Jan 19, 2007

Smart Women Have Fewer Smart Children

Forbes business magazine had an article on p. 58 of their November 2006 issue entitled, "The Smart Women Myth" written by Christine B. Whelan, the author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. Whelan concludes in her book that "smart, successful women marry at the same rates as all other women, and once married, they have children at the same rates as well." She bases her conclusion on a survey that showed "there’s 75% chance that a never-married 30-year-old woman with an advanced degree will be a bride, compared with a 66% chance that a 30-year-old with a college degree or less will marry."

Whelan also discusses statistics that show 35 to 39-year old women living in medium-size cities who earn more than $75,000 a year and have a master's degree will marry at a 92 percent rate. She states this percentage is more than the 87 percent married for less educated, lower-earning women of the same age group and class. From these data, Whelan concludes smart women have bright futures for happy marriages (even though she presents conflicting data in her book that show the number of never-married people in their thirties has quadrupled in the last twenty-five years).

Why do I have a problem with Whelan's conclusions? First of all, the author selects only a five-year age group, 35 to 39-year old women. Second, only women living in medium-size cities are mentioned. Why did she not give statistics for all child-bearing women who earn more than $75,000 a year and have a master's degree--regardless of whether they live in medium-size cities. Third, she really doesn't give statistics on the total number of children of career women. Seems she might be using only the data that fit her hypothesis.

Whelan concedes that the 1980 census showed that educated, successful women were less likely to marry and much less likely to have children. Personally, I have observed in professional environments over the past 25 years that smart, educated, and successful women have fewer children than non-professional women. One woman that I know well now wonders if she should have traded her professional life for a marriage and children.

If smart women have fewer children, then the numbers of children with high intelligence are reduced in comparison with the total population. Both the genetic component and the environmental component of intelligence are decreased when smart women have fewer children. Children of intelligent mothers usually are exposed to an intellectually stimulating environment that has been proven to lead to high achievement.

The standardized SAT score was 'recentered' in 1995 because of declining scores. Some say that it was because more students are taking the exam. It seems more likely the declining SAT scores is a sign of declining average intelligence of students. Smart, high-achieving women have fewer children than other women, so fewer children are being born and nurtured in intelligence in relation to the total population.

Jan 17, 2007

Young Warriors

Wolftracker would like Mother Angelica and EWTN to develop movies that train our young men in chivalry to fight the battles that will recover our Church and society. The Endless Knot has been mentioned very favorably a couple of times in responses sent to Wolftracker's post. I picked up the novel and turned to a random page (p. 163) and this is what I read:

“These are bleak times,” said Arthur, filling his glass. “One wonders what our descendents will think, several centuries hence.”

“I should think,” said Father, “they will regard our century with astonishment. They will wonder at how the Church divested Herself of all that made Her precious and unique. They will marvel at the hedonism of our culture, and the resulting self-destruction of our society. And, I suspect, they will regard those of us who stand firm against the chaos with the same awe and fervor that we apply to, say King Arthur.”

Arthur stared at Father incredulously. “You're not serious.”

“But of course I am,” said Father. “Do you think King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table had any idea that they would some day be the object of legend?--that books, plays, and movies would be made about their adventures? Certainly not. They were just men of Good Will who saw a job that needed doing, who swore their allegiance to the Church first and their monarch second, and then went about doing what they could.”

“But they were heroes,” said Jonathan, “valiant soldiers, warriors.”

“They were young men,” said Father, “not a great deal different than you fine fellows. I suspect they decided to band together in a meeting, just as informal—and yet somehow as formal—as the ones you hold here in my rectory. They wore breastplates, carried shields, and fought with swords, for that was the tenor of their day. You dress formally, study the doctrines of the Church, and fight with words, for that is the raw material you have to work with in your century.”

Read the rest of The Endless Knot--it's a good story and you can buy it here. I've heard the sequel is even better.

Jan 14, 2007

Papal Address on Immigration

Pope Benedict XVI stated today that he favors "balanced management of migratory flows...," and concludes migrants must recognize "the values of the societies which host them."
I hope that soon there will be a balanced management of migratory flows and of human mobility in general, so benefits can reach the entire human family, beginning with concrete measures which favor legal emigration and the reuniting of families....Only respect for human dignity for all migrants, on one hand, and the recognition by the migrants themselves of the values of the societies which host them, will make possible the proper integration of families in the social, economic and political systems [of the countries that host the migrants.]
The above quote is particularly interesting because I believe the Pope may be "between a rock and a hard place" in speaking about immigration. The above address likely speaks primarily to Europeans about Muslim immigration, rather than about Latino Catholic immigration to the U.S.

[I may speak more about Latino immigration later, especially with regard to "recognition by the migrants themselves of the values of the societies which host them." My concerns relate to illegal immigrants to the U.S. being tempted to the sins of lying, graft, tax avoidance, and cover up of illegal activities, including not stopping for 'hit and run' accidents. Illegal immigration is not good training either for Catholics or for potential American citizens. Bad habits are hard to get rid of, you know.]

Rather, this post discusses the difficulties of Italy in trying to integrate Muslim immigrants and to insure their attachment to traditional Italian values. If not successful, the alternative is that Italy will have increasingly acrimonious political, social, and religious conflicts.

Italy has two choices: assimilation and multiculturalism, and neither appears workable.
No where in Europe is there a universally recognised integration success story for Muslim minorities. Here is some recent background on Muslims in Italy.
  • In comparison with other European countries, Italy's population of one million Muslims is small in comparison to 57 million total population
  • "In Mazara del Vallo in Sicily, since the end of the 1970’s there has been a Tunisian community that obtained permission to preserve its identity in all respects, with Tunisian schools, teachers sent from Tunisia, Tunisian laws, etc. So although polygamy is illegal there, it is tolerated"--[Chiesa]
  • "In recent years, the Islamic community [in Rome] has grown significantly, in great part due to immigration from North African and Middle Eastern countries into the city. As a consequence of this trend, the comune [sic] promoted the building of the largest mosque in Europe, which was designed by architect Paolo Portoghesi and inaugurated on June 21, 1995"--[Wikipedia]
  • March 2006: Half a million people line up in Italy to apply for 170,000 work permits being offered by government to immigrants.
  • August 11, 2006: A Pakistani immigrant kills his daughter in a so-called honour killing in northern Italy, and Italians are roiled by the murder
  • Summer 2006: The Union of Italian Islamic Communities (UCOII) issues an anti-Israel statement comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. The UCOII demands a separate place for Islam in Italy with Koranic instruction, Islamic schools, Islamic banks, and clerical supervision of textbooks.
  • Several former Italian ministers conclude Rome should disband, outlaw, or suspend UCOII, even though this controversial organization is by far the most important Muslim association in Italy and is emerging as an important political protagonist
  • August 2006: Italian Minister of the Interior proposes that Muslim organizations in Italy will need to subscribe to a Charter of Values to signal their readiness to be fully integrated into Italian society and its political culture.
  • Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government launches an ambitious plan to grant more access to citizenship for immigrants; in contrast, Spain has chosen to expel 800,000 "clandestine" immigrants.
  • September 2006: A Finnish letter discusses possible joint European Union actions for controlling immigration.
  • Late December 2006: Another 650 illegal Muslim immigrants arrive in Sicily by ship.
The best review of the Islamic problem in Europe, including Italy, is given here, and I believe the Pope has read it, too. A more current happening strongly related to Muslims in France is described here. The U.S. Veteran Dispatch has a very, very interesting article on the oath of office taken on the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Religious Affiliation in the U.S.

If you're interested in where to find lots of Christians, Jews, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, etc. in the U.S., see the maps published here.