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View Diary: National Review: Black children have 'weak impulse control' compared to white children (226 comments)

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  •  i would want to know root cause (0+ / 0-)

    Is it genetic or environmental or something else?

    For example, I hear lead exposure leads to less impulse control which leads to more murder and other violence.   Less exposure has apparently led to a decline in murder and other crimes.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:52:52 PM PDT

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    •  Looking at environmental exposures is key (0+ / 0-)

      Just looking at demographics alone only gives you clues about underlying causes.  We can change things like lead exposure and poor nutrition.  That's one simple reason why   looking for genetic causes of human behavior is not likely to be very useful.

      •  What is with this "lead exposure" business? (0+ / 0-)

        When my children were young it was front page news. Get rid of leaded paint, scrape it off older buildings, etc. Bad for brain and body, especially for kids. A regulation or something came out whereby paint wasn't to have lead anymore. Also gas. Children's brains are saved!

        My kids are now in their 50's and suddenly I'm reading and hearing about lead again. And everyone acts like it's a new idea, Do we have to learn all over again every generation?

        •  No, we don't (0+ / 0-)

          The recent stories about lead exposure that I've seen are saying that researchers think that there is a correlation between lowering lead exposure and the drop in serious crime that we have seen in the last 20 or so years.

          It's also going around that poorer neighborhoods may still disproportionately have more lead than middle or upper class neighborhoods putting them at further disadvantage.  So it could perhaps be reasonable to identify the extent to which this is true and then have the government take action to help reduce the exposure to lead even further.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 05:12:05 PM PDT

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          •  But isn't it reasonable to assume (I know, I know) (0+ / 0-)

            that the "greatest, richest, bestest country on the planet" would be able to clean it up in 50 years? Surely everything paintable gets repainted in that amount of time. How many generations should we expect it to take?

            •  The paint gets covered but (0+ / 0-)

              unless it is stripped off, or the surface is replaced, the lead is still in the paint that is underneath.  Whenever that paint is disturbed, due to deterioration, or chipping, oe during renovations, then that lead becomes available to poison more children.  

              There are still millions of housing units in this country that contains high levels of leaded paint.  Not all of it is immediately dangerous for the children living in those homes, but it needs to be kept intact.

              There is also a huge amount of lead remaining in soil from leaded gasoline.  Children playing in that dirt, bringing it in the house, etc, is another source of significant exposure.

    •  Yes, the parallel between reduction of lead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      exposure and reduction of violent crime is really striking.  I've also read things also about poor nutrition leading to poor attention/focus, and more disruptive behavior.  But I can't provide a link to that.  Another obvious factor is class size, which generally increases in poorer schools, and which any teacher knows correlates with more disruptive classrooms. A harder to measure factor is self-image, which causes even young black children to often choose white dolls as prettier and "good."

      The thing is that Mac Donald goes immediately to assuming a racial basis for behavior, so  the conversation loses any usefulness.  Other factors are not being really measured or weighed, while racial correlation is taken as proof. What Mac Donald just presents her assumptions ("Does anybody doubt...?"), and unanalyzed numbers that she believes support her assumptions, and calls that proof.  Or "common sense."  The way a social scientist would attempt to measure behavior while controlling for various factors (economic status, class size, adequate breakfast, etc.) is totally foreign to this kind of writing.  She can't be bothered with that.  She starts with emotional impact (an innocent person shot dead by a violent kid), ties that to race, and she's done.

      That’s pretty much a classic example of racism.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:45:06 PM PDT

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