Correlation of Intelligence, Education, and Family Size

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 11 years ago

    In the United States and in first world nations, with the increase of education. there has been an increase in the number of small families.  There is a correlation between high intelligence, education, and small families.  People who are highly intelligent and educated tend to believe in family planning.  They know that before they have children, emotional, psychological, and socioeconomic factors must be considered.  They believe in having children that they can afford.   They realize also that children in order to thrive and develop, must have more than the rudiments in life.   They must be exposed to the higher human needs and the  better things in life such as cultural, intellectual, and cultural activities.  They believe that having children should not be a happenstance but well-thought out and planned for the benefit of the entire family unit particularly the children. 

    Sociologists and psychologists routinely maintain that children from small families live better.  They are more likely to receive better health and medical care.   They are also likely to receive better education as more monies are allotted per child.   Children from small families receive more individualized and concentrated parental attention.  Highly educated, intelligent, and affluent parents tend to have small families. 

    Conversely, in the poorer nations and among the poor in the United States and in first world nations, larger families are the norm.   People who have large families tend to be less educated, intelligent, and affluent.  They contend that children are a preordained part of life which cannot be stopped.   They see no point in planning for their children.   They oftentimes cannot and/or refuse to see the ramifications for their actions.   They are of the school of what happens, happens as far as having children are concerned. 

    Such parents believe that the more children they have, the better although they can least afford to take care of them.   Their children because they grow up in disadvantated circumstances, oftentimes become problematic to the school system and later to society.  They are benignly neglected at best because their parents cannot effectively raise a large number of children.  That, or they force the oldest/older children to be parents to the younger siblings.  These children for the most part  are left to raise and support themselves at a young age because their parents can ill afford to do so.  These parents do not believe in giving their children individualized attention because in their eyes, that is equivalent to babying and spoiling them.  They are either uninvolved and/or perfunctory parents. 

    These children also have little or no medical and/or health care because their parents cannot afford it.  In addition to that, they also have poor nutrition because nutritious food is costly and expensive.  Many such families must depend upon outside donations and charities in order to barely survive.  It is the attitude of such parents that their children can make do and do the best they can.  They are totally unfazed by the fact they cannot adequately support their children.   They just have children without thinking of the socioeconomic, sociocultural, and psychological effects of their actions upon their respective families.  Even when they are told about contraception, it oftentimes is ignored and viewed as unnatural.   Let's discuss this.

    1. profile image0
      Peelander Gallyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is just common sense, hopefully the lack of response indicates that everyone else agrees.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Oh no, there are gioing to be some people who will disagree with this premise.   Even though you and I concur, there will be others who will argue and contest such a premise.

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image58
          MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          As long as you are aware that you are working with sweeping generalizations with many exceptions, then we have no disagreement.

          However, the problem occurs when your sweeping generalizations cause assumptions to be applied to everybody with a large family...

          What you have compiled is a very nice list of risk factors.  They are in no way anything but risk factors.

      2. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Told you there would be contesters and those who disagree......hmmmmm.........  It is only inductive and deductive logic what I have presented.

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image58
          MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Well, sort of.

          What you have is a list of correlations without causation. You can only speculate at the causation, unless you have studies?

          I.E. you say that poor families have more children.  That might be statistically accurate, I'm accepting you at your word that it is. However, there is no causation attached, so it could be merely coincidence.  It could be that they are poor because they have large families or they have large families because they are poor.  Without causation, you can identify large families as a risk factor to poverty, but you can't say definitively WHY. Without that why, you really don't have a problem that can be solved... i.e. you can try to eliminate the risk factor (reduce the number of children.... somehow...) but you can't guarantee that the family will be any wealthier.

          Also, as far as intellect and larger family (for which, I must admit I am slightly skeptical) same thing, except you have a HUGE problem with verifying data, as there is no immediate way to test the intelligence level of a big enough control group to substantiate that.  If you have studies, I'm guessing that they involve academic achievement rather than IQ (which is also somewhat bias).  Academic achievement is not a reliable indicator of intelligence.

          Academic achievement  IS a much more reliable indicator of wealth.  Which brings us back to the first point.

          As far as children in large families being more neglected, it also goes back to wealth- not family size.  Poverty does have a causative relationship with abuse and neglect.

          I'm not sure you could provide reliable data on large families above the poverty line having more neglect.

          Did I miss anything?

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            No, Melissa, you are on target.   Keep the discussion going.   Differences of opinion are welcomed, I have no quarrel with that whatsover.   Proceed and have a Blessed Night.   We all learn from each other.  I do not know everything, there is ALWAYS room for learning and growth.

    2. Hollie Thomas profile image61
      Hollie Thomasposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I would love to comment in this thread, however, before doing so could you please link the rest of us to some evidence supporting your claims. As yet, it appears that we only have your opinion, GM.

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Do you need more before you offer an opinion, or are you just looking for something to knock down?

        His presentation seemed clear and well presented to me. Certainly comprehensive enough for me to determine if I agree or disagree.

        Yours certainly was an odd reply, but it is what prompted me to respond.

        I think Melissa Barret pretty well summed it up.


        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          To those it may concern,   my links are not working tonight; however, I have done studies in college sociiology classes regarding the correlation between intelligence, incone, and family size.   In addition to my studies,  I have read books on the subject.    I also have firsthand experience of this from the children I have attended school with and some of my extended family members.

            It is not personal opinion but from reading and observation, it seems that it is the poorer and uneducated among Americans who have larger families when they can least afford it.   My mother also was a registered nurse(she now has alzheimer's disease and is in a nursing home) worked with poor patients and many of these women had large families and the children were from large families.   So I am not idly talking but talking from knowledge and experience.

    3. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I disagree with the premise of "less intelligent", but being less educated and affluent is easier to support. There may well be plenty of intelligent people that are lacking in formal training or lack the financial resources to acquire it.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Of course, less educated and poor people have large families because they are unaware of or unconcerned about the benefits of small families on the socioeconomic, psychological, and emotional dynamic of the family.   Also, the average poor person doesn't believe in family planning as that is not within their purview.   They do not believe in the F.E.P. principle regarding having children.  The F.E.P. principle is having children only when one is prepared financially, emotionally, and psychologically.  That is what more affluent classes do but poor people oftentimes act upon immediate needs and gratifications, not caring about the ramifications of their actions on their future.  It is called the culture of poverty mentality. The poor and impoverished have a mentality and consciousness that is different from the more affluent socioeconomic classes.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          How does the tendency for upper class families in the UK to have many children fit in with your hypothesis?

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            My dear Mr. Holden, upper socioeconomic classes, especially in Western and/or industrialized societies tend to have small families as children are viewed as investments.  Furthermore, people in the more affluent socioeconomic classes tend to be highly educated and highly educated people know the detriments of large families upon the family dynamic, particularly on children.   They are aware that children need individualized parental attention and small families means that more money is allocated per child, not only for the necessities but for things such as education.   It is the lower socioeconomic classes who reproduce ad infinitum because they do not know or care about the benefits of small families.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              But in poverty there is more benefit on large families. Or do you not consider care in your old age to be a benefit?

              1. gmwilliams profile image84
                gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this


                No, IT'S NOT.   Large families creates MORE poverty which makes it MORE DIFFICULT to get out of.  Small families would be MORE CONDUCIVE as in poverty there is less socioeconomic resources.   Why be even more mired in poverty, not only for yourself but for your children?  There is NO logic in poor people having gazillion of children, draining them, the children, and the general society who has to support them.    Small families are good for all, particularly for the poor.   There are nursing homes for the indigent-why reduce yourself into further poverty by having children that one cannot afford.    Poor people having large families are only creating poverty for the next generation, that action ISN'T SMART at all!
                The answer that poverty is beneficial for large families is totally inconclusive in its premise.   Why be more impoverished by having children en masse?  If a person is impoverished, it would behoove him or her to find a job and work and to use BIRTH CONTROL in order to have a decent quality of life.  Boy, THAT answer..............(theme song from TWILIGHT ZONE playing).


        2. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          We are not in disagreement, Grace. It is just that I don't like creating a class of people based on an immutable feature such as intelligence. We have used such language to dismiss otherwise capable people and excuse their status as "deserved". We all know how it has been used.  Education and relative wealth is nurture and can for the most part explain why people behave the way they do. A culture of poverty and deprivation over generations is hard to get away from and those that do deserve recognition.

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Credence2, love discussing things with you because you display inductive and deductive logic in your dicussions.

            1. Credence2 profile image79
              Credence2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Acknowledged, Grace, thanks!!

    4. rhamson profile image69
      rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Whenever I hear someone pining about intelligence and such I am reminded of  quote that wraps up a whole lot more than defining it.

      Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
      Calvin Coolidge

    5. rhamson profile image69
      rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The presumption that people equal a certain factor based on their given talents, would make a great module you could plug into a computer analysis determining their fate if it were feasible. But the human condition is one of development, determination and sometimes just plain luck. I know of a lot of really smart people who do really stupid things thinking they are in control of the situation.

    6. cjhunsinger profile image61
      cjhunsingerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You seem to have many points here that run together and I am not sure of your conclusion. For example, you point to education, as a measure of intelligence and I would point to a failed educational system that provides degrees to people who cannot articulate the English language. I have known Ph.D's who were unable to properly write the abbreviation and five year University graduates in electrical repair work,  paid for by the tax payer, who once  graduated, with no work experience demand $50,000 a year.
      You are right, I would believe, with reference to small or smaller families, that are able to focus more attention on the children, On the other hand we have small families, one to four children and the parents are idiots and raise the children accordingly. More important, is the necessity of two parents in the home with a mindset that it is the children that matter and a great appreciation for education. Now we have come back to the educational system that seems to be pushing the parents out of the process.
      Should we mandate only two children per home? In this discussion, are we  talking about the US or the world? Do we mandate proper diets, and how so? How far do we go to ensure your desired goals?

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Talking about the United States and other first world industrialized nations but particularly the United States.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          To CJ, have the children that one can properly support and exercise parental span of control over without enlisting the aid of the oldest/older children to raise.  1-4 children would suffice.  Any more than 4 children means that the oldest/older children have to raise the younger siblings which isn't fair to the oldest/older children.   In large families of 6 or more children, oldest/older children are oftentimes the parent, even the REAL parent, to the younger siblings.   Also, in large families, children do not receive the prerequisite individualized parental attention; some are cast aside, waylaided, and neglected.   It is common in large families to experience poverty and want.  Children from large families have to do without, even the rudiments.  There is simply not enough money to go around.   They have no medical, health, and dental care as such is beyond the familial budget.   There is little monies for necessities, let alone for educational things. In the typical large family household, there are NO books nor other forms of educational paraphernalia.   Parents of large families do not deem education and achievement important, all they are concerned is with mere survival and they inculcate this to their children.   Yes, smaller families of 1-4 children insure that children receive the proper individualized attention and that there is MORE monies allocated per child for cultural and educational things.

  2. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 11 years ago

    I wouldn't contest that higher education levels or intelligence, either one, correlate with smaller family size.  I wouldn't even contest that higher education levels, past 6th grade, are a causal factor.

    I'm not so sure that higher intelligence is causal in lower family size.  In our society higher intelligence often correlates with more wealth, or least the impression that wealth is attainable; wealth that is difficult to accumulate with a large family.  Greed may be more causal in lower family size than actual intelligence.

    Take a society where large families are a measurement of wealth and it could be just the opposite.

  3. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    I'm agreeing for the most part, although most of it is generalizations. The last paragraph is either talking about low middle class people or ignoring the fact that lower income people have access to better health care than a working middle class family. Poor families also have options for better nutrition through foodstamps/ebt/snap. Poor families have access to education through grants. I come from a small family. However I had two college degrees before my 20th birthday paid for by tax dollars. Thanks by the way. I became pregnant with my first child at 19, I wasn't suppose to be able to concieve. I was poor, immature, and unprepared financially. My first child was paid for by tax dollars also. Thanks again. Luckily I changed my life and was able to afford and plan number 2 and 3. We are now a family of 5. My oldest is 9 and on a 6th grade reading level, and my middle child is 7 on a 4th grade reading level. So I do see some flaws in your analysis even though some of it is common sense.

  4. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 9 years ago
  5. John Holden profile image60
    John Holdenposted 9 years ago

    'Course Grace has been around enough for us all to see her agenda, poor people are poor because they are stupid and poor people have large families because they are stupid.

    I contend that large families are not a result of unthinking stupidity but a thought out survival process. Knowing that access to healthcare is either restricted or impossible it makes sense to have many children as then there will be much more chance of some at least surviving to adulthood, increase the income into the household and take care of the parents when they are too old to support themselves.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It is not a well thought out process but an unthinking one.  Intelligent and educated people have the amount of children that they can take care of and educate properly.  It is an unintelligent and thoughtless action to have more children than they can possibly take care of and educate thereby reducing the family into poverty.   Wouldn't it be better to have small families so that children have the best of opportunities and socioeconomic conditions?   Children in large families for the most part are impoverished and with that, their chances of success are drastically reduced.

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        10 out of 10 for totally ignoring my point.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          The point made is totally devoid of reasonable, conclusive inductive and deductive logic.  People have children to educate and to make the children's lives better.  People don't have children to put them into poverty which you are advocating.   To advocate that poor people should have children although they cannot properly care for nor educate them.  That is wrong and selfish.  If one cannot afford children, DON'T have them. 

          However, the aforementioned point has succinctly confirmed that the mindset of the poor is vastly different from the middle and more affluent classes in terms of having children.  Poor people have children without concern for their children's socioeconomic and educational welfare while middle, upper middle, and upper class will only have children when socioeconomically, emotionally, and psychologically prepared.  The former have large families, not believing in the concept of family planning while the latter are strict adherents to the principles of family planning.

    2. Sed-me profile image78
      Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Also, 'cause babies are so cute.

  6. John Holden profile image60
    John Holdenposted 9 years ago

    Queen Elizabeth 4 children
    Bill Gates 3 children
    Donald Trump 5 children
    Steve Jobs 5 children
    Richard Branson 3 children
    Alan Sugar 3 children
    Warren Buffettt 3 children

    It's not so easy to find the size of rich UK folk, they like to keep it quiet.

  7. John Holden profile image60
    John Holdenposted 9 years ago

    Grace you usually end your OPs with "let's discuss" however it is apparent that you have no desire to discuss anything. You want to pontificate and everybody to agree with you.

    I may be wrong but I seem to remember you complaining about poor people having large families to benefit from government hand outs.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, if the discussion and premise presented is logical in scope.  Many poor people have lots of children with the sole purpose of obtaining the most government benefits.  Everyone knows that.  The average poor person have no concept of the benefits of birth control and family planning.

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Do exactly what?

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Poor people having children ad infinitum to get more money from the government.  I contend that you are advocating that poor people should have children whether or not they can afford to take care of them.  I further contend that you are advocating bringing children into impoverished and hellish conditions, not caring about their general well-being.  I also contend that you feel that it is okay for children to be in poverty and want without hope for the future.  Lastly, I contend that you feel that poor people have the right to be parents although they are the least qualified to be so as they have NOTHING to offer to their children.  Most intelligent, thinking, and educated people believe in being financially prepared in addition to being emotionally and psychologically prepared before having children.  They also believe in having the amount of children that they can take care off, give individualized attention to, and to educate.  Again, you have proven the different between mindsets and psychologies.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            So by agreeing that poor families have children to benefit from government hand outs you defeat your own argument.

            I am not advocating anything, just expressing an opinion and discussing why something might be so.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Not really, it is a well known fact that poor people endlessly have children to obtain government benefits and monies.   They do not have the skills, education, nor foresight to obtain the prerequisite skills and/or education that would help them obtain decent employment.  They have the mindset that society or THE MAN owes them a good lifestyle and welfare is the way to go.   Since welfare pays little, the poor have children as a way to get more and more money.   It is a fact that poor people view children as ways of expenditure while wealthier classes view children in a more positive light.   Wealthier people teach and guide their children to be THEIR BEST.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Ah such blind hatred and lack of sight!

                You say that the poor view more children as ways of expenditure! That makes no sense.
                And do you really contend that  all wealthier people teach their children to be their best!

                1. gmwilliams profile image84
                  gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  Yes, poor people see children as expenditure, extra mouths.  Many poor parents make their children discontinue school in order to work to supplement family income.   Average poor parents do not stress education to their children because they do not see education as viable in their socioeconomic situation.  They see a job, any job as more viable than an education.   They see the job as adding money while educatioin serves no practical purpose in their eyes.   This is why many poor parents discourage their children from taking education seriously.  To them, education distracts from a child working and helping out, adding more to the very meager family income.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    So after all that you mostly agree with me!


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