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August 3, 2012 / JayMan

Out-of-Wedlock Births, Liberals and Conservatives

Ron Gunhame over at Inductivist has an interesting post looking at out-of-wedlock births had by Americans, by political orientation.  By looking at the GSS data, he seems to have found that among the never married, conservatives were far more likely to have children.

This is interesting, for one, because of its implications for my “pioneer hypothesis“, which it might seem to support. However, it was unclear if Ron’s data were disentangled by race. As well, I was interested in how this was mediated by IQ (since political orientation is partly mediated by IQ).

I confined my examination to non-Hispanic Whites, ages 30-43, who were never married, drawn from the 1990-2010 GSS data, separated by gender. As well, to see what the effect of IQ may be, I have separated these into two groups: those with WORDSUM 0-6 and those scoring 7-10.  Here are the percentage of those with children by political orientation:

Males
Political Orientation WORDSUM 0-6 (n) WORDSUM 7-10 (n)
Extrememly Liberal 73.0 (5) 0 (9)
Liberal 11.1 (15) 0 (30)
Slightly Liberal 16.4 (19) 0 (33)
Moderate 9.8 (61) 5.4 (52)
Slighly Conservative 29.0 (26) 2.7 (27)
Conservative 31.5 (15) 11.1 (12)
Extremely Conservative 0 (1) 13.2 (4)
Females
Political Orientation WORDSUM 0-6 (n) WORDSUM 7-10 (n)
Extrememly Liberal 26.3 (3) 5.6 (12)
Liberal 58.1 (11) 11.1 (38)
Slightly Liberal 34.7 (13) 14.4 (23)
Moderate 57.1 (32) 27.2 (50)
Slighly Conservative 24.8 (8) 5.4 (13)
Conservative 38.1 (11) 9.3 (8)
Extremely Conservative 49.5 (2) 0 (1)

This reveals a couple of interesting things.  First, as revealed by Charles Murray and subsequently thoroughly discussed, unintelligent men are less encumbered by bachelorhood when it comes to producing offspring. On the flip side, intelligent men generally are childless if they are not married.

Also, women, regardless of political orientation, and whether smart or dumb, are much more likely to have children out-of-wedlock. Unintelligent women are more likely to be unwed mothers regardless of political views (in accordance to both my own and the Audacious Epigone’s finding of dysgenic breeding among women). While there seems to be a n-shaped bump in unwed motherhood by politics among smart women, this appears to also be an IQ effect (since moderates have lower IQs on average than either liberals or conservatives), because when I confine my examination to women with WORDSUM of 9-10, only liberal and moderate women have any children out-of-wedlock (with the number highest among slight liberals, at 21.5%, n = 12; however sample sizes for all conservatives are very small here). No conservative “natalist” effect appears evident here, rather I suspect that Ron’s numbers were the result of minority fertility.

As for my pioneer hypothesis, it appears that, as discovered, improved conservative fertility stems from the fact that conservatives simply get married earlier and more often. Any observed conservative “natalist” effect among unmarried Whites is really an IQ effect (since conservatives have lower IQs on average, than do liberals, as evidence from the relative sample sizes above).

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11 Comments

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  1. Dan / Aug 3 2012 7:44 AM

    “since conservatives have lower IQs on average, than do liberals, as evidence from the relative sample sizes above”

    No you haven’t shown that, although you would like to given your bias against conservatives. Should you be doing your investigations at all if you can’t control your biases?

    Your flaw is that your sample size is limited in a very non-random way: whites, have children out of wedlock. Among conservatives, having kids outside of wedlock is a mark of failure. Among liberals, it is hip and alternative.

    If you take out the narrow subsample, it is about a wash:
    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/04/liberals-marginally-more-intelligent.html

    See the comments in epigone’s post too.

    • JayMan / Aug 3 2012 9:57 AM

      “since conservatives have lower IQs on average, than do liberals, as evidence from the relative sample sizes above”

      No you haven’t shown that, although you would like to given your bias against conservatives.

      First of all, that’s not an important point to my analysis.

      If you take out the narrow subsample, it is about a wash:
      http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/04/liberals-marginally-more-intelligent.html

      Second of all, AE’s data do show that liberals have an edge against conservatives in IQ, albeit a small one.

      Your flaw is that your sample size is limited in a very non-random way: whites, have children out of wedlock. Among conservatives, having kids outside of wedlock is a mark of failure. Among liberals, it is hip and alternative.

      Yes. I’ve considered that (indeed, wrote a whole post about it).

      The main point of this exercise was to see if there was a “natalist” trend among non-married conservatives. It doesn’t appear that there is one.

  2. M.G. / Aug 11 2012 6:19 AM

    JayMan–
    Just wanted to respond to your question about Emmanuel Todd’s maps on farming systems in Europe.

    I’ve got two Todd books, ‘The Invention of Europe’ and ‘The Explanation of Ideology.’ The first is far more comprehensive, it gives data maps on family structure, inheritance practices, farming systems, religion, political ideology, all of this down to the sub-regional level. It’s fantastic. But it’s only given for Western Europe. Meaning nothing to the east of the Iron Curtain (he wrote it during the Cold War) and no Greece either.

    The second book, ‘The Explanation of Ideology’, talks about the whole planet, and includes a few maps, but it is strictly about family structures. You may have seen HBD Chick’s rundown of it here. No farming system data in there, unfortunately.

    I haven’t delved further into Todd’s corpus for the moment, thought I know he’s written loads more, and I don’t know how much of what he has written is translated into English. I too would be very interested in seeing farming system data maps for areas outside of Western Europe if you stumble onto any.

    • JayMan / Aug 12 2012 5:50 PM

      Thanks for the info! I’ll keep you posted if I find anything.

  3. anon / Aug 11 2012 8:47 AM

    I’m not sure what these tables mean. For example, the first row for males says:

    “Extrememly Liberal 73.0 (5) 0 (9)”

    73.0 what?
    (5) what?

    • JayMan / Aug 12 2012 6:01 PM

      Of never married self-identified extremely liberal White men of the specified age group, 73% of them have children (n = 5, as in 5 extremely liberal never married men in aforementioned category).

      Is that clearer for you?

    • anon / Aug 14 2012 10:32 AM

      If I understand you correctly, the data tables say there are 5 extremely liberal white males with a Wordsum of 0-6. But if you multiply 5 by 0.73 you get 3.65. The numbers don’t add up. You can’t have a fraction of a person. It has to be a whole number. Do you see why I’m confused?

    • anon / Aug 14 2012 10:39 AM

      Understand that I’m not disagreeing with your premise. I think you’re probably right. I’m just trying to understand the data.

    • JayMan / Aug 18 2012 1:28 PM

      This is because of the weighting in the GSS data. The n I report is the unweighted n, whereas the percentages are based on the various weights GSS applies to address sampling errors.

  4. Audacious Epigone / Aug 18 2012 1:00 AM

    This is coming in late after rereading the post for a second time, but it’s worth remarking on for technical reasons. The sample size catch seems pretty small for casting a two decade wide net. I wonder if you used the RACECEN1 variable to isolate non-Hispanic whites. If so, that more detailed question wasn’t introduced until 2000, so if it’s being used, the effective time range is actually 2000-2010. The original RACE variable allows us to go further back in time, but it only has three categories–white, black, and other, so the white category will have some Hispanic included in it.

    • JayMan / Aug 18 2012 1:07 PM

      I used the HISPANIC variable: those answering 1 (Not Hispanic) and 0 (inapplicable) were included.

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