Update: January 2005: Over the years since my article on interracial marriage called "Is Love Colorblind" appeared in National Review on June 14, 1997, I've received approaching one thousand emails in reply. Besides being the most in number, they've also been, on average, the longest, most eloquent, and most heartfelt of the emails that any of my hundreds of articles have elicited. Below are a dozen early responses to "Is Love Colorblind?" along with my replies. -- Steve Sailer
Other Articles by Steve Sailer about Interracial Marriage
Readers Responses to "Is Love Colorblind?" (with my replies)
Table of Contents
Readers responses are in normal type, while my responses to their responses are in italics.
Steve Sailer -- e-mail: SteveSlr at aol.com
|Is it safe to
discuss human biodiversity?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edmond J. Inomoto)
On balance, your article presents some intriguing, even disturbing arguments concerning the future of America. (Perhaps potentially more disturbing even than Murray's "Bell Curve"). I did though find it rather jarring to read the final somewhat upbeat sentence "Intellectuals should stop dreading the ever-increasing evidence of human biodiversity and start delighting in it".
Unfortunately, that last sentence in the article got orphaned in editing from this earlier paragraph, which might have set the stage for it better:
There may be but three fundamental causes for the myriad ways groups differ. The first is unsatisfying but no doubt important: random flukes of history. The second, the favorite of Thomas Sowell and Jared Diamond, is differences in geography and climate. The third is human biodiversity. While Im glad there are millions of different kinds of bugs in Brazil (as long as they stay there, out of my basement), I find far more pleasure contemplating the kind of biodiversity I see every day walking down the street: the minor but consistent patterns of human physical differences. Its not exactly popular to admit this. Yet, suppressing written discussions of our species physical diversity doesnt make the topic go away. The reality is too obvious to anybody who lives in a big city or watches sports on TV. People will talk about it whether or not anybody is allowed to write about it. Driving it out of print has only succeeded in degrading the discussion.
The current conventional wisdom says that if it does turn out that different ethnic groups actually do differ genetically on average in various ways, this will be the worst possible news of all time because it will prove Hitler right, and thus will logically lead to genocide. I dont know how much the average intellectual who repeats this argument really believes it, but Im trying to keep people from taking this logic seriously. You see, I don't think we have much control over the facts of life, but we do have a lot of control over what we think about them. The current conventional wisdom is an incredibly risky all-or-nothing bet that no racial differences will be found. Yet, we already see differences everyday while walking down the street. So, what we need instead is a worldview that genuinely "celebrates diversity" by, first of all, acknowleding that it exists all the way down to the genetic level, and second values diversity for the extremely practical reason that it allows greater specialization, which, as Adam Smith pointed out in 1776, is the basis of wealth. Immigrants groups have done very well by specializing in certain trades, while black progress is becoming increasingly limited by policies like affirmative action that discourage black specialization, and instead try to diffuse black talent across the economic landscape.
I thought I recognized some of your arguments. I managed to dig up my photocopy of your article "Great Black Hopes" which appeared in the Aug. 12, 1996 issue of NR.
Nothing warms the cockles of a journalists heart more than having readers who archive away copies of his articles.
The question is whether the "losers" in the mating game "start delighting [in human biodiversity]" or whether their bitterness poisons American culture beyond repair.
The first thing to keep in mind is that for at least the near future, the male losers in the mating game will tend to be the winners in the economic game, and vice-versa. Whether those men affected will view this as their glass being half full or half empty is another question.
I think the Asian-American male's wife shortage will be a long term, background irritant, rather than a burning issue. It probably will become the cause of a certain amount of anti-white and anti-black feelings. (For example, back in the early 1980's, there were riots in Peking against African college students who were dating Chinese girls. I think at least one African was murdered by a mob of Chinese men.)
On the other hand, Asian-American male leaders will tend to have little trouble finding a wife (often finding a white one) because leadership charisma and attractiveness to women are highly correlated. In contrast, the more introverted sorts of writers and other intellectuals may well tend to end up with, as Marilyn Monroe said in Some Like It Hot, the fuzzy end of the lollipop. So, this issue may eventually become a public one among Asian-American male writers.
In general, though, men (unlike women) don't tend to talk much about their sexual difficulties and if they do, other men don't tend to sympathize much. Consider articles about polygamy in the American press, such as in Kenya or in the remote parts of Utah. The journalist always interviews the husband (who's all for it), a new wife (who is all for it) and an older wife (who is mad at her husband for taking a new bride. Nobody ever interviews, or even mentions, all the other guys who can't get wives because Mr. Husband is hogging them. That's because men identify with men who attract lots of women, and find it hard to identify with sexual losers, even if they are losers themselves. So, I think this will remain a background issue, but, yes, it could affect political attitudes.
In your current article, you write, Yet, suppressing written discussions of our species physical diversity doesnt make the topic go away. The reality is too obvious to anybody who lives in a big city or watches sports on TV. People will talk about it whether or not anybody is allowed to write about it. Driving it out of print has only succeeded in degrading the discussion.
Agreed. But given the potentially explosive nature of such discussion, the question should be raised: Is the cost worth it? A cost which may include discarding fundamental American beliefs regarding the individual human being? The Declaration of Independence asserted "All men are created equal". Sure, we can argue endlessly over what it really means both historically and philosophically, but even so this remains a founding myth. By myth, I don't mean that it's a lie but that it is a core American belief which led (at least in part) to the Civil War of the 1860's and the Civil Rights battles of the 1960's. I remember reading the same question being raised about Herrnstein and Murray's "The Bell Curve". I.e. Even if the racially significant differences regarding IQ are scientifically true, is there a social advantage to be gained by widespread public discussion of the issue? Unfortunately, in today's society and current government policies, serious investigation and discussion of all these issues is critical to realistic solutions to our social problems. (As a conservative, of course, I realize there are no real "solutions", the best we can hope for is to create the conditions under which some amelioration can occur).
I fear that the current emphasis on a rigidly fundamentalist interpretation of All men are created equal as meaning that literally all men are created equal in all ways, threatens to break, dumping the entire concept in cynicism, with potentially disastrous effects for the country. If instead we use it to emphasize that in contrast to the physical inequality we see all around us, this nation is founded on the conception of the spiritual and legal equality of all individuals, well, then we wont have much to worry about.
I think you are entirely too sanguine about this celebration of human diversity. During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, blacks and latinos celebrated human diversity by burning down stores owned by Korean immigrants. Perhaps I have too cynical a view of human nature but as a current member of the Army National Guard, the possibility of having to patrol urban battlefields and perhaps fire on other Americans is never very far from my thoughts.
You seem to think that a given individual or group will be satisfied with the "niche" that best accomodates that individual's or group's characteristics. I would say that such satisfaction depends on how high up the "food chain" one finds oneself. Given the free movement of goods and services (and to some extent labor as well), the Law of Comparative Advantage will result in a given country specializing in those goods and services for which it has a relative advantage. Theoretically, in the long run (which may be quite long, perhaps generational) everyone is better off.
Unfortunately, in the short run, there can be a great deal of disruption and there will be economic losers. Isn't this what drove much of Pat Buchanan's and Ross Perot's presidential campaigns? Why has President Clinton remained remarkably steadfast in support of NAFTA and free trade in general? I would say it's because he sees himself and those of his class as the winners in this deal, where the winners cannot be easily classified as "liberals" or "conservatives". Will those who see themselves as the "losers" in the human biodiversity scheme be content to accept their lot in life? I don't think so. Unlike animals in the wild, humans have other means by which to resist the "natural outcomes" of this neo-Darwinian contest, some of which will be political, others may be quite violent. The latter is what worries me.
I think your analysis is extremely cogent. I would like to emphasize, though, that Im skeptical of the existence of a hierarchical food chain of talents. All talents are of some value, and their value in the marketplace tends to fluctuate markedly over time and place. For example, today its valuable to possess the kind of verbal/symbolic logic skills important in working with computers. Yet, for the first half of the 20th century, the skill in more demand was the kind of 3-dimensional visualization talent that is so important to mechanics and engineers. So, its not clear that particular groups are doomed to permanently remain at the bottom.
As you point out, Ricardian economics suggests that each ethnic group will maximize its wealth to the best of its abilities (although, admittedly, those abilities will probably not be all equal in market value at any one point in time) by tending to specialize in its area of comparative advantage. But, as you also point out, this suggests that we must be ready for steady change. And change hurts.
Ive often speculated that a socially conservative black candidate running on a Buchanan-style anti-immigration, pro-union, high-wage economic platform could win the Presidency and might even succeed in raising his supporters standard of living for a decade or so (although it would probably prove more costly than it was worth in the long run, as the Europeans are starting to discover about their somewhat similar system).
At this point, however, this seems like an extremely unlikely development. And even if it occurred, it would only be a stop-gap that would be washed away by the Law of Comparative Advantage, this on-rushing global trend toward the triumph of the marketplace. Essentially, nothing is going to stop the trend toward greater specialization -- it is simply much more profitable for many more people than any other alternative. I have no doubt that these changes will cause pain, and more pain for the less educated and less intelligent, than for the highly articulate like you, me, and President Bill. But, this pain will be less likely to turn into violence the more the long-term benefits of these changes are clearly articulated. And thats what Im trying to do.
"This allows cruder measures---like the size of his muscles---to return to prominence." This is a blatantly racist statement, and simultaneously labels women who marry these men as stupid, and sexually perverted.
I long ago got bored with the endless debates over whether or not a particular statement is "racist," since I have enough trouble trying to figure out whether a statement is true or false, and that seems to be slightly more important. So, let's inquire about the truthfulness of my statements. If they are true, but you still consider them racist, well, you can blame God or natural selection or whatever you want. Of course, shooting the messenger has always been an emotionally satisfying (if merely short-term) alternative to dealing with reality.
Do young blacks tend to be more muscular than young whites or young Asians? The answer, if you're not oblivious to the obvious, is yes. Next, are women who are attracted to men with big muscles "sexually perverted?" No. I can't imagine a more normal, healthy heterosexual response. Does this also make normal women "stupid?" Sometimes they are immature, and that's partly the fault of a society that no longer makes much of an effort to pass on the hard-earned wisdom of older women to younger women.
As white women are well aware of racism and discrimination, couldn't they also be attracted to black men who appear to have overcome these barriers?
Until recently, Asian men also suffered a lot of discrimination, including all the Japanese on the West Coast being locked up in concentration camps. This sad history, however, has not gotten them a lot of dates with white women.
Physical attributes may initially attract people to one another, but other traits give the relationship longevity; something the author's racist mindset prevented him from deducing.
Of course. Initial sexual attraction is a gatekeeper. In more socially rigid cultures, like America in the past, parents, other relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. have taken a more active role in putting young men and women together, so initial sexual attraction wasn't quite as important. As our society becomes less and less constrained by custom, young people are more and more on their own, and initial sexual attraction becomes more of a gatekeeper than ever. Thus, racially-related physical differences play an increasing role in our society.
That said, however, as an old married guy, let me point out that while you shouldn't restrict your mate hunt to just the most sexually attractive, you shouldn't underestimate sexual attraction as a force keeping a marriage together. If you want your marriage to last, it's a good idea to have a LOT of mutual sexual attraction by your wedding day.
"The adulatory articles about Tiger Woods' parents" is not evidence that white Americans have changed their views on interracial marriage. Primarily, this is a marriage between two minorities. And if one of the parents was white, especially the mother, then things would be very different. (Weren't there some grumblings about presidential hopeful Gramm's Asian wife during the last presidential campaign primaries? Yes, I'm cognizant of the fact that part of that issue revolved around having an Asian as the First Lady, but either way, "race was an issue.")
How about Clarence Thomas and his blonde second wife? It seems likely that the fact that he had a white wife was extremely upsetting to some people (probably including Anita Hill), but almost all of them were on the Left. Regarding the Gramms, I mostly recall enthusiasm from the Right over the possibility of a non-white Republican First Lady; unfortunately for the Senator, not much else about him raised similar enthusiasm.
The author also totally ignores the fact that in order to be accepted into American society, Asians must embrace racist American norms and values, such as not dating or marrying African Americans. But of course, that would undermine his article.
Yeah, Kultida Woods is a real pariah. Asian-Americans have become increasingly accepted by whites at the same time as white racism has declined, so I really doubt that Asian's views of blacks plays more than a negligible role one way or another in Asian acceptance. Further, black-Asian conflicts occur all over the world, wherever there are well-to-do Asian shopkeepers and poor black customers.
Had the author read some of the literature on white-men/black-female relationships, he would have been able to reflect on why the marriage rates aren't higher for these two groups. But of course, the typical white male wouldn't want to concede those facts.
I've been studying this topic since about 1981. I've read much of the literature, but I haven't been very impressed by it since almost none of it puts forward theories that work for both black-white and white-Asian couples.
In case you were wondering about my demographics, I am a black male (19) of large build and considered to be "gifted" (particularly in logical and analytical fields). Raised in a middle class setting, and of the Mental-Physical Human Dynamic, I am often shunned by both black and white women for "not acting black enough".
|A white man married
to a black woman recommends Asian men and black women get together:
>>>So, I wonder what it is about Black women that is so less-feminine? Their full sensuous lips, their high cheek bones, their doe-like eyes, their round buttocks and hips, or their cat-like movements?<<<
Well, you're preaching to the choir here. I find many black women very attractive. And not just the Tyra Banks/Vanessa Williams/Lena Horne types either. But many of my white friends simply don't want to be romantically involved with a black woman.
I believe that the author's argument was that men want a woman who makes him feel like a man, and women want a man who makes her feel like a woman. This would explain why women tend to like tall men. If you were to poll men, I believe you would find that they may feel uncomfortable with a women who was taller or as tall as himself. A 5' 8" tall man would "feel" more like a man if he were with a five foot tall woman than he would with a woman who was 5' 10".
In addition, many of my friends don't believe that black women "act" as feminine. This is a little harder to define, but if a women acts loud, it is not considered feminine. White and asian women act or are perceived to act more reserved. This may be unfair in society, But men like what they like.
I agree with the author that this puts asian men and black women in a very frustrating position with no real acceptable solutions to their problem. To complain is to be branded a racist, to not complain is to accept yourself as bottom of the barrel. Everyday that you go to work, to a movie, to a mall, you will see numerous examples wm/af or bm/wf couples that will ruin your day.
The only "solution" that I can come up with that is socially acceptable is for asian men and black women to get together. I believe that once a couple can look past their height difference they may find a real treasure in each other.
If I may stereotype for a moment, asian men tend to be more likely to hang around and take care of the kids than both white and black men. How many times does a woman have to get burned before she changes her dating habits? In addition, asian men are also very likely to bring home a decent paycheck than black men. If you think of all the things you like in a man both physical and non, I believe a black woman could find happiness and contentment in the arms of an asian man.
As a white man married to a black woman, I can tell you that I cannot imagine myself with anyone but her. I think she is a beautiful woman, but if you are with a woman that you really care about, she becomes the standard of beauty over time. Despite what initial reluctance that asian men may have about being with someone who is so physically different than themselves, I know that such a relationship can be quite satisfying.
Really, what else is there. The black woman could search and search and try again and again for that perfect black man, but like the women in "Exhale" they may never find him. They could end up like my mother in law, constantly waiting for the father of her children to take some time away from his real family to spend some with her and his other kids, being loyal to a married man who was never loyal to her in return. She's now in a nursing home slowly dying. He never visits, he never calls. She is no longer his problem. My wife has nothing but disgust for her biological father.
Or the asian man can sit by the bar and watch as black and white men dance with asian women. He can ask that cute asian girl to dance and be politely, or impolitely, refused. Even though he is dressed nice and well-groomed, it doesn't seem to help. Then he can go home alone again and watch skinimax and maybe masturbate. Sound like a fun life?
The only problem with the above solution is that it requires both asian men and black women to overcome their own expectations in the opposite sex. Black women may complain that black men turn a blind eye to them, but then they turn a blind eye to any asian man. I have yet to find a black women who will even consider dating an asian man. (The only one they seem to like is that "Vanishing Son" guy, although he's part white, you wouldn't necessarily know it from looking at him). Asian men seem to have eyes for only white and asian women. I have NEVER seen an asian man with a black woman (although there probably are a few), and I wonder if I ever will. Best of luck.
"Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." - The Duke
|Black women need to
treat black men with more
Dear Mr. Sailer:
Congratulations on a well-written piece tackling the heretofore off-limits topic of the obvious patterns in interracial marriage.
My own experience is necessarily second-hand, as I and my husband, both 43, are white. I would like to describe a good friend's observations on interracial marriage, hers seen through the eyes of a mixed heritage black woman married to a mixed heritage black man. Dan is 47, a graduate of MIT who later earned an MD in New York, was briefly married to a black woman, divorced, and eventually met my friend at a NY hospital. She, a native of Columbia, had been married to another black Columbian for some years, and they had produced four children. She and her first husband divorced after moving to America, whereupon she relocated to New York City, met Dan, and the rest is history.
Maria looks and sounds like a native American (wait---I believe that term has been co-opted by another ethnic group), but her outlook on American society, specifically the interactions between black men and women born here, was unique when I first heard it.
She sees herself as treating a complicated, intelligent, quiet, handsome black man more as a white woman would. Indeed, she has told Dan repeatedly that if she is to die first, he is not to marry a native-born American black woman but instead should "go out hunting for an Asian or a white girl, because they know how to appreciate and love a good black man."
In the 8 years that I have known these two, I have seen her treat him with a healthy mixture of teasing, respect, affection, resentment, passion, and disappointment. They are partners who complete each other.
There is a pervasive attitude among many black women, including those with post-graduate degrees, of smug arrogance and flippant disrespect toward black men, no matter the man's personality or manner.
Gut feeling tells me this attitude of underlying disrespect of black women toward black men is promulgated first at their own mothers' knees, later reinforced by television, music, and in their schools, and finally given the Bad Housekeeping Seal of Approval by their liberalism-laced college educations. Bewildered when a white woman "steals my man," she looks not in the mirror but, pointing her outraged finger at the white interloper, claims that if "that narrow a--ed b----" hadn't taken that prospective mate, he would have been hers for the asking.
And that is wrong.
It is heresy to point out the obvious: that black women, particularly those with college educations who wish to marry like-educated black men, must discard their jaw-jutting disdain for "acting white" when it comes to how to win a black man as mate. Potentially successful black men are naturally drawn to women who complement their strong points, shore up their weaknesses, and can be counted on to be a willing, intelligent partner in life.
In closing, I ask you to look at a typical lifelong marriage between a black man and woman now in their 60s. Absent is that well-known "attitude" described above. If respecting and understanding one's mate is white behavior, then blacks of previous generations were acting white without knowing it.
Indianapolis IN (you may post the city but not my name or e-mail address)
black women becoming more interested in white men?
Superb article in National Review regarding interracial marriage.
As with the correlation between athletic performance and race, we have a serious societal trend/issue seemingly beyond the comprehension of the mainstream media.
One unscientific observation: Here in S.C., there is an almost imperceptible but still very real shift: Black women, frustrated at "losing their men" to white women, with white men. I''ve talked to a couple of black women who made the same observation.
Thanks for the kind words, and the interesting observation. There's some Census evidence supporting that. Black husband-white wife as a percentage of all black-white married couples peaked in 1980 at 77%. By 1990 it had dropped to 72%. Annual data published by the Census Dept, which unfortunately swings erratically due to way too small sample sizes, might indicate a narrowing of the gap since 1990. All this makes sense, because it makes sense for black women to look farther afield if they are serious about finding husbands, even if their initial response is to consider white and Asian guys to be poor substitutes for a "real" (i.e., black) man.
|Penis size and
In your National Review article ("Is Love Colorblind?" ), you pointed out several salient physical differences among the races that help to explain the gender disparities in the rates and direction of interracial marriages. While male height and muscularity differences are plausible contributors to the low asian male and black female intermarriage rates, there is another significant physical difference among the races that you did not mention. This is the size of the genitalia. Rushton and Bogaert (1987) averaged the ethnographic data on erect penis size and estimated them to approximate: Asians, 4 to 5.5 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter; Caucasians, 5.5 to 6 inches in length and 1.3 to 1.6 inches in diameter; Blacks, 6.25 to 8 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter. Women were proportionate to men, with Asians having smaller vaginas and Blacks larger ones, relative to Causcasians. These data are supported by studies by both the World Health Organization (1991) and the Kinsey Institute.
So why do the genitalia size differences help to explain the differences in intermarriage rates? Relatively large penises are compatible with relatively small vaginas, but the reverse is less true. A man with a small penis and a woman with a large vagina are probably less likely than average to form a sexually satisfying relationship with each other. This is especially true in short term relationships, where women tend to focus more on a man's physical attributes in choosing a sexual mate, whereas other factors such as wealth and commitment tend to be more important in choosing a long term partner. This also helps to explain the data in which you pointed out that in their most recent sexual experience, White women were about 10 times more likely to have been with a Black man than a White man was with a Black woman. Although I know of no data to support this, I imagine that Asian male - Black female one night stands are quite rare.
Personality differences among the races may also contribute to the intermarriage discrepancies. Blacks tend to have more outgoing and aggresive personalities, while Asians tend to be more shy and reserved, with Whites intermediate between the two. In the competition for wives and sexual mates, their more sociable personality and greater willingness to approach females probably favors Black men compared to Whites and especially compared to Asians. More insights into the intermarriage differentials can probably be gained by viewing the differences through the lens of evolution and evolutionary psychology. Any thougths on all of this?
Rushton, J.P., & Bogaert, A.F. (1987). Race differences in sexual behavior: Testing and evolutionary hypothesis, "Journal of Research in Personality," 21, 529-51.
World Health Organization. Global Programme on AIDS. (1991). "WHO Specifications and Guidelines for Condom Procurement," Geneva, Switzerland.
Dear Mr. Z.
Thanks for your well-informed letter.
There are a number of reasons I left out a discussion of penis size.
First, one of my recurrent themes is that, as Yogi Berra said, you can observe a lot by just watching. I wanted to show that you can make a respectable (if incomplete) case that human biodiversity significantly impacts society (a position that most modern intellectuals would deny) just from the evidence (e.g., height, hair length, and muscularity) that you can see every day just walking down the street. Too many times, our current reigning orthodoxies demand that we be oblivious to the obvious, and some physical differences are a lot more obvious than others.
Second, the examples I cited of physical differences between the races (height, hair length, and muscularity) are ones that are important in initial sexual attraction (i.e., before people get to the point of taking their clothes off), while penis size is not (with the exception of actress Linda "The Last Seduction" Fiorentino, who claims that she always insists upon conducting a short arm inspection before she'll agree to go home with a man). As the joke told by women goes, "Why is a man like a snowstorm? Because you'll never know how many inches you'll get, or how long it will last."
Third, while all the evidence I've ever read about supports your contention that blacks tend to be bigger than whites who tend to be bigger than Asians, a number of uncertainties remain. For one thing, tt's not clear how much bigger. For example, the World Health Organization's AIDS prevention guideliness for condom diameter that you cite do recommend to condom manufacturers that they make wider condoms for the African market and narrower condoms for the Asian market, but the recommended difference is only 6%.
Further, I'm not aware of how closely size correlates with race. It's the old issue of average vs. standard deviation. The greater the amount of variation within a race, the less useful race is as a tool in deciding whom to go to bed with.
Finally, it's not particularly clear what are the most important variables in providing sexual satisfaction to a woman. (Women readers might not find this confession of masculine ignorance surprising.) Which is more important: length or diameter? And what about timing: is it better to be able to make love often or for a long time? Finally, how important is it to offer a sophisticated array of sexual techiques versus to be very responsive to her emotional needs? Clearly, some of these aspects are in-born, but others can be learned and improved-upon, so it's not clear how much of a disadvantage an under-endowed man must suffer.
Fourth, this topic tends to drive berserk much of the 50% of the male population who are below average. They like to believe that size doesn't matter (although women would seldom agree with them). Anyway, I like my readers to be in an open frame of mind while they're reading my arguments, and this issue closes minds faster than just about any other.
As you point out, personality traits do tend to differ by race. For example, the Japanese tend to be shy. Japanese culture, of course, could be the cause since it is arranged to minimize the number of personal confrontations a person must endure. However, the purely cultural explanation leaves unanswered the question of why Japanese culture is arranged that way in the first place. It seems quite possible that is was created by shy people to make life easier for shy people, especially since shyness is fairly closely correlated with heredity.
Now, it's not at all clear that being shy makes a man a worse husband. Shy husbands are more likely to come home to their families every night rather than go out chasing women. But, it's harder for shy men to get married in the first place, unless young women are trained to not ignore them.
One interesting question for future exploration is the relationship between muscles and personality. It appears that muscular men tend to be more outgoing and agressive. Why? There could be many reasons for this. For example, muscular men probably don't fear agressive confrontations as much, because if push comes to shove, they are more likely to win the fight. Do hormones themselves play a role? Although steroid makers try to reduce the masculinizing effects in favor of just the muscle-building effects, they haven't succeeded completely, so steroid users tend to be more confident, more agressive, and more prone to 'roid rage. On the other hand, there is also some evidence that stressful, potentially violent social situations increase your body's production of testosterone. So, it's a very complicated topic, but one that is extremely important.
women are more attractive because they are traditional-minded"
by Paul C.
My wife and I would like to thank you for your informative article on a topic which does not get much play: interracial marriages. My wife, who is Japanese, and I (can I say Anglo-American and get away with it without a stoning?) have talk about this topic many times, and I'd like to share some comments and ask some questions vis-à-vis your article.
I can say that a strong attraction in my marriage was that as an American, I met a woman who was in a sense very traditional, and I don't think you broach this as an object of attachment in white American male/Japanese female marriages. Miyuki is old-fashioned Japanese in a way because she was raised by a very old-fashioned set of parents whom I get along with splendidly. But, as she was in the Japanese diplomatic corp for a couple years, she was well-exposed to other cultures. (She was also born in Colombia - long story).
In me, Miyuki found someone not, er, emasculated, as she would say of many modern Japanese men raised in the post-war comforts of Japan. (Her father, by the way, was born in what is now North Korea when it was still part of the Japanese Empire, so he was raised roughing it very much.) Her sister Mitsue has the same comments re modern Japanese men. (She's available by the way).
So, a reason for white American male/Japanese female marriages then might be the meeting of men expecting to marry an American woman who find themselves pleasantly surprised to meet traditionally-minded women. My wife naturally expects me to be able to fully support her while she stays at home to raise our 2-and-a-half year old son.
This might also be true of white American male/Panamanian marriages also. I was stationed in Panama (where I met my wife also) as a Navy Lieutenant for two years. As soon as I got down there, I was told that as I was an officer and single I would be a good prize for the Panamanian lasses. And something happens down there: a US Embassy hack told me that more marriages occur per capita between US servicemen and Panamanian women than with German or Japanese women. The Panamanian women are very traditionally minded and (just as good, no better) they are very beautiful. Unlike American women, Panamanian women, even the ones who might be somewhat liberated, like to dress up for themselves and their men. They will tell you this.
My wife concurs strongly with your idea that Asian women find lighter skin attractive. Japanese women, she says, like fairer skin. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for the interesting letter.
A number of people have suggested to me that Asian women are more attractive to white men because they are more traditional or submissive. On the other hand, some people have suggested that Asian women like white men because they are less chauvinistic than Asian men. These would seem to be contradictory ideas, but they each deserve exploration.
First, are Asian women more traditional and/or submissive? This sounds reasonable, yet it is surprisingly hard to confirm with statistics. According to the Statistical Abstract, compared to American women of other races, Asian-American women (especially Chinese and Japanese) on average have the highest labor force participation rates, are the best educated, delay marriage and childbirth the longest, and have the lowest illegitimacy and teen pregnancy rates. Does this make them feminist role models? No, feminists tend to disparage Asian women as suffering from anti-feminist upbringings. Similarly, Asian-American women seem to have a reputation for not being much interested in feminism. Many white men think they would make better wives than white women because aren't as riled up and confused by feminist theory about what they want out of life.
So, we have a paradox. Asian women tend to be less exploited by men than white or black women, despite not taking feminism very seriously. Some possible explanations might be: 1. A disciplined upbringing in an Asian family, with its emphasis on deferment of gratification and responsibilities rather than rights, better equips a woman to take advantage of all the career possibilities now open to her in America. In contrast, the current mainstream American emphasis on freedom, feminism, self-expression, self-esteem, etc., might be responsible for the huge increase in the white illegitimacy rate, and other problems afflicting white females. For instance, feminism tends to endorse illegitimacy (e.g., Murphy Brown) as exemplifying female independence. A more realistic view would suggest that illegitimacy exemplifies male exploitation of women.
2. It could be Asian women tend to be smarter than white women, and thus are better able to foresee the consequences of things like getting pregnant outside of marriage.
3. Asian cultures tend to be more pragmatic, more skeptical of the latest political theories about individual rights. I suspect that Asian women tend to have a firmer grasp on what they really want out of life than white women, who these days tend to be confused, and often turn their confusion in resentment toward men. Asian women seem to understand better that each of us, man or woman, are more likely to fulfill our life goals in cheerful cooperation with a member of the opposite sex.
4. Asian women may not think highly of the feminist emphasis on equality within a marriage (e.g., equal sharing of household cleaning), because it is inefficient. As Adam Smith pointed out on the first page of The Wealth of Nations, the key to efficiency is specialization and differentiation of roles.
I also have heard the argument that Asian men have a hard time finding wives in America because Asian men tend to be highly chauvinistic. Once again, I really don't know if that's true about Asian men. Further, it seems questionable whether Asian men are more chauvinistic than, say, black guys, who generally don't have much trouble attracting women. Further, it's not clear if being chauvinistic necessarily makes you unattractive to women. For example, Charles Barkley is an outspoken male chauvinist, but I doubt if he greatly lacks for female companionship. At most, it would appear that Asian men have a harder time than black men getting away with being chauvinistic, so we're right back where we started.
|Latinas and intermarriage
I enjoyed reading your article on interracial relationships in the latest NR. It was a welcome contrast to the continuing stream of disappointing news on the so-called Republican congress.
However, as an Argentine-Spanish-Italian-American (in PC terms, of course) married to a French-Portuguese-Argentine-American, I feel that your essay erred by omitting any discussion of the feminine merits of latin women, who leave their north american and asian counterparts in the dust.
Keep up the good work - look forward to reading your future essays.
Thanks for the kind words. A friend, who is married to a Puerto Rican woman, read a rough draft of the article and had the same comment on the superiority of latinas.
By the way, here's the only fact I found from the Census dept. on Hispanic intermarriages: Among married couples where only one partner is Hispanic, 56% of them consist of a non-Hispanic husband vs. 44% of the time where the husband is Hispanic. Since Hispanics can be of 3 different races (make that 4: Alberto Fujimori), it becomes much more complicated to think about intermarriage and Hispanics than intermarriage and blacks, whites, and Asians. So, that 's my excuse: it's too complicated for me to figure out.
My impression is that Latin American cultures tend to accentuate the masculinity of the men and the femininity of the women, thus making both their men and women quite attractive to the opposite sex. It's interesting that Filipino women, who tend to be Asian in appearance, but somewhat Latin in culture, seem to be very much in demand (see the mail order bride classified ads in the back of NR).
|"Didn't Jimmy the Greek lose his job for saying something like
It's nice to see this topic raised, as it often is overlooked. But this article does not do a very good job of it. Mostly it's filled with age-old racial stereotypes, misinformation, or lack of information.
The article is good because it provides many facts, but the author's interpretation of those facts reveals his own prejudice and ignorance.
He seems to completly forget the complex relationship between blacks and whites in this country when trying to understand the data for interracial couples.
And his attempt to equate the successes of profesional athletes to some supermasculinaty of black people is ridiculous. Didn't Jimmy the Greek lose his job for saying something like that?
His own evidence contradicts itself. On one hand he states that asian men aren't attractive to white women but in a different part of the post, he states that in earlier times asian men often married white women for lack of asian women in america.
As for the causes, they can be found in the complex relationships between men and women, of all races.
Why do so many black men seek white women? Because it is something that has been denied for so long. The grass is always greener....
Why don't so many white men seek black women? While the social taboos have been eased off of black men, they have not eased of off white men. Trust me, I know. A white man and a black woman can not walk down any street in any neighboor (black or white) without being harassed by black men, white men, and white women.
What affect does biology play in this? Very little, the only common denominator of attraction is "young" and "healthy". What changes from culture to culture is how youth and health are expressed. To say that long (white) hair is more attractive than black hair is obviously white supremacist. Cultural ignorance has a much greater influence than biological differences.
The statement "the only common denominator of attraction is "young" and "healthy," is extremely interesting. Lets consider the three examples I cited: height, hair length, and muscularity. Within populations that are relatively genetically homogenous, height, hair length, and muscularity are good indicators of a potential mates youth and health. For example, height correlates with nutrition and health during childhood and gestation. In fact, there is now a subdivision of economic history that uses average height to estimate the standard of living at various times in the past. Hair length is obviously related to youthfulness, and to health as well (ask anybody on chemotherapy). Finally, muscularity correlates with youth, nutrition, exercise, and general health.
So, within an ethnic group, these 3 physical aspects are good indicators of youth and health. The problems come when you cross ethnic boundaries. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the Pentathalon record holder, is an extremely healthy young woman, but shell never be able to grow her hair as long as even a marginally healthy, underfed Chinese peasant woman, because people from Sub-Sahara Africa tend to have shorter hair, not because they are less healthy, but because short African hair is a sophisticated evolutionary adaptation to a warm environment. Similarly, Michael Chang, the tennis star, is an extremely healthy young man, but hes a lot shorter than even a somewhat poorly nourished Dinka tribesman from the Sudan (the home tribe of 7-7" basketball player Manute Bol). You can make up your own examples for muscularity, because I think you get the point by now: men and women appear to be genetically programmed to look for certain tell-tale signs in the opposite sex that correlate with health and youth (which, in turn, correlate with "reproductive fitness," the ultimate basis for sex appeal). Within ethnic groups, these sex appeal factors work fairly well as good indicators of ones age and health and nutrition history. Across races, however, they much more often give false negative readings, warning mate-hunters away from members of the opposite sex that possess heaps of youth and health, but whose racial characteristics register falsely as indicating a lack of youth or health.
How much is the white-Asian imbalance caused by the fact that the US military stations lots of white male soldiers in Asia, some of whom bring back Asian wives?
I think it's reasonable to assume that the white-Asian military marriages of the 1940s set the stage for the much higher degree of tolerance for interracial marriages seen today. A large proportion of the soldiers and sailors who embarked from California for the Pacific War vowed to come back and settle in California after the war. And some of those brought back Asian wives. This quickly lead to a complete turnaround in California's attitudes toward white-Asian marriages: if all these war heroes wanted it, who was to deny them?
Unfortunately, I haven't seen any statistics on military marriages. I wouldn't be surprised if a quite high proportion of black-Asian marriages are military in origin (like Tiger Woods' parents).
Still, I don't think eliminating military marriages would change the overall picture much for recent years. White-Asian marriages have continued to increase rapidly even as our total number of soldiers stationed in Asia declined after 1968. I'm fairly sure that military marriages make up a smaller % of white-Asian couples today than at any point since WWII.
Further, these same patterns show up in non-military environments. I first noticed these patterns when I was at UCLA in the early 1980's. Practically no student there had military experience, yet white boy-Asian girl dating was extremely widespread, much more common than Asian boy-white girl.
|Spouse shortages and
Wouldn't these spouse shortages you describe result in more homosexual activity among black women and Asian men, either because of "opportunistic homosexuality," or "gender identity confusion"?
Good question. I haven't thought about this before, so I may ramble some. Overall, my answer is No, but clearly it's a topic that needs more research.
It's very hard to tell if there are differences in the homosexuality rate between races. First, it's hard to count the overall number of homosexuals in America. And it's even harder to come up with accurate comparisons of the % of homosexuals across ethnic groups because it's likely different kinds of people tend to exhibit different degrees of frankness in answering these kind of intrusive questions. I also like to look at less formal evidence, such as popular stereotypes and stand-up comics' jokes. Here, too, I'm not aware of any consensus that any one group has more than the average number of homosexuals.
Further, at the extremes there is much confusion over how to define a homosexual. Is an imprisoned gangster who sodomizes other prisoners because he can't get his hands on a woman a homosexual? How about a man like Andy Warhol who constantly falls in love with young men, but hates touching or being touched by another human?
1. A. Opportunistic homosexuality -- I think this might better be described as "second-choice" or "opposite-sex-shortage-driven" homosexuality. The classic case is men engaging in homosexual relations in prison. I suspect that opportunistic male homosexuality will always be rare in middle class American society, including among Asian-Americans, no matter how bad the marriage ratio turns against them.
"Opportunistic" male homosexual behavior certainly exists in prisons, expensive British boarding schools, at least some navies (e.g., Churchill's reference to the three enduring traditions of the Royal Navy: rum, sodomy, and the lash), and Moslem countries with a sizable amount of polygamy. This kind of behavior among normally heterosexual males usually occurs where men not only can't touch women, but can't even see them. Therefore, it's not clear whether this opportunistic male homosexuality can be prevalent in an open society. For example, in contrast to cloistered British "public" (i.e., private) schools, homosexual behavior was virtually nonexistent in my Catholic all-male high school in LA. In fact, for all our sexual frustration, I doubt if many of my fellow students ever even thought of engaging in homosexual behavior. Why the contrast? Well, although we tended not to have much contact with girls, we certainly saw girls everyday.
Similarly, in Kenya where there might be even more polygamy than in, say, Morocco or Arabia, there doesn't seem to be much of the homosexual behavior that has made those Moslem countries rank so high in the fantasies of English gays. (Instead, there seems to be a lot of female prostitution in Kenya). I suspect this lack of opportunistic homosexuality is because although a man might have 150 wives in Kenya, they aren't kept in purdah or wrapped from head to toe. They are expected to be out and about, dressed sensibly for working hard in a warm climate, which allows unmarried men to see a lot of attractive women every day.
Further, the U.S. has no culture of boy worship, which the British public schools, with their emphasis on the Classics, inherited from the ancient Greeks.
The other area where heterosexual men engage in a fair amount of homosexual activity is the Mediterranean countries and parts of Latin America. These cultures don't worry much about whom a man goes to bed with, but an awful lot about what he does there. To be a man is to be the penetrator, and it doesn't particularly matter of whom. To be the penetratee is to be the woman, which is a shameful thing. This distinction is wholly foreign to American thinking, outside of prisons and motorcycle gangs.
Similar to your argument, George Gilder has argued that a high rate of divorce increases the number of male homosexuals because alpha males can use divorce to monopolize multiple women's fertile years, at the expense of the least dominant males (e.g., the founder of the company where I work has had two children by each of his first three wives).
Conversely, by Gilder's logic a lot of divorce should decrease the amount of lesbianism, at least among women below 40, because more women can find highly attractive males, at least for a few years each. Of course, a lot of divorce could increase the amount of lesbian or quasi-lesbian relationships among older divorced women who were traded-in for a new model by their husbands when they hit 40.
Yet, I really don't buy Gilder's thesis. It implies that male homosexuals tend to be losers whom no woman would want to be seen talking to. Instead, gay men seem to be above average in many dimensions that appeal to women: they tend to be good dressers, good dancers, outgoing, witty; etc. Thus, lots of male homosexuals had plenty of girlfriends in junior high and high school, before they and their girlfriends figured out what each really wanted. E.g., see the movie Clueless where lovely 15 year old Alicia Silverstone develops a huge crush on a nattily dressed boy who's a superb dancer, loves to discuss fashions, etc. He seems like Mr. Perfect until she asks him to help her lose her virginity.
Instead, the guys who tend to have the most trouble just meeting girls, and are thus the most hampered by highly aggressive men hogging the women, are the nerdy, shy, but very straight guys. Nerds are very unlikely to be involved in opportunistic homosexuality. It's extremely unappealing to them, and they tend not to be attractive to genuine gays. By the way, East Asian girls seem to keep an eye out for white computer guys. They know they tend to make good husbands and fathers, partly because they're shy and thus are more comfortable spending time with their families than out chasing women.
The kind of Asian guys who have trouble meeting girls tend to be pretty similar to the kind of white guys who have trouble meeting girls: smart, shy, not very glib, don't understand much about women because they are totally lacking in the kind of "gender identity confusion" that helps gays get along well with women.
There are different forms of masculinity, and one of the more important jobs of a society is to encourage young women to recognize the merits of the less macho, more socially constructive kinds of masculinity. Without this training, young women tend to revert to favoring the lowest common denominator form of masculinity: large, strong, courageous, and violent. This lack of training, combined with the constant feminist indoctrination, contributes to white women being more confused, unrealistic and self-defeating than Asian women in their thinking about what they want in a man.
Thus, I don't think that the problems that East Asian men in the US have finding wives will likely lead many to turn to homosexuality. Other adaptations are more likely: they are likely to engage in fewer and shorter relationships with women, but without giving up hope. They may have to wait longer to get married. They may have to tolerate more cheating by their woman. (Similarly, black women probably put up with more cheating from their men because of the shortage of unjailed black men.) Other traditional adaptations to a shortage of women include masturbation and resorting to prostitutes.
Further, the sex ratio of East Asian males to females in the US is already lower than among whites and is likely to dip further, thus mitigating the problem somewhat. Some of the reasons for this stem directly from the greater sexual attractiveness of East Asian women than East Asian men: e.g., the importation of Filipino male order brides (see the classified section of NR). There is also some evidence of a trend toward Asian male immigrants returning to their homelands. The WSJ article on the backflow of Korean engineers focused on the booming economy in Korea as the cause, but I suspect that sexual frustrations also play a role.
B. Gender Identity Confusion -- This may not be the best term, but, as unfashionable as it is to point this out, most gay men are notably more effeminate than most straight men, while lesbians likewise tend to more masculine than straight women. So, it seems sensible that a race that tends to be somewhat more masculine (in the primal sense of being more muscular) would have fewer gays and more lesbians. And vice-versa. Yet, I really can't tell if this is true, and you know that I don't normally fear leaping to conclusions.
Among homosexuals in interracial relationships, black women are more likely to play the butch role and Asian men the bottom role. This is more evidence for the general racial pattern I pointed out in my article, but it's not very strong evidence that there are an above-average number of lesbians among blacks or gays among Asians.
One contradictory piece of evidence is that far fewer lesbians are found among the top black women athletes than among the top white women athletes. Probably a higher proportion of black women Olympians are married than are black women in general. In contrast, top white women athletes are much less likely to be married, in part because a lot are lesbians. For example, lesbian-feminist sportswriter Mariah Burton Nelson estimates that 30% of the all-white women's golf and tennis tours are lesbians. and this would not at all be true for white women athletes. While straight white women athletes like softball star Dot Richardson tend also not to be married.
In contrast, many black female track stars are flamboyantly feminine fashion-plates like Florence Griffith-Joyner or Gail Devers, or quite lovely like the regal Merlene Ottey, or devoted wives like Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Interestingly, most of them are married either to their coaches or to outstanding black male athletes. In other words, they are able to find black men who are so masculine that they feel perfectly feminine in contrast.
So, in sum, I haven't seen much evidence to persuade me that the races differ in rates of homosexuality, however defined.
|Suggestions for future
Salutations on another fine NR article. Frankly, if it weren't for Miss [Florence] King and yourself I'd cancel my subscription. I've never thought XXX wrote very well and that YYY fellow is a complete ass.
I disguised the names for obvious suck-uppy reasons.
I don't know if you take suggestions for stories but I'll give you three.
1) I don't believe there is much of gender gap in voting patterns. I suspect that most categories of white women vote Republican to the same extent white men do. There is, undeniably, a huge race gap and I suspect that it accounts for most of the alleged gender gap. Black and non-Cuban Hispanic women voting for Dems. Only some categories of white women doing so, such as welfare and SS recipients, single mothers, government employees etc.... I'm much to lazy to do dig up the stats on this. Perhaps you would like to?
What few statistics I've seen indicate that there is a huge political gap between single people, especially single women, and married people with children. Single women are much more liberal than married mothers. As you point out, a lot of single women get checks from the government, whether welfare, SS, or paychecks for government jobs. Also, since 1980 the Republicans have nominated a lot of really old guys (average age 69).
It's an important topic, in part because the tiny amount of attention the marriage gap has received relative to the endlessly discussed gender gap shows once again how much the media is hypnotized by the feminist concept of female solidarity. Instead, what you really see every day is family solidarity, people helping and getting help from members of their families, with gender playing very little role. Racial solidarity, which is far more powerful than gender solidarity, as the performance of the Simpson jury showed, can be thought of as diffused, partially fanciful version of family solidarity.
2) Arthur Ashe as a much better role model of a black man finding success in a white sport. Better than Tiger Woods that is. For one thing, Ashe's exemplary life is over and Mr. Woods might wind up spending a good portion of his doing stupid things. Yes, I be cynical. To me, the most significant racism in sports today is the tendency to describe white athletes as "heady" and " hard-working" while blacks are "natural" athletes. Ashe has it way over Woods in this respect. No one in their right mind would describe skinny nearsighted Ashe as an overwhelming physical specimen. Remember his Wimbledon win over Connors? Connors was younger, stronger and faster. Ashe outsmarted him. Mind over matter. Woods, by contrast, excels at the most physical aspect of golf. The drive. " Look at the natural power in Tiger's swing".
One reason Tiger has made golf ultra-fashionable is that that today everybody assumes that blacks are better athletes than whites, so if your sport doesn't have a black as its top star, it's probably not much of a sport, more of a mere game, like billiards. (Of course, Tiger is really half Asian, only one quarter black, one eighth American Indian, and one eighth white.)
You're right about how whites like to think black athletes triumph solely through physical advantages, and that white athletes only get by on smarts. I remember once listening to some white people discuss the Bull: "What a smart player Steve Kerr is! And how about Luc Longley, what court sense he has! You can tell just by expression on Bill Wennington's face that he really understands all aspects of the game! And why did they ever trade Will Perdue for Dennis Rodman? Perdue's a real thinker. And remember that 7'-5" guy, Chuck Nevitt, he was real intelligent, too."
"Wait a minute," interrupted a lone skeptic. "Chuck Nevitt was a complete geek. They only used him on the last play of the game to wave his arms around in front of the player trying to inbound the ball."
"Yes, but he waved his arms around in an intelligent manner."
Obviously, Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman are the smartest basketball players on the Bulls, with extraordinary abilities to grasp and react to the flow of each play in real time. Black musicians also seem to possess advantages in these kind of improvisatory mental abilities, so this may represent a black mental advantage over whites and Asians. (See my article, Great Black Hopes).
I just got back from seeing Tiger win the Western Open on Sunday. I only got one chance to see him crush a drive, and it was pretty amazing to see the clubhead accelerate so fast from such a short backswing. On the other hand, what was even more noticeable, since you saw it on every single stroke, was how extraordinarily methodical and intellectually intense Tiger and his caddy are. They discuss every facet of an upcoming shot with the thoroughness of a Nicklaus. (And Woods is both as foul-mouthed as Nicklaus when he screws up a shot, and plays as slowly as Nicklaus.) They seem to have a pre-established format for how to discuss club selection, and if they get bogged down, Tiger will terminate the discussion, put the club back in the bag, and announce, "Let's start over." Then they begin again with yardage, wind, and the other basics. Ironically, anybody looking for a "natural" player, should think first of Fuzzy Zoeller.
The comparisons of Woods to Jackie Robinson are really strained. The first black to win a PGA event was Lee Elder 30 years ago, and the first minority to win a major was Lee Trevino in 1968. Ashe's breakthrough's came over 30 years ago too. Further, Woods is a middle class Sunbelt kid like so many others on tour. Woods is more similar to a Mozart, the child prodigy who fulfills all the expectations. To get that good you have to have had a lot of advantages growing up. For example, I doubt that Tiger or his Dad had to pay for more than 5% of the, say, 2000 rounds he's played in the last 10 years.
What I think he'll be important for is to get people to think seriously about the existence of multiracial people. There is a lot of pressure on him to go along with notion that he is African American, but he refuses to be labeled with just one ethnic group, since that would mean symbolically renouncing his Thai mother. Since in most interracial marriages today involving a black, the black is the husband, we are going to see an increasing number of kids who are extremely set against American society's one-drop-of-black-blood-means-your-black rule. Especially, because a lot of these multiracial kids will be raised by their white or Asian mothers, and not see much of their black dads.
> 3) Part of the reason blacks are worse off than whites is because of their blind loyalty to the Dems. White politician has X amount of money to build a decent new school. Will he build it in the black area? If he's a Dem they're going to vote for him no matter what. So screw them. If he's GOP they're going to vote against him no matter what. So screw them. Extrapolate.
The Republicans have helped gerrymander the creation of all black Congressional districts, which provides for a lot of black Democratic seats but has helped put the Republicans in control of the Congress. With the kind of computer power that will be available after the 2000 Census, the next round of gerrymandering in general will be so sophisticated that few incumbents will ever lose. If we don't organize now to end all gerrymandering, this country could be in big trouble.
Hope you decide to grab one of these and run with it. Keep up the good work.
Other Articles by Steve Sailer about Interracial Marriage
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