Just how dysgenic is the college gap between men and women?

Vox Day feels that it is quite dysgenic, but I think that we kind of see the Grain of Truth thing going on.

The reality is that 70% of white, non-Hispanic (WNH) births each year for the last decade or so are to college educated women.  And still more reality is that a majority of WNH births have been to college educated mothers since sometime in the 80s, when they crossed 50%.  So for about 30 years now, a majority of white babies are being born to educated white mothers.  And by 1960, the percentage was already over 20%.

Now this is a different issue than raw baby count, but even there, white women had about 2 million babies (after minusing 50k or so Hispanic births, this was before they were a separate category) in 1970 (when college educated mothers were around 25% or so of the total) and in 2015, the most current year available, they also had 2 million babies.

People are having fewer children as a population proportion, that is true, sort of.  But the raw count of kids has been very stable for decades, with its structure changing.  The right wing having a big conversation about what it means that most white kids are born to college-moms would be more useful than asserting that such motherhood is definitely dysgenic.  Which is itself an open question.  Intelligence flows from mom, so is having bright women make up more of the moms (particularly the married moms) dysgenic?  Yeah, yeah “watered down curriculum”, but that means arguing that the ones who can’t complete coursework in even a watered down form are somehow smarter.  Which would be a hard sell.

Even among black women, a higher fraction of mothers who get married before the babies come are college educated.  That is, college educated black mothers are often married before the babies come and non-college black mothers are at scary 90% or so out of wedlock levels.  A majority of black mothers with a BA or greater are married before the kids come.

So we have a larger population with a static baby count and thus a lower birth rate, but the women left who are bothering to have babies, plural are majority college-attending and married.  And they have more higher-order births, they have supermajorities of the 3+ births.

One could make an interesting argument that it was mainly the vanguard of college educated women’s daughters who successfully reproduced.  And that also has pretty far reaching implications.



11 thoughts on “Just how dysgenic is the college gap between men and women?

  1. I don’t know why he assumes that college educated white women won’t marry “down” if necessary. Many of them are doing that already and it’s pretty common for college educated black women.


    • I married “down.” It made a lot of sense: households work better if it’s someone’s full-time job to take care of them. Since I’m the breadwinner, that’s not going to be me. And since my husband is a high school drop-out, the opportunity cost for him to give up working is negligible, at best.

      I am fortunate, though, that I managed to find a man that doesn’t feel emasculated by spending his life taking care of the house and kids.


      • But one unavoidable problem of the female-breadwinner household is that if they decide to have kids, the mother WILL have to take time off for the days leading to delivery, the birth, and a few weeks after the baby is born. I don’t think I’ve EVER heard of a mother white-knuckling it the day after delivery, even in a country with no maternity leave.

        How can a relationship survive an extended period of no income with an extra mouth to feed?


        • Your reply is interesting – you seem to be thinking as if I’m only talking theoretically rather than sharing my lived experience.

          In fact, I DID take off time when I had my 3rd. My 1st and 2nd came along before and during college, respectively, which has its own set of advantages.

          The key to success in this department is to finish college and get a white-collar job in a company big enough to have maternity leave.


          • How did you have your first two when husband is a high school dropout? It seems that there was a role reversal in the breadwinner department.


            • … which I realize doesn’t fully answer your question. I got by in college with a combination of public assistance, GI Bill money, and student loans. Handling the logistics of maternity leave and childcare is actually much easier in college, both because colleges tend to be more flexible (especially colleges used to catering to nontraditional students) and also because you have more energy in your early 20’s.


    • He also appears unwilling to consider that it’s possible to just open colleges that are male-only or with curriculums more male-friendly. There are already a couple of specialized colleges like that, and there’s no reason there couldn’t be more, new colleges open all the time (usually Christian ones, but sometimes secular ones).

      And he’s also forgetting that plenty of the homeschool mamas of the 70s and 80s specifically raised kids who could attend college even if they themselves hadn’t gone. Not all of them, but it was a major point of pride for vast numbers of homeschoolers that they could get their kids prepared for college. So that generation of women who didn’t go to college but were smart sent their smart girls to college and well, it’s a lot harder to go the other direction.


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