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Monday, March 18, 2019

A reminder of just how bad Steven Pinker really is

I was having a look at John Paul Wright's Twitter feed and found him posting this chart for homicide rates.

And here is the line chart for marriage rates from 1860 to 2010 from The Washington Post.

Now according to Steven Pinker in "Better Angels" marriage prevents male violence:
...The idea that young men are civilized by women and marriage may seem as corny as Kansas in August, but it has become a commonplace of modern criminology. A famous study that tracked a thousand low-income Boston teenagers for forty-five years discovered that two factors predicted whether a delinquent would go on to avoid a life of crime: getting a stable job, and marrying a woman he cared about and supporting her and her children. The effect of marriage was substantial: three-quarters of the bachelors, but only a third of the husbands, went on to commit more crimes. This difference alone cannot tell us whether marriage keeps men away from crime or career criminals are less likely to get married, but the sociologists Robert Sampson, John Laub, and Christopher Wimer have shown that marriage really does seem to be a pacifying cause. 

Pinker believes in the magical properties of marriage.

Well thanks to the magical properties of Photoshop you can put both charts together covering only the years 1960 - 2010 and this is what you get. So instead of marriage being a violence preventative what it looks like is the complete opposite. Since 1990 both marriage rates and homicide rates fell.

Has Steven Pinker ever admitted he was wrong about the magic of marriage? I've never heard of Steven Pinker admitting he's ever been wrong about anything, so I don't expect he'd admit to this one.

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