Thursday, May 08, 2014

Academic paper on tiger moms

I have posted about the new Tiger Mom book, along with accusations of racism because it is largely a rant about how Chinese and Jews are better than the rest of us. Now a respectable academic journal has published a paper about her parenting style:
My Mother and Me
Why Tiger Mothers Motivate Asian Americans But Not European Americans
Alyssa S. Fu  Hazel Rose Markus 

“Tiger Mother” Amy Chua provoked a culture clash with her claim that controlling parenting in Asian American (AA) contexts produces more successful children than permissive parenting in European American (EA) contexts. At the heart of this controversy is a difference in the normative models of self that guide behavior. Ideas and practices prevalent in AA contexts emphasize that the person is and should be interdependent with one’s close others, especially one’s mother. In contrast, EA contexts emphasize the person as independent, even from one’s mother. We find that AA compared with EA high school students experience more interdependence with their mothers and pressure from them, but that the pressure does not strain their relationship with their mothers. Furthermore, following failure, AAs compared with EAs are more motivated by their mothers, and AAs are particularly motivated by pressure from their mothers when it conveys interdependence.
It is politically incorrect to draw attention to such racial or ethnic differences, but it is at the heart of understanding tiger moms.

As this article explains, white Christian Americans believe in a notion of individuality that is incomprehensible to the rest of the world. This is largely a consequence of social developments in northwestern Europe over the last millennium. Americans have a history of nuclear families, while Asians and others have other family types. I have mentioned the Jewish stereotypes because of their eagerness to use the family court to run the lives of gentiles, but the Asian stereotypes are just as striking.

I have heard from women who refuse to date Asian or Jewish men because they are all mamas boys. These women say they do not want to marry a man and then play second fiddle to a meddlesome mother-in-law. According to the widely accepted stereotype, these men have an admirable devotion to their mothers, but they are also sometimes despised for it.

I would have assumed that this family structure is entirely cultural. It is hard to imagine that there is a gene for being a mamas boy. But twin studies and other research has shown that most personality traits are heritable. And a new NY Times science writer book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, supposedly explains how Asians could have evolved different behavior genes from Westerners. There is even doubt that any parenting styles do any good:
Chua’s book, and the particularly harsh formula for raising successful children that she espouses, are based on a faulty premise: that parenting can greatly affect the outcome of children. This is false. Steven Pinker, your fellow Project Reason Advisory Board member, has discussed this in detail in his 2002 book The Blank Slate. A chapter of Pinker’s book is devoted to discussing what Judith Rich Harris researched for her 1998 book The Nurture Assumption: twin and adoption studies (collectively known as behavioral genetic studies) have consistently shown that differences in parenting do not correspond to differences in how children turn out, once you control for heredity. Identical twins, as well other biological siblings, are no more similar when raised together than if raised apart (being about 50% and 25% similar overall, respectively). Adopted siblings, who grew up the same home and were exposed to the same parenting practices; with same amount of books; the same examples; the same degree of encouragement and discipline; the same amount of order or disorganization; the same level of quarrel or tranquility; the same permissiveness to watch TV; have sleepovers and go on dates—turn out to be no more similar than strangers plucked off the street at random. This is not just in IQ and large scale personality traits, such as how outgoing or talkative one is, but in real tangible “important” outcomes such as likelihood of getting divorced, finishing school (and the level of education obtained) getting into trouble with the law (Loehlin, Horn & Ernst, 2007; Harris, 2009), and even the income one makes as an adult (Bowles & Gintis, 2002; Caplan, 2009a; Caplan, 2009b, Edit, 3/17/14, [see also Cesarini, 2010Hyytinen et al, 2013]. This also includes one’s body mass index (BMI); in defense (grudgingly) of Mike Huckabee and this infamous photo of him with his obese family, parenting has no impact on adult BMI, once heredity is controlled for (Grillo & Pogue-Geile, 1991; Harris, 2009; Keskitalo et al., 2008). It is their shared genes—not examples set by the parents—that explain the relationship between parents and their biological children (including the size of Huckabee and children). Here is a summary of all this in an essay by Harris about the absence of birth order effects. ...

Contrary to what Chua claimed on your show, one cannot make one’s children into “respectful, decent human beings who contribute to society” if it is not in their makeup, their peer environment, and the luck of the draw to become this way. As Pinker put it in The Blank Slate, “Not to put too fine a point on it, but much of the advice from the parenting experts” (which now, apparently, includes Amy Chua) “is flapdoodle” (p. 384).
It is nearly impossible to convince parents of this research.

Wikipedia defines:
Mother's boy, also mummy's boy or mama's boy, is a term for a man who is excessively attached to his mother at an age when men are expected to be independent (e.g. live on their own, be economically independent, married to a woman or about to be married). A mother's boy may be effete or effeminate, or might be perceived as being macho, or might have a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder, or might be schizophrenic, so that the mother acts as a caretaker. In any case, a mother's boy cannot maintain a healthy partnership with a woman (Carruthers, 1998).

Being mother-bonded is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, and has a social stigma attached to it in many places, although in other places it may be more acceptable or perceived as normal. A mother-bonded man is seen to give control of his own life to his mother, in exchange for a sense of security. If the mother has more than one son, then she will have, at the most, one mother's boy, usually the oldest or youngest son. The relationship between mother and mother's boy is thought to be "symbiotic": the mother enjoys controlling her mother's boy.
Holy cow, I thought that I was being insensitive. Another article advises How to Date a Mama's Boy:
No woman wants to feel that she is the number two love in her guy's life, yet this is exactly how women in a relationship with a mama's boy feel. These guys aren't bad; it's just that someone forgot to cut the umbilical cord. Dating a mama's boy isn't easy but it can be done.
Unfortunately the family courts are full of judges, commissioners, and psychologists who hate white Christians, and who are hostile to traditional American family structures.


Anonymous said...

Are you citing the same Steve Pinker that you've described as "big shot Jewish Harvard profressor" ?

George said...

I did cite Steven Pinker, and call him "a big-shot Jewish Harvard psychology professor". He is all of those things. He is one of Harvard's best known professors. He is widely respected for several popular books. He is an atheist, but he is of Jewish descent and he personally identifies as Jewish.

Anonymous said...

Your innuendo filled, hate speech hasn't gotten you very far. Why not leave it out ? Much of what you say is valuable, and might actually be taken seriously.

George said...

This is not hate speech. I do not hate Pinker. He has done some worthwhile things. I think that I have described him accurately. If something is inaccurate or misleading, please say so and drop the name-calling.

Anonymous said...

Search your blog for 'pinker".
You'll see that while you refer to him you, out of the blue list the crimes of orthodox Jews selling body parts. You just say, 'in other news'....
What does any of that have to do with the family courts or your own circumstances ?

Anonymous said...

You don't even know how to tell the difference between a person with a German last name and a Jew.

Were all the Christians that you have complained about people that are Christians and hate white Christians ?

George said...

So you are complaining about some post from a couple of years ago, because I might have made a comment that did not relate to my court case?

It is true that I sometimes do not know whether someone is Jewish or not. However Pinker identifies himself as a Jewish atheist. He is also a big-shot Harvard psychology professor.

Anonymous said...

You know that you did not make a comment but rather listed a series of articles about Jews who committed crimes under one of our rants about
Jewish psycologists, that had nothing to do with anything.
What did your listing of these articles have to do with anything ? It was just more of you innuendo and hate speech.
So, are the Christians you've complained about white Christian haters, or are just the Jews that you've complained about white Christian haters. You brought up haters didn't you ?

paulmurray said...

Best comment I ever heard was that kids become what you *are*. If you want kids that read, *you* must read.