Feminism’s Differential Demographic Impact

by W.F. Price on November 28, 2012

I’ve predicted on a number of occasions that whites will grow increasingly conservative as the post-1980 fertility gap between liberals and conservatives begins to really show itself amongst adults. Before 1980 or so, liberal and conservative whites had roughly the same number of children. Abortion may have had some role in changing that, but more important, I suspect, is careerism for more liberal-minded women. Women who care more about their careers have fewer children, because their period of ambition coincides with their fertility (likely for hormonal reasons, interestingly enough). Additionally, those whites who have liberal attitudes toward sex and marriage and opt to divorce tend to have fewer children, since most divorces occur relatively early – during or shortly after peak fertility – and single/divorced white women have a low birth rate.

Although I focus mainly on whites (I try to stay on familiar territory, but others with different perspectives are always welcome to send in an article), there has been another significant fertility trend in the black population that is worth looking into. Black fertility has fallen sharply in the last couple decades. Much faster than white fertility, although it still remains incrementally higher. However, the black fertility pattern is significantly different. Where the relatively conservative white middle class remains the most fertile white demographic, the black middle class has seen its fertility all but wiped out, even as more blacks than ever have joined its ranks.

It’s pretty clear that feminism and women’s lib have had an impact on white fertility trends, but what about black fertility? Does feminism have anything to do with it? Feminism has lowered young black women’s fertility by providing birth control, abortion and incentives to remain childless, which is mirrored in young white women of comparable socioeconomic levels. It seems that some aspects of feminism have had roughly the same result in both white and black populations, but what happened to the black middle class?

What has killed black middle class fertility and family formation is the more coercive, nastier form of feminism, which has hit the black male population with disproportionate force.

By this, I mean the punitive provisions of the 1994 crime bill and the Violence Against Women Act (not to mention earlier innovations in the child support industry). Plenty of white men have fallen victim to the excesses of contemporary family law, but the more fragile state of marriage in the black population has made it an even more critical issue for black men, and particularly those who are of a more sober, responsible disposition, because they end up paying most dearly.

Think about it this way: If you are some no-account petty crook, the state isn’t going to care much if you don’t pay a dime of child support. Sure, it makes for great headlines and talk show fare when you have some guy who knocked up a dozen or so women, but there isn’t much you can do about these knuckleheads. Put one in jail for arrears, and another instantly springs up to take his place (putting the mothers in jail would work better — females are the true key to birth control).

However, if you’re a relatively high earner, industrious and walk the straight and narrow, you’re a much, much bigger target. And if you’re a married black man, chances are you will be divorced at some point, probably while the kids are still minors, and the courts won’t be any nicer to you because you’ve got a job (although a lot of poor fools seem to think they will). If you’re single, you probably know that. So what does the intelligent, responsible black man do? He stays the hell away from marriage and does his best not to get a woman pregnant, choosing instead to keep what he earns and enjoy his liberty. All he needs to do to take the red pill is open his eyes and look around — it’s too obvious to ignore. As for black women, thanks to aggressive affirmative action, the more responsible among them are foisted into careers that all but guarantee limited fertility, and the prospect of single motherhood is no more attractive to them than to comparable white women.

Certain segments of the white population have developed a sort of limited immunity to the more damaging effects of feminism. Some do it by delaying marriage, and others through clinging to religion and tradition. It’s far from perfect, but it works for enough people to keep the damage under control. Although I doubt it’s the only factor, I’m pretty sure that the fact that whites are less urban than blacks gives them an advantage in this regard as well. Urban white fertility is abysmal, but there are enough whites out in the suburbs and exurbs to make up for it. The contemporary urban environment is utterly toxic to married couples, and it will likely stay that way for a long time to come, so those who remain in cities – no matter what race they are – will tend to be a lot more cautious about getting hitched. Unfortunately, it will typically be those who are less cautious and responsible who will have the highest fertility in cities.

Because of geography and divorce rates, among other factors such as female-targeted AA in schools and professions, feminism has a decidedly different demographic effect on blacks than on whites. Where whites are winnowed largely at the top and the bottom through careerism and more effective birth control, the black middle class is taking the biggest hit to its fertility. While it is true that the fertility rate of the black underclass has dropped, in relative terms (to other blacks) it has risen substantially over the past couple decades, which will not have particularly positive effects on black human capital in years to come.

The trends point to the emergence of an even greater future divide between white and black populations in the US, because while feminism is ensuring that liberal whites fail to reproduce at replacement rate, it is killing the incipient black middle class in the womb. Neither outcome will reinforce feminist ideals, but it isn’t exactly cause for celebration either, because the result will be further political and racial polarization and the trouble that comes along with it.

Eventually – and probably fairly soon – race will overshadow feminism in national politics, and all the recent talk about the supreme importance of catering to women will be forgotten, especially as the white female vote declines in importance. However, the ethnic bifurcation of the future United States will have been significantly exaggerated by feminist policies which, as it turns out, do not result in equal outcomes for different populations.

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