Re: Flynn Effect ...yes, testosterone

James Howard (
Tue, 05 Nov 1996 22:25:05 GMT

James Howard responds:
Thank you for your response, Bryant. (Bryant) wrote:

>In article <55il1i$>,
>James Howard <> wrote:

>>"gifted," or those who score 1400 or more on the SAT. The Flynn Effect
>>is a worldwide phenomon. (It occurs in all socioeconomic groups.)

Bryant says:
>I believe you are mistaken. Flynn and others have identified some 20 or
>so cultures, almost entirely in the industrialized first world, where IQ
>scores are increasing. Blacks' are increasing more quickly than Whites,
>and the lower tail of the score distribution is increasing more rapidly
>than the upper scores.
>These improvements parallel the adoption of prenatal medical care,
>environmental pollution controls, and other policies which improve the
>developmental environment, especially for the poor, who represent that
>most rapidly increasing, lower, end of the IQ score distribution.

James Howard responds:

Well, I guess I misinterpreted "worldwide," from my source. However, I
suggest the remainder of your information is in total agreement with my
hypothesis. You see, I predict that increases in testosterone are adversely
affecting development of the "verbal" side of the brain. The Flynn Effect is
mainly an increase in nonverbal IQ. Therefore, according to my
interpretation of this real, small increase (see just below), the Flynn Effect
should affect Blacks more than Whites. Blacks produce more testosterone
(see some of my other posts for the citation).

You mention that this effect is occurring most rapidly in the "lower end of the
IQ score distribution." I know this is true, and it may be a bad sign, not a
good one. You imply that "improvements..." are the source of the Flynn
Effect in Blacks. That may be true, but it may just make things worse. (I do
not want to be misinterpreted here. I think the very best civilizations should
do these things for the most vulnerable, and I am thankful I live in one.)
However, these improvements will increase the numbers of people who are
higher in testosterone. That is, these improvements increase the "feed and
breed" phenomenon. If you will reread my "Current signals of testosterone,"
you will read that young Black teenagers are rapidly reproducing, compared
to their older counterparts, who already are reproducing faster than Whites.
It is also known that violence, among Blacks, is greatest among the very
young. When testosterone starts to increase too much, the nonverbal side is
also affected. Some of the worst problems in educating children in both
math and English are in areas I see as very high testosterone. It is known
that the Flynn Effect is not occurring anymore in some areas. It may be that
in these areas, testosterone is beginning to remove the increases in
nonverbal IQ, that improve "average" IQ.

This has already been found in a Danish study of 1987. "We present data
showing a substantial increase in both the intelligence test scores and
educational levels of 71,678 Danish males born between 1939 and 1958.
However, a decline in the test scores within the highest educational levels
accompanies the increase in proportions attaining those levels." Nature
1987; 325: 119 I interpret this to mean that Danish males are increasing in
testosterone levels, and that it is beginning to affect their brightest. That
is, I think testosterone is beginning to adversely affect the entire brains of
this population. (Hopefully, this will allay some of the "enlightened" or
"crackpot" racist remarks aimed at me, since I am talking about Whites here.)

James Howard said:
>>I suggest the Flynn Effect is due to rising testosterone. The effect is
>>small; perhaps 15 points in two generations.

Bryant says:
>A standard deviation is not small!

James Howard responds:

15 points were gained in two generations. Fifteen points over 20 to thirty
years is less than one point increase per year. This is small! The Flynn
Effect looks bigger if one compares grandchildren and grandparents. My
post concerning the Flynn Effect and testosterone was intended to show that
the Flynn Effect is due to the small effects of testosterone, alone, on brain
size. I think this effect of testosterone caused the small increases in brain
size in the early hominids, is the same effect today, and continues within
human populations today.

James Howard