demographic theory that there are more young black women of child bearing age than ever before, but you need to look at WHY these young men end up in jail. Their purpose within their own demographic has been undermined. They don't NEED to become providers for their families because the government has usurped their jobs. Thus, at loose ends within their own community, why should they work hard to get an education and a real job when there is no real reward? When they DO get an education they're branded as race traitors by their own community (sell-out, Uncle Tom, Oreo, acting white, etc.).

The welfare mentality has stolen the manhood of these young men. The mysoginistic, disrespectful, money-grubbing message of hip hop has made it worse, and the dearth of societal role models available to black youth, IMO, has exacerbated the situation. It's all about instant gratification. No work ethic exists in the welfare entrenched black community any more. Why should they work when the government pays them to have more and more kids? They get a "raise" for each kid they have.

I would bet my last dollar that if welfare was abolished, or reformed to the point where the government will only support 2 children, the birth rates in the ghettos would plummet, quickly.

I agree with you though, that the war on drugs has outlived it's usefullness, if it ever had usefullness, and we should either legalize or decriminalize some drugs. I can see marijuana as self medication, but crack? Nope, that and Meth are just poison, and have no use in ours or anybody else's society.

Anonymous said...

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Arm candy isn't just for OJ, ya know!

And, "times gone wild," has happened in history. If you just go back to the Baroque period ... you see the free swinging busoms of the ladies. And, what became very risque behaviors. At a time PREGANCY always resulted from these endeavors!

Why we assume it's new, I don't know.

But Blacks have always had a different scale than Whites. A much easier time of it when pregnancies happened. And, the babies were absorbed into larger families. Without so much as batting an eyelash.

While in "puritanical" America, it was NOT uncommon, even in the 1950's, for a girl to have to leave high school for a year. (Always due to illness.) And, when she came back the baby had been put up for adoption.

This whole gimmick has now changed.

By the way, during WW2, SOME babies, to Jewish women ... who were on their ways to death camps ... made it into American adoption agencies. Where there were always a need for adoptable babies.

Has society changed?

My mom said as soon as the birth control pill became available, that things were gonna change in a very big way. (Circa 1971.)

While "statistically" speaking, women are still limited to where they are born. And, what's available.

Until we cured polio, for instance, the most eligible males could'a been dead by the time they turned 13. Given how pervasive those deadly summers were. And, parents chose not to allow their young one's to go to the beaches.

Of course, wars are another CUT. Where local boys die. And, some women are disappointed to learn that their special someone is not available. (In the old days these women were called spinsters.) No longer an applicable term.

One interesting statistic I did read is that given the way genetics is reaching across borders, it's the BLONDES that are gonna go, first. Blondes are desirable. And, when they marry swarthy men the genetics for producing blondes, changes. Give this 500 years. Probably BLONDES, then, will be hard to find.

Do I know if this is true? Not so. I'm clueless as to what happens tomorrow, so predictions about the future amounts to a load of crap.

One can also look at Oprah. And, see a very successful, but childless, Black woman. (Condi, too.) Doesn't change much about the total picture. But it is an oddity. That some successful women don't breed at all. Wonder why? Why not.

M. Simon said...

Duchess,

I agree that the welfare set up developed in the 60s didn't help. So we rolled it back.

Drug prohibition is not helping. We need to roll it back. We did it once (1933). We can do it again.

=====================

Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it.
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.
We like it.
It's left a trail of graft and slime.
It's filled our land with vice and crime.
It doesn't prohibit worth a dime.
Nevertheless, we like it."
 
Franklin P. Adams

M. Simon said...

Duchess,

Please read:

The War On Unpatented Drugs.

re:crack and then get back to me.

Duchess Of Austin said...

Oh, I totally agree with you that the drug thing is all about money. We know that. Part of the reason marijuana was outlawed in the early 20th century wasn't because it was a "gateway" drug or any such nonsense, it was because the rope producers wanted it banned. Economics 101. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, and the rest is about drug company profits today.

Frankly, I think we should be more like the Dutch in that way....decriminalize most of it, and make the rest of it safer. Granted drug use would skyrocket for awhile, but it would eventually level off and start to slide downward.

All this War on Drugs bullshit is about money and control. Another thing you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see...

Personally, I think drugs and/or alcohol are about character. Weak people will glom onto anything if they're of a self-medicating bent and they'll find a way to abuse it. If you have a fairly strong character, you can (and most do, including myself) experiment with just about everything and come through unscathed. If marijuana was a gateway drug, I and all my friends would be junkies by now.

Duchess Of Austin said...

Oh, I totally agree with you that the drug thing is all about money. We know that. Part of the reason marijuana was outlawed in the early 20th century wasn't because it was a "gateway" drug or any such nonsense, it was because the rope producers wanted it banned. Economics 101. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, and the rest is about drug company profits today.

Frankly, I think we should be more like the Dutch in that way....decriminalize most of it, and make the rest of it safer. Granted drug use would skyrocket for awhile, but it would eventually level off and start to slide downward.

All this War on Drugs bullshit is about money and control. Another thing you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see...

Personally, I think drugs and/or alcohol are about character. Weak people will glom onto anything if they're of a self-medicating bent and they'll find a way to abuse it. If you have a fairly strong character, you can (and most do, including myself) experiment with just about everything and come through unscathed. If marijuana was a gateway drug, I and all my friends would be junkies by now.

Duchess Of Austin said...

OOps...sorry for the double post!

M. Simon said...

Duchess,

To say drug use is about character is about as correct as saying the use (or not) of anesthesia for surgery is about character.

Why certain kinds of pain should be accorded relief and other kinds not is a mystery to me.

linearthinker said...

Simon,
Duchess's point was abuse, not use. I'm inclined to agree with her.

But setting that aside, your comment brings to mind the insanity here in CA where the medical marijuana initiative has been thwarted by Federal intervention. And the doctors' perogatives nationwide for pain treatment prescriptions have been trumped by the bureaucrats monitoring their prescription pads. It all comes back to the "war".

I'd like to see Kinky elected down there in Texas. I hope Duchess votes for him. Seems like he's a good fit for Texas politics. Where the Democrats go to hiding in Oklahoma to avoid a vote in the legislature that's sure to go against them, and by crossing the state line, simultaneously raised the IQ in both Texas and Oklahoma!

Duchess, get yourself an absentee ballot and you can spend election day down on 6th St, or across the river at the Broken Spoke.

I love Texas.