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Journal ArticleDOI

Intelligence and childlessness.

01 Nov 2014-Social Science Research (Academic Press)-Vol. 48, pp 157-170

TL;DR: Analyses of the National Child Development Study show that more intelligent men and women express preference to remain childless early in their reproductive careers, but only more intelligent women are more likely to remainChildless by the end of their reproductive career.

AbstractDemographers debate why people have children in advanced industrial societies where children are net economic costs. From an evolutionary perspective, however, the important question is why some individuals choose not to have children. Recent theoretical developments in evolutionary psychology suggest that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to prefer to remain childless than less intelligent individuals. Analyses of the National Child Development Study show that more intelligent men and women express preference to remain childless early in their reproductive careers, but only more intelligent women (not more intelligent men) are more likely to remain childless by the end of their reproductive careers. Controlling for education and earnings does not at all attenuate the association between childhood general intelligence and lifetime childlessness among women. One-standard-deviation increase in childhood general intelligence (15 IQ points) decreases women’s odds of parenthood by 21–25%. Because women have a greater impact on the average intelligence of future generations, the dysgenic fertility among women is predicted to lead to a decline in the average intelligence of the population in advanced industrial nations.

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Citations
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Journal Article
Abstract: A Treatise on the Family. G. S. Becker. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1981. Gary Becker is one of the most famous and influential economists of the second half of the 20th century, a fervent contributor to and expounder of the University of Chicago free-market philosophy, and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in economics. Although any book with the word "treatise" in its title is clearly intended to have an impact, one coming from someone as brilliant and controversial as Becker certainly had such a lofty goal. It has received many article-length reviews in several disciplines (Ben-Porath, 1982; Bergmann, 1995; Foster, 1993; Hannan, 1982), which is one measure of its scholarly importance, and yet its impact is, I think, less than it may have initially appeared, especially for scholars with substantive interests in the family. This book is, its title notwithstanding, more about economics and the economic approach to behavior than about the family. In the first sentence of the preface, Becker writes "In this book, I develop an economic or rational choice approach to the family." Lest anyone accuse him of focusing on traditional (i.e., material) economics topics, such as family income, poverty, and labor supply, he immediately emphasizes that those topics are not his focus. "My intent is more ambitious: to analyze marriage, births, divorce, division of labor in households, prestige, and other non-material behavior with the tools and framework developed for material behavior." Indeed, the book includes chapters on many of these issues. One chapter examines the principles of the efficient division of labor in households, three analyze marriage and divorce, three analyze various child-related issues (fertility and intergenerational mobility), and others focus on broader family issues, such as intrafamily resource allocation. His analysis is not, he believes, constrained by time or place. His intention is "to present a comprehensive analysis that is applicable, at least in part, to families in the past as well as the present, in primitive as well as modern societies, and in Eastern as well as Western cultures." His tone is profoundly conservative and utterly skeptical of any constructive role for government programs. There is a clear sense of how much better things were in the old days of a genderbased division of labor and low market-work rates for married women. Indeed, Becker is ready and able to show in Chapter 2 that such a state of affairs was efficient and induced not by market or societal discrimination (although he allows that it might exist) but by small underlying household productivity differences that arise primarily from what he refers to as "complementarities" between caring for young children while carrying another to term. Most family scholars would probably find that an unconvincingly simple explanation for a profound and complex phenomenon. What, then, is the salient contribution of Treatise on the Family? It is not literally the idea that economics could be applied to the nonmarket sector and to family life because Becker had already established that with considerable success and influence. At its core, microeconomics is simple, characterized by a belief in the importance of prices and markets, the role of self-interested or rational behavior, and, somewhat less centrally, the stability of preferences. It was Becker's singular and invaluable contribution to appreciate that the behaviors potentially amenable to the economic approach were not limited to phenomenon with explicit monetary prices and formal markets. Indeed, during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he did undeniably important and pioneering work extending the domain of economics to such topics as labor market discrimination, fertility, crime, human capital, household production, and the allocation of time. Nor is Becker's contribution the detailed analyses themselves. Many of them are, frankly, odd, idiosyncratic, and off-putting. …

4,568 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: This is a monumental study of the relatives of 289 persons who lived at Faribault Minnesota State Colony for the Retarded during the years 1911 to 1918—each retardate averaged 25 years of residential care within the institution.
Abstract: This is a monumental study of the relatives of 289 persons who lived at Faribault Minnesota State Colony for the Retarded during the years 1911 to 1918. Information about 82,217 persons is analyzed in this volume—each retardate averaged 25 years of residential care within the institution. The original study was developed in 1910 and was reopened in 1949 by the present investigators. I find it difficult to assess the value of this book for pediatricians. It is undoubtedly a very meaningful report for geneticists, but I would not recommend its purchase by the practicing pediatrician.

36 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It has been theorized that declines in general intelligence (g) due to genetic selection stemming from the inverse association between completed fertility and IQ and the Flynn effect co-occur, with the effects of the latter being concentrated on less heritable non-g sources of intelligence variance.
Abstract: It has been theorized that declines in g due to negative selection stemming from the inverse association between completed fertility and IQ, and the Flynn effect co-occur, with the effects of the latter being concentrated on less-heritable non-g sources of intelligence variance. Evidence for this comes from the observation that 19th Century populations were more intellectually productive, and also exhibited faster simple reaction times than modern ones, suggesting higher g. This co-occurrence model is tested via examination of historical changes in the utilization frequencies of words from the highly g-loaded WORDSUM test across 5.9 million texts spanning 1850 to 2005. Consistent with predictions, words with higher difficulties (δ parameters from Item Response Theory) and stronger negative correlations between pass-rates and completed fertility presented a steeper decline in use over time, than less difficult and less negatively selected words, which increased in use over time, suggestive of a Flynn effect. These findings persisted when explicitly controlled for word age, literacy rates and temporal autocorrelation. These trends constitute compelling evidence that both producers and consumers of text have experienced declines in g since the mid-19th Century.

29 citations


Cites background from "Intelligence and childlessness."

  • ...ORIGINAL RESEARCH published: 21 April 2015 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00361 Edited by: J. Michael Williams, Drexel University, USA Reviewed by: Lei Chang, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China David Geary, University of Missouri, USA *Correspondence: Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Department of Psychology, Technische Universität Chemnitz, 09107 Chemnitz, Germany; Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium michael.woodley@vub.ac.be Specialty section: This article was submitted to Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology Received: 21 January 2015 Accepted: 14 March 2015 Published: 21 April 2015 Citation: Woodley of Menie MA, Fernandes HBF, Figueredo AJ and Meisenberg G (2015) By their words ye shall know them: Evidence of genetic selection against general intelligence and concurrent environmental enrichment in vocabulary usage since the mid 19th century....

    [...]

  • ...…Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium michael.woodley@vub.ac.be Specialty section: This article was submitted to Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology Received: 21…...

    [...]

  • ...…Galton’s (1869) predictions, asmost studies found that IQ was inversely related to fertility, suggesting directional genetic selection for lower intelligence (Lynn, 2011) – a trend that persists into the present (Lynn and van Court, 2004; Meisenberg, 2010; Reeve et al., 2013; Kanazawa, 2014)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Noah Carl1
TL;DR: The paper provides evidence for the validity of the regional IQs by showing that IQ estimates for UK nations derived from the same data are strongly correlated with national PISA scores, and finds that regional IQ is positively related to income, longevity and technological accomplishment; and is negatively related to poverty, deprivation and unemployment.
Abstract: Cross-regional correlations between average IQ and socioeconomic development have been documented in many different countries. This paper presents new IQ estimates for the twelve regions of the UK. These are weakly correlated (r=0.24) with the regional IQs assembled by Lynn (1979). Assuming the two sets of estimates are accurate and comparable, this finding suggests that the relative IQs of different UK regions have changed since the 1950s, most likely due to differentials in the magnitude of the Flynn effect, the selectivity of external migration, the selectivity of internal migration or the strength of the relationship between IQ and fertility. The paper provides evidence for the validity of the regional IQs by showing that IQ estimates for UK nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) derived from the same data are strongly correlated with national PISA scores (r=0.99). It finds that regional IQ is positively related to income, longevity and technological accomplishment; and is negatively related to poverty, deprivation and unemployment. A general factor of socioeconomic development is correlated with regional IQ at r=0.72.

29 citations


Cites background from "Intelligence and childlessness."

  • ...Fourth, cross-regional differentials in the strength of the relationship between IQ and fertility (see Lynn & Van Court, 2004; Meisenberg, 2010; Lynn, 2011; Chen et al., 2013; Reeve et al., 2013; Kanazawa, 2014; Hopcraft, 2014; Woodley, 2015): fertility might have had a more positive genetic effect in some regions than in others....

    [...]

  • ...…in the strength of the relationship between IQ and fertility (see Lynn & Van Court, 2004; Meisenberg, 2010; Lynn, 2011; Chen et al., 2013; Reeve et al., 2013; Kanazawa, 2014; Hopcraft, 2014; Woodley, 2015): fertility might have had a more positive genetic effect in some regions than in others....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This study examined the association between personality and childbearing motivation, with a focus on voluntary childlessness. 780 adults completed an online survey assessing the Big Five personality traits, the trait of Independence, desire for parenthood, motivations for choosing childlessness and various other socio-demographic characteristics. Compared to parents or those desiring children, childfree respondents scored significantly higher in Independence and significantly lower in Agreeableness and Extraversion. They were also less religious and more politically liberal. For non-parents, level of desire for parenthood was negatively correlated with Independence and positively correlated with Agreeableness and religiosity. The ideal number of children desired was positively correlated with Agreeableness and religiosity. Childfree respondents who decided early in life not to have children (‘early articulators’) were significantly higher in Independence and Openness to Experience than those who decided later in life. Motivations for childlessness loaded onto five factors, four of which correlated significantly with personality traits. The results suggest that personality plays a considerable role in influencing individuals towards, or away from, parenthood.

19 citations


References
More filters

Book ChapterDOI
12 Jul 2017
TL;DR: The p,cnetics of sex nas now becn clarif ied, and Fishcr ( 1958 ) hrs produccd , n,od"l to cxplarn sex ratios at coDception, a nrodel recently extendcd to include special mccha_ nisms that operate under inbreeding (Hunrilron I96?).
Abstract: There is a tendency among biologists studying social behavior to regard the adult sex ratio as an independent variable to which the species reacts with appropriate adaptations D Lack often interprets social behavior as an adaptation in part to an unbalanced (or balanced) sex ratio, and J Verner has summarized other instances of this tendency The only mechanism that will generate differential mortality independent of sexual differences clearly related to parental investment and sexual selection is the chromosomal mechanism, applied especially to humans and other mammals: the unguarded X chromosome of the male is presumed to predispose him to higher mortality Each offspring can be viewed as an investment independent of other offspring, increasing investment in one offspring tending to decrease investment in others Species can be classified according to the relative parental investment of the sexes in their young In the vast majority of species, the male's only contribution to the survival of his offspring is his sex cells

10,217 citations


"Intelligence and childlessness." refers background in this paper

  • ...Given that mating for mammalian species is largely a female choice (Trivers, 1972), women’s preference for intelligent men as mates can potentially explain why more intelligent men may be as likely to become parents as less intelligence men despite their expressed preference to remain childless at…...

    [...]


Book
01 Jan 1981
Abstract: Preface to the Enlarged Edition Introduction 1. Single-Person Households 2. Division of Labor in Households and Families Supplement: Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor 3. Polygamy and Monogamy in Marriage Markets 4. Assortative Mating in Marriage Markets 5. The Demand for Children Supplement: A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility 6. Family Background and the Opportunities of Children 7. Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility Supplement: Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families 8. Altruism in the Family 9. Families in Nonhuman Species 10. Imperfect Information, Marriage, and Divorce 11. The Evolution of the Family Supplement: The Family and the State Bibliography Index

9,088 citations


Journal Article
Abstract: A Treatise on the Family. G. S. Becker. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1981. Gary Becker is one of the most famous and influential economists of the second half of the 20th century, a fervent contributor to and expounder of the University of Chicago free-market philosophy, and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in economics. Although any book with the word "treatise" in its title is clearly intended to have an impact, one coming from someone as brilliant and controversial as Becker certainly had such a lofty goal. It has received many article-length reviews in several disciplines (Ben-Porath, 1982; Bergmann, 1995; Foster, 1993; Hannan, 1982), which is one measure of its scholarly importance, and yet its impact is, I think, less than it may have initially appeared, especially for scholars with substantive interests in the family. This book is, its title notwithstanding, more about economics and the economic approach to behavior than about the family. In the first sentence of the preface, Becker writes "In this book, I develop an economic or rational choice approach to the family." Lest anyone accuse him of focusing on traditional (i.e., material) economics topics, such as family income, poverty, and labor supply, he immediately emphasizes that those topics are not his focus. "My intent is more ambitious: to analyze marriage, births, divorce, division of labor in households, prestige, and other non-material behavior with the tools and framework developed for material behavior." Indeed, the book includes chapters on many of these issues. One chapter examines the principles of the efficient division of labor in households, three analyze marriage and divorce, three analyze various child-related issues (fertility and intergenerational mobility), and others focus on broader family issues, such as intrafamily resource allocation. His analysis is not, he believes, constrained by time or place. His intention is "to present a comprehensive analysis that is applicable, at least in part, to families in the past as well as the present, in primitive as well as modern societies, and in Eastern as well as Western cultures." His tone is profoundly conservative and utterly skeptical of any constructive role for government programs. There is a clear sense of how much better things were in the old days of a genderbased division of labor and low market-work rates for married women. Indeed, Becker is ready and able to show in Chapter 2 that such a state of affairs was efficient and induced not by market or societal discrimination (although he allows that it might exist) but by small underlying household productivity differences that arise primarily from what he refers to as "complementarities" between caring for young children while carrying another to term. Most family scholars would probably find that an unconvincingly simple explanation for a profound and complex phenomenon. What, then, is the salient contribution of Treatise on the Family? It is not literally the idea that economics could be applied to the nonmarket sector and to family life because Becker had already established that with considerable success and influence. At its core, microeconomics is simple, characterized by a belief in the importance of prices and markets, the role of self-interested or rational behavior, and, somewhat less centrally, the stability of preferences. It was Becker's singular and invaluable contribution to appreciate that the behaviors potentially amenable to the economic approach were not limited to phenomenon with explicit monetary prices and formal markets. Indeed, during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he did undeniably important and pioneering work extending the domain of economics to such topics as labor market discrimination, fertility, crime, human capital, household production, and the allocation of time. Nor is Becker's contribution the detailed analyses themselves. Many of them are, frankly, odd, idiosyncratic, and off-putting. …

4,568 citations


"Intelligence and childlessness." refers background in this paper

  • ...…1986; Ryder, 1979; Westoff, 1986), to cultural or religious (Hayford and Morgan, 2008; Heaton, 1986; Mosher et al., 1992; Pearce, 2002; Westoff and Bumpass, 1973), and to rational choice (Becker, 1960, 1981; Butz and Ward, 1979; Easterlin et al., 1980; Friedman et al., 1994; Schoen et al., 1997)....

    [...]


Book
01 Jan 1972
Abstract: Just over one hundred and thirty years ago Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), developed remarkably accurate conclusions about man's ancestry, based on a review of general comparative anatomy and psychology in which he regarded sexual selection as a necessary part of the evolutionary process. But the attention of biologists turned to the more general concept of natural selection, in which sexual selection plays a complex role that has been little understood. This volume significantly broadens the scope of modern evolutionary biology by looking at this important and long neglected concept of great importance. In this book, which is the first full discussion of sexual selection since 1871, leading biologists bring modern genetic theory and behavior observation to bear on the subject. The distinguished authors consider many aspects of sexual selection in many species, including man, within the context of contemporary evolutionary theory and research. The result is a remarkably original and well-rounded view of the whole concept that will be invaluable especially to students of evolution and human sexual behavior. The lucid authority of the contributors and the importance of the topic will interest all who share in man's perennial fascination with his own history. The book will be of central importance to a wide variety of professionals, including biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists. It will be an invaluable supplementary text for courses in vertebrate biology, theory of evolution, genetics, and physical anthropology. It is especially important with the emergence of alternative explanations of human development, under the rubric of creationism and doctrines of intelligent design.

3,860 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Contents List of Illustrations List of Tables A Note to the Reader Preface Acknowledgments Introduction PART I. THE EMERGENCE OF A COGNITIVE ELITE 1 Cognitive Class and Education, 1900-1990 2 Cognitive Partitioning by Occupation 3 The Economic Pressure to Partition 4 Steeper Ladders, Narrower Gates PART II. COGNITIVE CLASSES AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR 5 Poverty 6 Schooling 7 Unemployment, Idleness, and Injury 8 Family Matters 9 Welfare Dependency 10 Parenting 11 Crime 12 Civility and Citizenship PART III. THE NATIONAL CONTEXT 13 Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability 14 Ethnic Inequalities in Relation to IQ 15 The Demography of Intelligence 16 Social Behavior and the Prevalence of Low Cognitive Ability PART IV. LIVING TOGETHER 17 Raising Cognitive Ability 18 The Leveling of American Education 19 Affirmative Action in Higher Education 20 Affirmative Action in the Workplace 21 The Way We Are Headed 22 A Place for Everyone Afterworld APPENDIXES 1 Statistics for People Who Are Sure They Can't Learn Statistics 2 Technical Issues Regarding the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 3 Technical Issues Regarding the Armed Forces Qualification Test as a Measure of IQ 4 Regression Analyses (rom Part II 5 Supplemental Material for Chapter 13 6 Regression Analyses from Chapter 14 7 The Evolution of Affirmative Action in the Workplace Notes Bibliography Index

3,784 citations