Friday, June 10, 2011

Is the Liberal Lifestyle for Everyone?

In traditional Western culture if you weren’t an aristocrat you couldn’t afford to be sexually (or even romantically) impulsive. The cost of out of wedlock births was so harsh that the illegitimacy rate (proportion of unpartnered women of childbearing age giving birth out of wedlock) stayed close to 4% from 1200-1800, even though the average marriage age was close to 25 and contraception was essentially non existent. Today we have a radically different situation. In the UK today the rate is 30% and among white women in the US it is 25%.

The effect of removing social indoctrination and sanction from the masses is to leave those who are more impulsive, or have less ability to foresee the consequences of their actions, with much less guidance. So staying out of trouble depends far more on intelligence, and perhaps coolness, than it used to.

Have a look at the graph. The ability of a woman to navigate 2 or more sexual partners since turning 18 and not falling pregnant depends very strongly on IQ. The relationship is very similar to that of passing high school, only very fractionally tougher. Note that even when a woman has already made the mistake of an out of wedlock birth there is still some relationship between IQ and making the same mistake again.

Murray and Herrnstein show that the chances of a single lower IQ mother raising a child out of poverty are slim, and that her chances of neglecting or abusing the child in some way are appreciable. From The Bell Curve chapter on Poverty I inferred that as her IQ increases the difference a husband makes to her chances of avoiding poverty for her child drops rapidly. Notice from the graph that women with IQs over 120 manage to maintain the old 4% illegitimacy rate in spite of the more liberal milieu. Not only do intelligent women not need the old indoctrination and sanctions to avoid illegitimacy but if they do happen to have an illegitimate child they seem to be more able to manage without a husband too.

Individualistic self determination seems to work fine for them so the modern liberal elite continue to argue for the breaking down of old restrictions. They point out that they can get by without the old rules. Yesterday it was premarital sex and illegitimacy and today gay marriage, swinging and polyamory. They are probably tired of being expected to be role models for the stuffy restricted behavior of the rest.

All this is fair enough but when combined with the egalitarian tenor of the times whatever rights you argue for yourself needs to apply to everyone. This has disastrous consequences for those without the self control and intelligence to handle it. Though it is un-PC it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the liberal lifestyle is not for everyone. It is also clear that some people seem to be able to thrive without some of the core social institutions we have taken for granted. Perhaps anarchism would only work in a country with a mean IQ some 15 points higher than the highest observed to date.

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