Saturday, September 30, 2017

Three Percent Gay, Half a Percent Trans

I have been looking for some reasonable estimates of the proportion of the population who are homosexual, and of those who are transgender.

Edward Laumann and his University of Chicago team established the now-standard estimate that 2 - 4% of men, and 1 - 3% of women have a same-sex orientation, which averages to about 3% of the population.

The first efforts are being made now to estimate the proportion who are transgender.  The first reports, based on state-wide surveys in California and Massachusetts, were .3%.  Are more recent study of 19 states found .52% said they were transgender, which the authors round up to .6%

The wheel is still in spin here, so these early estimates will likely be modified by later research.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hooking Up is a Dominance Game

Lisa Wade has a new book on campus hookup culture, which she discusses on the "Hidden Brain" podcast.

She found that the students who most enjoy and benefit from hookup culture are higher class white men and women who use it as a status game.  The men are competing with the other men, and the women are competing with the other women, to see who can hook up with the highest status member of the other sex.  (This whole game is for hets.)

The point of hooking up is that it is for sex without emotional connection.  If you get attached, you lose the game.  In this, as a group, men have an advantage, which they exploit.  This is also why hookups are conducted drunk, to provide plausible deniability that any real emotions were involved.  And noise, to prevent conversation.  While the actual sex is usually conducted in private, the point of the hookup - both the initial connection on the dance floor, and the gossip afterwards -- is so that others will know.

Wade confirms what I found at Centre -- people think there is much more hooking up than there actually is, and think it involves intercourse much more than it actually does.

Nonetheless, hookup culture creates a social expectation that goes way beyond the "winners" of that status game, and interferes with actual love and romance.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Merkel Takes a Huge Gamble on the Demographic Future - Still Mostly Winning.

Angela Merkel took a huge gamble in welcoming a large number of immigrants to Germany.  Her country has very low fertility - too low to replace itself.  The refugees will not only be a new workforce for Germany, but, more importantly, the parents of the future Germany.

Anyone who has been following the tide of resentful nationalisms all around the world could predict what would happen next:  an intense anti-immigrant backlash, openly racist and violent, would challenge her.

Merkel did win the German election, but the new fascist party came in third - the first time fascists have been in the parliament since the Nazis were driven out.

It cost Merkel much of her political capital to take this huge gamble, but, in a generation, I believe she will be honored as the demographic savior of Germany.