The Color of Crime in the African American Population

Participation in the criminal justice system statistically significantly positively correlates with darkness amongst Native Non-Hispanic African Africans. A measure of cognitive ability — i.e., my Add Health longitudinal factor — explained about one fourth of the association. What explains the remainder is not clear. With regards to the Black-White difference in general, Beaver et al. (2013) notes: “African American males are significantly more likely to be arrested and incarcerated when compared to White males.This racial disparity, however, was completely accounted for after including covariates for self-reported lifetime violence and IQ.” It is then possible that self-reported lifetime violence statistically explains the residual difference. Whatever the case, these findings further extend the racial nexus — to intra-population differences associated with admixture. These results are consistent both in magnitude and direction with the recently reported GSS results.

(The color variable runs from 1-5, darkest to lightest; the criminal justice variable (CJ) is coded 0= not associated/ 1= associated i.e., arrested, imprisoned, convicted, or on probation. A negative correlation here indicates that darkness of tone is associated with participation in the CJ system. As there is range restriction in color variance, the correlations are of necessity low. For a more detailed discussion of this issue refer here. Basically, an r=0.1 implies a difference of ~ 0.3 SD between the most and least colorful quartiles of the AA population. For perspective, the US B/W difference in general criminality is about three times this magnitude.)



If H4CJ10=0 Convicted =0.
If H4CJ10=1 or H4CJ10=2 Convicted =1.
If H4CJ17=0 Incarcerated =0.
If H4CJ17=1 Incarcerated =1.
If H4CJ16=0 Probation =0.
If H4CJ16=1 or H4CJ16=2 Probation =1.
If H4CJ17=0 Incarcerated =0.
If H4CJ1=0 Arrested =0.
If H4CJ1=1 Arrested =1.

IF Convicted =0 or Incarcerated =0 or Probation =0 or Arrested =0 CJ =0.
IF Convicted =1 or Incarcerated =1 or Probation =1 or Arrested =1 CJ =1.


if H1GI14=1 or H1GI14=7 BornUScitizenW1 =1.
if H3OD16=1 or H3OD16=7 BornUScitizenW3 =1.
RECODE BIO_SEX (2=1) (1=0) INTO SexDummy.
VARIABLE LABELS SexDummy ‘Female1 versus Male0 ‘.


COMPUTE filter_$=(H1GI6B=1 and H3OD4B=1 and H4IR4 =2 and H3OD2=0 and H1GI4=0 and BornUScitizenW1 =1 and BornUScitizenW3 =1).
VARIABLE LABELS filter_$ ‘H1GI6B=1 and H3OD4B=1 and H4IR4 =2 and H3OD2=0 and H1GI4=0 and BornUScitizenW1 =1 and BornUScitizenW3 =1 (FILTER)’.
VALUE LABELS filter_$ 0 ‘Not Selected’ 1 ‘Selected’.
FORMATS filter_$ (f1.0).
FILTER BY filter_$.

weight by SCALEDWEIGHT134.
/VARIABLES=CJ Convicted Incarcerated Probation Arrested H3IR17

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3 Responses to The Color of Crime in the African American Population

  1. Reader says:

    Here is Rushton on darkness and aggression:

  2. Kiwiguy says:

    Do you have any views on the effectiveness of the 3-strikes policy? A version has been implemented in NZ and is causing a bit of a stir.

  3. Kiwiguy says:

    btw. I am not sure if you’d mentioned this paper previously on Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Children’s Intelligence (IQ).

    “Although the genetic influence on IQ is the same in lower-SES families, shared environmental influence appears to be greater in lower-SES families, suggesting that family-based environmental interventions might be more effective in these families. However, two further aspects of the results temper the policy implications of this finding. First, shared environmental influence is found in both lower- and higher-SES families and the difference in shared environmental influence between them is modest. Second, shared environmental influences on IQ decline from childhood to adulthood so that these influences might not have an impact in the long run.”

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