Re: Rushton, why?

Cliff Sloane (cesloane@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Sun, 30 Oct 1994 19:56:13 -0600

Prof. Rushton indicates his belief that Pacific Rim countries
"outperform" any country in sub-Saharan Africa "socially and culturally.
Crimes like rape hardly exist, nor do teenage pregnancies or AIDS."

Clearly, this conjecture bears no resemblance to the facts, which can be
easily documented. AIDS is spreading throughout Southeast Asia, exceeding
the rate of advance that had been seen in Uganda at the height of the
spread of the disease. Teenage pregnancy is in fact the norm in many
parts of rural China. The difference is that the children in such
pregnancies are already married, often against their will. Rape is a
touchier subject. If you define it as "stranger rape", the statistics
would likely be quite different. I have known of many cases of rape in
Thailand, but it is defined, not as rape, but a contract between an
impoverished family and a wealthy patron. The coersion is still there,
but the victim is utterly silent.

In Africa, the AIDS rate varies widely across the continent from one
country to another. I challenge Prof. Rushton to compare, say, AIDS in
Senegal with that of Vietnam and make the claims he has.
Rape, too, varies widely. Once again, Prof. Rushton, see if your facile
conclusions stand up to the rape stats in Zimbabwe with those in the

The piece of conjecture I cited at the beginning show that Rushton, too,
has his conclusions already, and finds the data to suit them. Is the rest
of the book so fundamentally flawed, Prof. Rushton?

Cliff Sloane