Monday, June 06, 2011

Why do Blacks Commit More Crime?

Blacks make up only 12.2% of the US general population, yet constitute roughly 47% of the US prison population. Why are blacks so prone to committing crime?
About one in 33 black men was in prison in 2006, compared with one in 205 white men and one in 79 Hispanic men. Eleven percent of all black males between the ages of 20 and 34 are in prison or jail...From 1976 to 2005, blacks committed over 52 percent of all murders in America. In 2006, the black arrest rate for most crimes was two to nearly three times blacks’ representation in the population. Blacks constituted 39.3 percent of all violent-crime arrests, including 56.3 percent of all robbery and 34.5 percent of all aggravated-assault arrests, and 29.4 percent of all property-crime arrests.

...The evidence is clear: black prison rates result from crime, not racism. America’s comparatively high rates of incarceration are nothing to celebrate, of course, but the alternative is far worse. The dramatic drop in crime in the 1990s, to which stricter sentencing policies unquestionably contributed, has freed thousands of law-abiding inner-city residents from the bondage of fear. __CityJournal
So again, why do blacks commit so much crime? Clearly, poverty is not the main reason. Blacks make up 24% of the poor US population but commit 40% of violent crime.

Looking at genetics as a determinant of crime:
The case for a genetic contribution to criminality is conclusive. What remains to be figured out are exactly which genes contribute to criminality and how they exert their effects . These questions will be addressed with the tools of molecular biology, and it will be far more difficult to assail the results as "biased". __Gnxp
So it would be wrong to consider ethnicity as a cause of criminality, although a correlation exists. Rather within the broader ethnic groups, there likely exist gene clusters which influence behaviour in such a way as to make criminal activity more likely.

What about IQ? Can the 1 SD difference in IQ distribution means between US blacks and whites lead to the enormous differences in criminal behaviour between the groups? Low IQ correlates positively with rates of arrest and incarceration. But poor Executive Function probably correlates much more positively with crime than IQ, just as high executive function correlates more positively with ultimate life success than does IQ.

Better research is needed on this issue, to separate the different correlations, correcting for confounders, and utilising the best and most recent information from studies of genetics, IQ, executive function, and other related factors.

Political correctness is the enemy of the truth in this area. The dishonest tendency to blame racism for differential rates of arrest and incarceration, rather than facing the truth that crime rates do vary generally by ethnic group, prevents the type of research that could get to the heart of the matter. A long term solution is impossible without the type of honest exploration that I suggest.

Sailer: Imprisonment Rates Vary Wildly by Race

From a posting published previously on Al Fin

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