Square Peg in a Round Hole
By • 1/3/07
A poor fit.
Last week’s column dealt with the difference in intelligence between blacks and whites and showed that scientific research established beyond any reasonable doubt that this difference was innate. This alone proves that our egalitarian culture is radically wrong about the nature of the races. However, once we have recognized the innate racial difference in intelligence, we have only begun to scratch the surface. Blacks and whites differ not only in intelligence, but across a whole suite of personality attributes. The fact that these differences are found the world over is strong evidence that they stem from the differing genetic makeup of the races rather than from any accident of history or culture.
First, the races differ in sexual behavior: blacks are more sexually promiscuous than whites and are less inclined to form long-term sexual partnerships. The sexual mores prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa differ radically from Western norms. African sexuality is characterized by the early onset of sexual activity, loose emotional ties between sexual partners, and matings with many different partners. For example, among the Herero tribe of southwest Africa, men typically sire many children by different women before they marry at the late age of 35 to 40. The tribe considers this behavior normal and does not stigmatize the children of out-of-wedlock unions1. In 1987, 64 percent of African adolescents reported being sexually experienced vs. only 40 percent of European adolescents2. Africans also have sex with greater frequency than whites.3
The same difference is evident in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2005 sixty-seven percent of black high school students reported having had sex, whereas only 43 percent of white high school students did. Twenty-eight percent of black high-schoolers said they had had four or more sexual partners in their lifetimes, compared to only 11 percent of white high-schoolers4. Also, in 2002, black men aged 15-44 reported having had 8.3 sexual partners in their lifetimes on average, whereas white men reported 5.3.5
These differences in sexual promiscuity create enormous differences in susceptibility to sexual diseases. In 2005, over six percent of Africans aged 15-44 were HIV positive, compared to 0.5 percent of North Americans and Europeans, making the HIV incidence rate in Africa a full 12 times higher than in the West6. Blacks in the US show the same pattern. According to the CDC, US blacks are 10 times more likely than whites to have AIDS. There are similar differences in other sexually-transmitted diseases. In 2005, 9.8 out of every 100,000 American blacks had syphilis vs. 1.8 whites, making the black syphilis rate more than five times higher. American statistics on parenting also reveal blacks’ lack of inclination to form long-term sexual bonds. The CDC reports that a no less than 70 percent of all black births were to unmarried women in 2005, which is about three times higher than the percentage of births to unmarried women among whites. Black children are three times more likely to live with a single mother than white children7.
A second domain in which there are substantial differences between whites and blacks is the ability to defer present gratification for greater future rewards. It is essential to success in modern societies that we be willing to accept privations and hardships in the present for the sake of greater good down the road. Buying a house in the future often requires that you save and invest your money rather than spending it immediately. Getting a good job in the future often requires that you endure difficult and costly training in the present. Scientific studies and statistics on behavior show blacks have a lower ability to defer gratification than whites. Blacks’ inability to focus on the long-term makes them more prone than whites to socially irresponsible behaviors such as crime, unemployment, and drug addiction.
The psychologist Walter Mischel showed this racial difference clearly in a 1961 study. He offered black and white children the choice between a small candy bar immediately or a larger candy bar a week hence. The black children were so much more likely than whites to ask for the smaller candy bar that Mischel deemed significance tests superfluous. He concluded, in the blunt language that his day still allowed, “Negroes are impulsive, indulge themselves, settle for next to nothing if they can get it right away, do not work or wait for bigger things in the future.”8
A particularly good example of the consequences of blacks’ inability to defer gratification is their higher crime rates. Criminals are the best examples of people who favor present gratification at the expense of long-term rewards: a mugger is willing to sacrifice his whole future for the chance of stealing someone’s wallet. In “The Color of Crime,” New Century Foundation, which publishes American Renaissance, has shown blacks in America are seven times more likely than whites to be in prison. Nor is this an artifact of racial discrimination by the legal system: the report also proves that the available evidence leaves no doubt that police are equally likely to arrest white criminals as black criminals and judges equally likely to convict them. Blacks are more likely to commit every category of crime than whites, but the gap is particularly wide in the categories of robbery, which blacks are 15 times more likely to commit than whites, and drug offenses, which blacks are 12 times more likely to commit9.
“The Color of Crime” also demonstrates that this difference in criminality is not caused by black social disadvantage. Examining violent crime rates by state, the report finds the percentage of the state’s population that is black or Hispanic is a far better predictor of crime levels than poverty, unemployment, or high-school dropout rates. Furthermore, even when you control for these factors, the relationship between percentage black and Hispanic and crime rates is still almost as strong as before. This indicates that even if whites were just as socially disadvantaged as blacks, the racial difference in criminality would still be almost as great as it currently is10. The racial difference in crime rates plainly stems from different natures.
This difference in criminality prevails internationally as well. Using data from international surveys of crime, J. Phillippe Rushton found that violent crime was twice as common in Africa and the Caribbean as in predominantly white countries11.
Many other differences between white and black behavior are consequences of the difference in ability to defer gratification. Blacks are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites, indicating they prefer the present pleasure of sleeping in and “hanging out” to the long-term rewards afforded by holding a steady job. Blacks also spend three times as much of their income on movies as whites, who are more prone to save their money for major purchases in the future12.
The past two columns have shown that blacks and whites differ in fundamental ways across a wide array of traits. These differences make it difficult for blacks to conform to the norms of Western societies. No matter how much taxpayer money is devoted to improving black education, employment, and so forth, blacks continue to lag. Year after year, they do worse in school than whites, commit crime at higher rates, and are more likely to be unemployed and impoverished. Trying to get blacks to integrate into white societies is like trying to stick a square peg into a round hole.
So pervasive and profound are the differences between the white and black minds that we must conclude that evolution designed them to create radically different types of society. Next week, we will examine how the environments in which whites and blacks evolved gave rise to racial differences in personality and abilities.
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- J. Philippe Rushton. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective, 3rd ed. (Port Huron, MI: Charles Darwin Research Institute), 156. ↑
- Ibid., p. 172. ↑
- Ibid., p. 172. ↑
- Center for Disease Control, “Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students, United States, 1991-2005,” CDC website, 11 August 2006 (accessed 2 January 2007). Link ↑
- William D. Mosher and others, “Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age, United States, 2002,” CDC website, 15 September 2005, p. 28 (accessed 2 January 2007). Link ↑
- UNAIDS. 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 13. Link ↑
- US Census Bureau, “Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002,” US Census Bureau website, June 2003, p. 5. Link ↑
- Walter Mischel, “Preference for Delayed Reinforcement and Social Responsibility,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 62, no. 1 (1961), p. 6. Quoted in Michael Levin. Why Race Matters (Oakton, Va.: New Century Books, 2005), 77. ↑
- New Century Foundation. The Color of Crime 2nd ed. (Oakton, Va., New Century Foundation, 2005), pp. 7-11. Link ↑
- Ibid., pp. 11-12. ↑
- Rushton, pp. 158-60. ↑
- Levin, p. 77. ↑