Spanking Lowers IQ?

A very interesting study implies that spanking lowers IQ by approximately 2.8-5 points, on average 3.9 points. The more the kid is spanked, the more the IQ drops. Kids were tested at age 5 and then retested at various ages after that. The kids that were spanked the most had their IQ’s drop the most. The worst drop was seen for kids who kept getting hit into the teen years.

The study looks pretty good, because it is looking at IQ’s at a certain age, and then correlates the actual falls in scores with an environmental variable, in this case spanking.

This tends to rule out parental IQ and genetics. I.e., the stupider the parent, the more they are going to hit the kid, and the smarter the parent, the less they hit their kid, since beating your kid is a pretty stupid thing to do. Or on the other end, the dumber the kid, the they act up, and the more they get hit. The smarter the kid, the better they act, so the they get hit.

But it is not normal for an IQ score to fall like that, so that would tend to rule out these confounding variables.

Black parents spank and hit their kids like crazy. I’ve seen them doing it many times, often in public. It’s conceivable that Black IQ scores could rise by 4 points or so if Black parents would quit beating on their kids so much.

Black IQ scores in the West are very interesting. Setting US White IQ = 103, Black IQ at age 5 = 98, yet at age 24 = 89.8. 98 is a very high score, and it’s only 5 points below Whites. If you have spent a lot of time around really young Black kids, you will notice that they are not exactly stupid at all. In fact, they seem to be quite alert, curious and actually intelligent.

Yet after age 5, Black IQ starts to drop, and by age 24, it has fallen to 89.8. There are very reasons suggested for this drop. One is that the extreme positive environment in the US artificially elevates US Black scores in youth, when environmental effects are strongest. Environmental effects tend to fade with adulthood, when genetic effects tend to kick in. So the drop is just genes kicking in, and the early charge is not sustained.

Others say that Blacks mature faster, and this explains the dropping scores, but I analyzed Black IQ scores in Africa deeply, and I found little if any drop, certainly not a 10 point fall. White scores do not drop at all with age.

So heavy Black corporal punishment may be one of the factors in that 10-point fall.

Let’s look at the lineup:

Upper tier
US Jewish                       116
US Black African                110
US East Indian                  109
US East Asian                   108
US White                        103
US average                      100
US Black age 5                  98
US Hispanic  (2nd generation)   98

Lower tier
US Filipino                     97
US Eskimo                       94
US Hispanic  (average)          92.5
US Amerindian                   92.5
US Polynesian                   90
US Black age 24                 89.8
US Hispanic  (1st generation)   88
US Hmong                        85

Some things need explaining in this chart.

First of all, the US White IQ has been changed from 100 to 103, so everyone’s score has been bumped up three points as a result. This is because tests used to be normed at the US White score = 100, but they changed that recently and now the US average = 100 and the US White score has been bumped up three points, because White scores are three points higher than the US average.

All scores are for the ethnic group inside the US, not in their home lands, where scores may and do differ. Hence, scores are lacking for many groups in the US since I lack access to scores in the US.

Indian (109 versus 85) and African (110 versus 70) immigrant scores are much higher than in their countries. This is obviously some selective immigration going on here. We are selecting mostly the best and brightest of the Africans and Indians, as it ought to be.

US East Asian does not include Hmong or Filipinos, and generally = Koreans, Chinese and Japanese.

US Jews are Ashkenazi Jews. Sephardic Jews might only score 93 or so.

I am guessing, but I think that Hmong scores are artificially depressed due to poor English language skills. Their test scores show a profound high math and very poor verbal trend. I have met many of these people, and they are not unintelligent at all.

The fact that Black kids have high IQ’s, and Black African immigrants have some of the highest IQ’s in the US (Higher than US Whites!), shows that racist stereotyping along the lines of “niggers ain’t got no brains,” still widely seen among racists, lacks empirical rigor on the individual level anyway, depending especially on age cohort and nation of origin.

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29 thoughts on “Spanking Lowers IQ?”

  1. US Black African, East Indian and East Asian are all primarily immigrants, and hence selected, and need a generation or two to normalize.

    1. The kids of those Black African immigrants are doing great too, often better than White kids. They don’t seem to be regressing to the norm at all.

      The East Asian IQ’s will stay high. That’s about the same as they are in East Asia.

      I’d be surprised if the East Indian IQ is going to drop. The Punjabis around here are excellent students.

  2. This might also explained why mulatto kids with a white mother have higher IQs than mulatto kids with a black mother. Cultural differences in parenting/punishment styles.

    1. Yeah, tulio, that makes no sense at all genetically. No way should mulatto kids with a White mom do better than mulatto kids with a Black mom. Forget it. No possible genetic mechanism. If anything, the Black mom’s kids should do better, since Black females have higher IQ’s than Black males (Which is one more thing that makes no sense.)

        1. I guess that females in every race do better in the school in the medium levels (this is the case in my country, at least) but it seem not to me a cuestion of intelligence but hormones, focus and others. About the issue of X chromosome, there are some theories about it linked to the fact of different IQ distribution among men and women (

          Here two related links

          A regard from Spain and sorry again for my english, please, correct my mistakes.

    2. I’ll bet black girls aren’t punished physically as much as black boys. Cross racially and culturally this is probably true as well.

    3. Tulio,

      If you don’t mind, would you be able to show me where it says mulattoes with white mothers have higher IQ. Like Robert, I thought it would be the other way around.

  3. To Rob:

    Where did you get the info on:
    US Black African 110

    If we take that to be correct that would basically mean that mean IQ of African immigrants is roughly 3 standard deviations higher than the African mean of 70 (if we also take that to be correct..) A similar average IQ three standard deviations above the White mean would be 148.

    That would get you roughly 900,000 people out of 900 million in sub-Saharan Africa. Possible I suppose but there are also many smart African immigrants to Europe. I am wondering if the Gaussian curve has a “fat tail” on the right side or if we have tribes in African which noticeably outperform the mean such as Ashkenazim in the US or Parsis in India.

    1. That’s their IQ. The IQ of US Black African immigrants is something like 107. It’s the highest IQ of any immigrant group. We need to add 3 pts to that due to the recent renorming, so we get 110.

      I get what you are saying. With an IQ of 70, there are not many with IQ’s of 110. But that’s the problem with that 70 IQ for Black Africa. There are WAY too many smart Black Africans for that score. That’s just one more thing that doesn’t make sense. Lots of stuff doesn’t make sense. Have you noticed that, Unc? That’s one of things I’ve learned in life. So much stuff just doesn’t seem to add up.

  4. I’m surprised at all the Asian groups at the bottom. Most filipinos I’ve met are pretty smart, although I’m not sure I’ve ever met any Hmong. Actually, I’m surprised that Jews score higher than Asians. I’ve met stupid Jews, but I can honestly say I’ve never encountered a stupid Asian. Of course there are a lot of Asians, and in a group that large one could probably find anything within the realm of possibility.

  5. “US Hispanic (2nd generation) 98”

    Really? Thats a cool stat. Do you have a link?

    If this pans out, i may need to readjust some of my stereotypes.

  6. “A very interesting study implies that spanking lowers IQ by approximately 2.8-5 points, on average 3.9 points”

    Heres an armchair theory.

    Kids are often spanked for just disagreeing with their parents, regardless of actions. This is “freethinking” spanking kids for that discourages this freethinking, which may lead to a long run negative.

  7. This unscientific ” study ” was discredited after it was published LAST year . It had failed to take several factors into account and underated others . Five minutes ” Googling ” would have stopped this mindless repetition .

    Further information : ” Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales ” ( number 5 is the latest revision .

    1. The problem is that they are finding a dose-response curve. I agree that the study could be better. Maybe it’s time for an experiment? Take two groups, normalize for parental IQ, intensively try to get one group to not spank, leave the other group alone, and see what happens.

      Further, there is a good dose-response curve with spanking and PTSD. The more hitting, the more PTSD. And PTSD lowers IQ. The worse the symptoms, the greater the drop.

      I agree that the study is not probative, but I don’t think it’s been discredited either.

      1. About spank, I think remember that in the book “Freakonomics” they examined statistically it and found no effect.

    2. This is taken from one of many published rebuttals :

      ” ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ: Everyone wants to be somebody, even researchers who toil over studies no one may care about—except if it’s something sexy, like IQ and spanking. Then the research has, as they say in the entertainment field, legs and the researcher can run with it. Consider the recent research that purported to indicate that spanking lowered children’s IQ scores. Does it? Is it really that simple? So, stop spanking kids and their IQ scores will go up? …… ”

      Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
      Licensed Psychologist
      Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
      Englewood Cliffs, NJ

      From :,200928828.aspx

  8. This chart appears suspect, due to the Black African IQ@110. If that were true, and the IQ of Black african immigrants are truely 110…Then it would be reflected to a large degree within Africa itself, where those supposedly “110 IQ” individuals hail from. But its not, at all. The poorest, least developed, and lowest IQ nations on Earth are Black African nations. So…Were White South African immigrants counted in that tally ? That would bump the Black African immigrant IQ up immensely. And, were Somali’s not included ? Most of them are taxi cab drivers…They’re IQ, is in no way 110.

    Now I realize any study that shows Black people as having a low IQ would not be PC and thus would be discarded. So it makes sense to fudge the numbers so that a IQ chart will be seen as ok [showing a IQ of 110 for Africans = OK\PC]. But it goes against Science to do so.

    Overall, this is like the Sokal Affair.

  9. This is very interesting. The work of the late Alice Miller is a rich source of insight on the disastrous and life-long effects of child abuse.

    The left-libertarian blogger Arthur Silber has written some fascinating essays on Miller’s work and its implications for our society:

    Looking back on my experiences both at home and at an especially misogynist Catholic grade school, I’m convinced the treatment I received had a significant deleterious effect on my later academic achievement.

    The guys who worship at the altar of Rushton and Jensen think they have this all wrapped up, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.

    1. I’ve always regarded Rushton as a nut. I mean, c’mon, having students of different races ejaculate and then use those results to determine racial intelligence. That’s just weird.

      And by Jensen, I’m guessing you mean Arthur Jensen. I don’t know much about him, but I certainly have no love for Robert Jensen.

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