RACE, EVOLUTION, AND BEHAVIOR – Part 8: Questions and Answers





A Life History Perspective


 [Part 8]


2nd Special Abridged Edition

By Professor J. Philippe Rushton




University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2



J. Philippe Rushton is a professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. Rushton holds two doctorates from the University of London (Ph.D. and D.Sc) and is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations. He is also a member of the Behavior Genetics Association, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, and the Society for Neuroscience. Rushton has published six books and nearly 200 articles. In 1992 the Institute for Scientific Information ranked him the 22nd most published psychologist and the 11th most cited. Professor Rushton is listed in Who’s Who in Science and TechnologyWho’s Who in International Authors, and Who’s Who in Canada.


[Page 5]



Preface 6

1. Race is More Than Skin Deep 7

Race in History
Race in Today’s World
Why Are There Race Differences?
Additional Readings

2. Maturation, Crime, and Parenting 13

Personality, Aggression, and Self-Esteem
Parenting and Out-of-Wedlock Births
Longevity and Population Growth
Additional Readings

3. Sex, Hormones, and AIDS 18

Sexual Behavior and Attitudes
Sexual Physiology and Anatomy
Additional Readings

4. Intelligence and Brain Size 22

Culture Fair Tests
Intelligence and Brain Size
Race Differences in Brain Size
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain Weight at Autopsy
Measuring Skull Size
Measuring Living Heads
Summarizing Brain Size Differences
Additional Readings

5. Genes, Environment, or Both? 28

Heritability Studies
Adoption Studies
Race and Heritability
Trans-racial Adoption Studies
Heritabilities Predict Racial Differences
Regression to the Average
Additional Readings

6. Life History Theory 34

r-K Life History Theory
Race Differences and r-K Strategies
Testosterone — The Master Switch?
Additional Readings

7. Out of Africa 39

The Evidence
Geography and Race
Additional Readings

8. Questions and Answers 42

Is Race a Useful Concept? (Chapter 1)
Are the Race Differences Real? (Chapters 2 through 5)
Is the Relationship Between Race and Crime Valid? (Chapter 2)
Is the Relationship Between Race and Reproduction Valid? (Chapter 3)
Is the Genetic Evidence Flawed? (Chapter 5)
Is r-K Theory Correct? (Chapter 6)
Aren’t Environmental Explanations Sufficient? (Chapter 5)
Is Race Science Immoral? (Chapter 1)
Closing Thoughts
Additional Readings

[Page 6]



[Page 42]

8: Questions and Answers



This final chapter lists the most important questions I have been asked about my r-K theory and my answers to them. It also gives pointers to the earlier chapter(s) that discuss each topic in greater detail, my closing thoughts on Race, Evolution, and Behavior, and on the story of the abridged edition.

You may be asking, “Why is the information about race in this book so different from what I have seen in magazines, college texts, and on TV?” The answer is that about 70 years ago the social sciences took a wrong turn. They left Darwinism and refused to look at the biological basis of human behavior — evolution and genetics. They also divided into separate academic fields and lost the forest for the trees.

In this book I try to re-unite the social and biological sciences on the issue of race. The evidence I have used comes from the best scientific journals, not from obscure sources. I began to study and publish scientific articles on race in the early 1980s. Since then I have received many questions about my work. Probably you’ve thought of some of these questions yourself.

This final chapter lists the questions I have been asked most often and my answers to them. I’ve grouped the questions by major topic. Each topic has a pointer to the chapter(s) in this abridged edition that discuss the topic in detail.


Is Race a Useful Concept? (Chapter 1)


Q: You write as if race is a valid biological concept. Aren’t you only repeating the stereotypes of 18th and 19th century Europeans?

A: True, there is a 200-year history of “European” research on race. But similar descriptions were made by Arab and Turkish writers nearly 1,000 years earlier and some can even be traced back to the ancient Greeks. Today, new methods of genetic DNA analysis agree with the original classifications made by early European scientists based on their observations.


Q: But isn’t race “just skin deep”? Don’t most scientists now agree that race is a social construct, not a biological reality?

A: Biological evidence shows that race is not a social construct. Coroners in crime labs can identify race from a skeleton or even just the skull. They can identify race from blood, hair, or semen as well. To deny the existence of race is unscientific and unrealistic. Race is much more than “just skin deep.


Q: Your three major racial categories overlap and it isn’t possible to assign each person to a race. So isn’t your three-way racial classification scheme somewhat made-up?

A: Yes, to a certain extent all the races blend into each other. That is true in any biological classification system. However, most people can be clearly identified with one race or another. In both everyday life and evolutionary biology, a “Black is anyone most of whose ancestors were born in sub-Saharan Africa. A “White is anyone most of whose ancestors were born in Europe. And an “Oriental is anyone most of whose ancestors were born in East Asia. Modern DNA studies give pretty much the same results.

[Page 43]

Q: Doesn’t the Out of Africa theory imply that we are “all Africans under the skin”?

A: Yes and no. The theory is that Homo sapiens first appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Then some groups migrated north about 110,000 years ago into Europe and Asia. A further split took place between the “ancestral Whites and the “ancestral Orientals about 40,000 years ago. True, all humans are brothers (and sisters). But we all know that brothers and sisters can still be very different from one another.


Q: All Whites aren’t the same. All Blacks aren’t alike. Neither are all Orientals. Isn’t there more variation within races than between them?

A: There is a lot of variation within each of the three races. The full range of variation will be found within any of the major racial groups. Still, group averages are important. Each racial group has a bell curve distribution with some people at the high end and some at the low end, and most people in the middle.

Groups with a high average will have many more people at the high end and not so many people at the low end. The 6-point IQ difference between Orientals and Whites and the 15-point IQ difference between Whites and Blacks means that a higher percentage of Orientals and a lower percentage of Blacks end up in the highest IQ categories. Those percentages have real implications in school and at work.

The same is true for crime. Most people of any race are hard-working and law abiding. There is no “criminal race. However, the difference in average crime rate means that a much higher percentage of Blacks can fall into a life of crime. The 85 average IQ of criminals is almost identical with the 85 average IQ of Blacks, so IQ is related to crime. Although Blacks make up only about 12% of the U.S. population, each year they commit about half of all crimes.


Q: Why do you base so much of your argument on the differences between the three major races? Are you not ignoring divisions and sub-groups within the three races?

A: Of course there are subdivisions within the three major races. The Oriental group can be subdivided into Northeast Asians (such as the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans) and the Southeast Asians (such as the Filipinos and Malays). Black and White groups can also be subdivided in the same way. Nevertheless, my simplified three-way division serves a purpose. In science, a concept is useful if it groups facts so that general laws and conclusions can be drawn from them. The three-way classification is scientifically justified because it shows a consistent pattern for many different traits, with Orientals at one end, Blacks at the other, and Whites in between.



Are the Race Differences Real? (Chapters 2 through 5)


Q: Haven’t you just chosen the studies that fit with your three-way race pattern and ignored all the ones that do not?

A: If that were true, where are the studies I have ignored? I have not ignored any important studies. Whenever averages are used from several studies, the same three-way pattern of race differences appears.


Q: Aren’t some of the studies you use, especially those on race and brain size, very old? Haven’t they been shown to be examples of racist bias rather than honest reports of scientific facts?

A: No. Even the most recent studies, using the latest technology (such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging to measure brain size), give the same results as the older studies. These state-of-the-art studies of brain size are reviewed in Chapter 4. They are much more precise studies than the older ones, but produce almost exactly the same results. Only “political correctness caused the early findings to “vanish from the scientific radar screen. If there is any bias, it is on the part of those who choose to misrepresent both the older studies and the recent research on race and brain size to justify a social agenda they want to promote.

[Page 44]

Q: Aren’t you really producing the race differences by averaging the results of many studies? Wouldn’t it be better just to look at the very best studies?

A: Using an average of all the data is better than using any single measurement or study. When you take an average, the errors fade and real differences appear. Hundreds of studies published in the best journals show the three-way pattern of race differences.


Q: Isn’t it possible to get a pattern of race differences in brain size (or IQ or any trait) simply by using the studies that support the point you are trying to make?

A: That’s exactly why it is better to average all the data. Averages are used for many sports competitions including some Olympic events, public opinion polls about upcoming elections, or the stock market performance with the Dow Jones Average. The same is true when studying race, brain size, IQ, and crime.



Is the Relationship Between Race and Crime Valid? (Chapter 2)


Q: Your three-way pattern in race differences in crime is based on official reports of arrests and convictions. But don’t self-report studies show that there are no race differences in crime?

A: Self-reports show a smaller race difference than the official arrest and conviction records. However, self-reports are only valid as a measure of less violent crime. They often include minor items like “Have you ever been in a fight? or “Would you worry about being in debt? Unlike official crime reports, they often give no facts about the frequency of criminal behavior. Self-reports do not distinguish between career criminals and first offenders.


Q: But don’t the arrest and conviction statistics from U.S. police departments and the FBI reflect America’s history of racism?

A: INTERPOL Yearbooks show the same three-way pattern of race differences in crime. African and Caribbean countries have twice as many violent crimes per person as do European countries and three times as many as do the Asian Pacific Rim countries like Japan and China.


Q: Aren’t Black Americans really the victims of crime, not the cause?

A: Many Blacks are indeed victims of crime. And there are many White and Oriental criminals. Nevertheless, the criminals are disproportionately Black. U. S. Department of Justice statistics report that Blacks are 60 times more likely to attack Whites than Whites are to attack Blacks. For the 20% of violent crimes that are interracial, 15% involve Black offenders and White victims; 2% involve White offenders and Black victims.

[Page 45]


Is the Relationship Between Race and Reproduction Valid? (Chapter 3)


Q: Doesn’t the evidence on race and penis size come from 19th Century stories by racist Europeans in colonial Africa?

A: The earliest findings come from the Arabic explorers in Africa and one study by a French army surgeon originally published in 1898. More up-to-date information comes from the World Health Organization. Their studies show the same three-way race pattern as do all the other studies.


Q: Isn’t the material on race and sex a kind of pornography? Isn’t race controversial enough without bringing sex and AIDS into the picture?

A: One World Health Organization study I mentioned in the previous answer examined penis size in order to provide the right size condoms to slow the spread of AIDS. Finding out which groups are most at risk for sexually transmitted diseases can help slow their spread and save lives.



Is the Genetic Evidence Flawed? (Chapter 5)


Q: How can you talk about a genetic basis for intelligence, criminality, or sexuality? No one has ever found a gene responsible for any of these. Brain size and structure may be genetic, but we still do not know exactly which genes are important for IQ or how they work.

A: New research is providing the answer. Every day the newspaper or TV reports that someone has just found a gene for alcoholism, intelligence, impulsivity, aggression, longevity, or other human behavior. When the Human Genome Project has finished mapping all our genes, we will know even more about the genetic basis of behavior.


Q: Isn’t this Genetic Determinism?

A: I never claimed that race differences are 100% genetic. Obviously, environmental factors are important. The scientific argument is really between “hereditarians and “egalitarians.” Hereditarians, like myself, think the best explanation of why the races differ involves both genes and environment. Egalitarians claim the races differ for 100% cultural reasons and some of them feel so strongly about it that they try to stop even discussion or research on the genetics of race.


Q: You use twin studies to show how much is caused by genes and how much is caused by environment. Isn’t it really the interaction of the two that matters?

A: Of course, every trait is the result of the interaction of heredity and environment. But if interaction is so important, why do identical twins who are brought up in different homes grow to be so much alike? It is because heredity plays a big role in development. The older we get, the more our genes, rather than our childhood environments, take control.


Q: Even if heredity is important for individuals, does that really tell us anything about race differences?

A: The evidence in Chapter 5 shows that genes do contribute a lot to race differences. Evidence comes from trans-racial adoption studies. Oriental, Mixed-Race (Black-White), and Black children adopted into middle-class White homes grow to resemble their true biological parents, not the White families who raised them. Mixed-Race (Black-White) infants grow up to have IQs between the IQs of pure Black and pure White children. Oriental children raised in White homes obtain IQs higher than White children, even if they were malnourished in infancy.

[Page 46]

Q: But don’t most experts believe that the cause of race differences in IQ is environmental, not genetic?

A: A survey done by Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman in the 1987 American Psychologist found that a majority (52%) of scientists said the Black-White IQ difference was partly genetic. Only 17% said it was entirely cultural. More recently, a special task force of the American Psychological Association agreed that there was a three-way pattern of race differences in brain size and IQ. Perhaps because of political correctness, the Task Force threw up its hands about the causes and decided to play it safe by saying “no one knows why” (see the 1996 and 1997 issues of the American Psychologist.).



Is r-K Theory Correct? (Chapter 6)


Q: You use r-K Life History Theory to explain race differences. You claim that Blacks are less K than Whites who are less K than Orientals. Haven’t you twisted r-K theory to fit your own ideas about race differences?

A: Not at all. The key for understanding K-selection is the predictability of the environment. Tropical areas like Africa are less predictable because of parasites and sudden droughts. Therefore they select for an r-strategy rather than a K-strategy.


Q: Doesn’t the r-K theory apply only to differences between different species, not to races within the same species?

A: It applies to both. Humans are very K compared to other species. Still, some people are more K than others. Highly K-selected men, for example, invest time and energy in their children rather than the pursuit of sexual thrills. They are “dads” rather than “cads.” The r-K theory was first used to explain differences within species. I have applied it to race differences within humans.



Aren’t Environmental Explanations Sufficient? (Chapter 5)


Q: Couldn’t the life-history differences you talk about just be the best response to cultural conditions? Since Blacks live in poor environments doesn’t the r-strategy make sense? How can you invest if you have nothing to invest?

A: That could be, but the facts say no. Well-to-do college-educated Black women have more sexual intercourse at an earlier age and suffer greater infant mortality than do poorer White women who haven’t gone to college. That fits with the r-K theory of race differences, but not with an environmental r-K theory. Orientals who have a poorer environment than Whites, have less sexual intercourse, start at a later age, and have lower infant mortality. Again, that fits with the r-K theory of race differences, but not with an environmental r-K theory.



Is Race Science Immoral? (Chapter 1)


Q: Why haven’t I read this information on race differences in newspapers or seen it on TV? Isn’t studying race differences immoral?

A: In the 1950s the liberation movements in the Third World and the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. convinced many people, including journalists and politicians, that it was wrong to look at race differences. The goal of equal rights seemed to require not just political, but biological sameness. Many people wanted to believe that race differences were not at all genetic, and some were willing to distort the social sciences by separating them from the biological sciences. This book tries to put all the behavioral sciences back together again.

[Page 47]

Q: Can any good come from your theory of race differences, even if it is true? Weren’t theories about race differences the reason for racism, genocide and the Holocaust?

A: The Nazis and others used their supposed racial superiority to justify war and genocide. But just about every idea — nationalism, religion, egalitarianism, even self-defence — has been used as an excuse for war, oppression or genocide. Science, however, is objective. It can’t give us our goals, but it can tell us how easy or difficult it will be to reach our goals. Knowing more about race differences may help us to give every child the best possible education and help us to understand some of our chronic social problems better.


Q: Wouldn’t we be better off to ignore race and just treat each person as an individual?

A: Treating others as we would like to be treated is one of our highest ethical rules. So is telling the truth. The fact is that each of us is influenced by our genes and our environment. Treating people as individuals does not mean we should ignore or lie about race differences. Scientists have a special duty to examine the facts and report the truth.


Q: Why did the Charles Darwin Research Institute publish this Y2K [2000] version of the abridged edition? What happened to the original publisher?

A: Transaction Publishers printed 100,000 copies under their copyright. They sent 35,000 to scholars around the world — members of the American Anthropological Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Society for Criminology. Then the Progressive Sociologists, a self-proclaimed radical group within the American Sociological Association, along with some other “anti-racist groups, threatened Transaction with loss of a booth at its annual meetings, advertising space in journals, and access to mailing lists if they continued to send out the abridged edition. Transaction caved in to this pressure, withdrew from publishing the abridged edition, and even apologized. They claimed that the Transaction copyright should never have appeared on the book and that it had “all been a mistake.


These events sadly confirm what I wrote in the first abridged edition — that some vocal groups in academia and the media forbid an open discussion of race. They fear any open discussion of race research, all of which has appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Truth, however, always wins out in the long run.


Closing Thoughts


The information in this book shows that the races differ in important ways. They differ, on average, in brain size, intelligence, sexual behavior, fertility, personality, maturation, life span, crime and in family stability. Orientals fall at one end of the three-way pattern of differences, Blacks fall at the other end, and Whites usually fall in between. Only a theory that looks at both genes and environment in terms of Darwin’s theory of evolution can explain why the races differ so consistently throughout the world and over the course of time.

Both science and justice call for us to seek and tell the truth, not to tell lies and spread error. While the research in this book first appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals, many in the media, the government, and unfortunately even in the universities and colleges, skillfully avoid all such evidence. Hopefully this abridged edition will help set the record straight and make the latest scientific findings on race, evolution, and behavior open to all.

[Page 48]

If we want to understand human behavior, the social sciences must get back together with the biological sciences. This book is a step in that direction. When we look at both genes and environment we may be able to understand human problems. With that knowledge, society can then go about trying to solve them. The first step is for all of us to be as honest as we can be about race, evolution, and behavior.

Additional Readings


Levin, M. (1997). Why Race Matters. New York: Praeger.

Rushton, J. P. (2000). Race, Evolution, and Behavior (3rd ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

[Page 49]

Bulk Rate Ordering for 

2nd Special Abridged Edition of 

Race, Evolution, and Behavior 

If you enjoyed reading this 110-page special abridged pocketbook, which summarizes important social and behavioral science research on race and race differences, you can order additional copies. Bulk rates are available for seminars, workshops, or for distribution to media figures (especially columnists who write about race issues), professors, teachers, and anyone interested in this vital subject.

Single copy $5.95

Bulk Rates 

10 copies $25.00
25 copies $50.00
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All prices include postage & handling.

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P.O. Box 611305, Port Huron, MI 48061-1305 

Please send me copies of the abridged pocketbook edition of Race, Evolution, and Behavior. Enclosed is my check or money order for $ . Name Address City/State/Zip

Country (if not USA).

[Page 50]

Third Unabridged Edition of Race, Evolution, and Behavior

This 400-page new (Y2000) edition contains over 1,000 references to the scholarly literature, a glossary, complete name and subject indexes, and 65 charts, maps, tables, and figures. It is an essential reference book for professionals and students of anthropology, psychology, sociology, and race relations. The hardcover unabridged Race, Evolution, and Behavior ($24) is especially appropriate for donation to public libraries, colleges and universities. The softcover unabridged edition ($14) provides a more economical way to order as a college or graduate school text.

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P.O. Box 611305, Port Huron, MI 48061-1305

Please send me copies of the hardcover ($24) unabridged edition of Race, Evolution, and Behavior. Or,copies of the softcover ($14) unabridged edition. Enclosed is my check or money order for $ Add $4.50 postage and handling for 1st copy; $1.00 more for each additional book.







Click here for Race, Evolution and Behavior >>>

Part 1: Preface; Race is More Than Skin Deep

Part 2: Maturation, Crime, and Parenting

Part 3: Sex, Hormones, and AIDS

Part 4: Intelligence and Brain Size

Part 5: Genes, Environment, or Both?

Part 6: Life History Theory

Part 7: Out of Africa

Part 8: Questions and Answers







PDF of this blog post.

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PDF of all 8 parts, i.e., complete booklet (clean text PDF).
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Version History


Version 5: Jan 14, 2020 — Re-uploaded images and PDFs for katana17.com/wp/ version.


Version 4: Aug 13, 2015 — Added Cover page; improved  formatting; expanded Contents page; added updated PDFs (ver 2).


Version 3: Added full booklet download here. Apr 8, 2015


Version 2: Added note that full booklet available Jun 27, 2014


Version 1: Published Jun 25, 2014

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