Dysgenic Breeding, or the idea that society has been organized to a condition which encourages people deemed to be inferior (usually with regard to general intelligence and competency, often with a racial component involved) to reproduce at much higher rates than the better and more able classes find to be prudent to do themselves, is a popular theme in certain corners of the internet populated by people who are usually considered contemptible and defective of intellect themselves by the ascendant segment of the thinking population, who nonetheless often have ideas of their own that certain people perhaps more than others would do well to limit their fertility with the aim of producing a more desirable social, cultural and ecological environment in which to live. While I do think it is likely the case that people with certain characteristics would be more likely to produce children compatible with what I would consider to be a desirable organization of society, I do not consider myself or anyone else as having the right to restrict the fertility of others on this basis; that the existence of these others who are troublesome to me in some way is something I need to accommodate myself to as much I am reasonably able; and that those who consider me and my offspring as the dysgenic element at work in society would be bound by the same restraint and responsibility towards us.
This all came about because I happened to be thinking the other day about how the people who had been the most superior students, who had won all of the academic prizes and earned Phds and fellowships and are at least contending seriously to have distinguished careers in cognitively-restricted fields are almost uniformly childless into their early and mid-forties, and even among that minority who did have children they seemed to limit themselves in most instances to a single offspring. I have to admit I am not clear who exactly would have been considered the very stupidest students by the academic world and other professional assessors of cognitive talent (I suspect I would be put front and center in that group, but maybe not), but I'm sure they have collectively had more children than the most accomplished group has. Certainly the people (of varying degrees of intelligence and spirit) who habitually missed classes due either to being hung over or because they wanted to get an early start on their daily drinking have outproduced the stellar students in this regard. I presented this theory to my wife (who, it probably goes without saying) is also a graduate of the school. She didn't think much of it, though she did at least give me a couple of backhanded compliments, asking me "Do you really think you were the stupidest person there?", and "Do you really think (the school) would rather have someone like (names person with multiple graduate degrees from world-renowned universities) than you?" Since I did not feel like getting into a drawn out fight which would involve my questioning my dear one's understanding of what kind of people college professors and administrators like and don't like, I answered "I guess not" to this second question, though the answer is obviously otherwise, and should be. But really, I'm practically a walking composite of everything in an individual that the better colleges have spent the last forty years trying to get away from, and that is even irrespective of my racial background and gender identification, which I guess some people might find objectionable in themselves, but in terms of personality, palpable ambition, talent set, potential for seriousness, and the like.
Digging further into this question of dysgenic tendencies, however, I found it notable as well that most of the men, not many in number, who were broadly allowed by the ladies to be campus hearthrobs, have not by their early forties had any children either, or at least they have not publicized the fact, and none have large families. There is another related group, consisting of those men who manage to sleep with a couple of dozen women even though none of the latter were ever known to admit to 'liking' them, and these guys have even fewer children than the heartthrob group. So here again we have a sampling of men who distinguished themselves in their college years as markedly of a superior desirability to the run of men, and twenty years on they have virtually no children, and fewer on the whole than those their erstwhile classmates who were more memorable to the majority of their female peers for their defects than any charms they might have pretended to possess.
How about the women who were most broadly and uncontroversially accepted in their college days as having been the primary beauties of the place? Among the ones who come to mind who might be considered to qualify almost all would appear to have had at least one child, though none that I am aware of have big families, i.e. more than three children. Of further sociological interest, almost every woman who fell into this category married someone unconnected with the school, which is not surprising, given that the small size and general low level of average grooming and attractiveness which prevailed at our school exaggerated the impression anyone who came across as at all conventionally good-looking made on the pulchritudinally downtrodden mass of the student body there and seems almost to have enveloped them in a strange kind of aura that precluded them from being able to either seriously entertain marriage possibilities within the community, or be the objects of such entertainments themselves.
This leaves then the larger families, in which I include anyone with four or more children, though the majority of the ones I can think of actually have six or even seven. All of the mothers of these large families I consider to have been above average in attractiveness in their school days. This does not surprise me. Having five or six children is no joke, and I think it is probably necessary to have a more than ordinary amount of charm or likeability to persuade even the most pliable man (or arouse the requisite enthusiasm in a more vigorous one) to commit to having a family of that size with you. If they were not as widely celebrated in cafeteria and locker room banter, I suspect this can be attributed to the circumstance of the more accomplished ladies' men, who tended to direct these conversations, with their superior experience and understanding of women being able more readily to detect the presence of this incipient baby-lust and being, in keeping with their nature, somewhat repelled by it. Their husbands by and large seem happy enough to have gotten them, and in most instances at a pretty young age. Contrary to the title of this post, I don't really think there is a lot of real dysgenic breeding here, because this group of parents is I think very intelligent, certainly not below the median level for the school, well-read and cultured. For the most part they did not expend their energies very stridently in academic competition or striving, however, so they would not really stand out statistically as the Best and the Brightest, and probably they are not that. But they are people who ought to have some identifiable value and stature in a survey of the contemporary social landscape.
The husbands in most these families are like the solid second baseman who can hold down a starting position for seven or eight years without being a liability, and are among the favorite players of the manager, but will never receive all-star or MVP consideration by the media and general public. Indeed, I am a bit of an outlier among this group of men, most of whom were quite responsible and working in 'adult' professions pretty much right out of school. I also have the sense that these men get along well both socially and in the world of work with other men, are received as competent and worthy of their respect and so on, which are statuses I have never really been able to attain. There was even one guy in this group whom I took for a potential superman in his youth, as he was very fit and driven to win competitions and master skills and so on with an unusually effective tenacity. But even he changed his profession in mid-life to something which, while still traditionally masculine and involving leadership and so on, was still a considerable downshift from the testosterone-heavy life he seemed to inhabit comfortably when he was in his twenties.**
None of these people are divorced. It is not really worthwhile to divorce when you have many children unless you are extremely wealthy or guilty of extremely reprehensible behavior.
**Not really on-topic, but I have been considering the various capabilities and handicaps men have in meeting women, and I got to thinking of that class of men who can reasonably expect, when young, to meet women when shirtless, which is a massive social advantage, since probably 90% of men at least cannot even dare to try to pull off. I realized that the times when I had been most comfortable and felt most confident in bantering the fair sex was on occasions when the women themselves were dressed in some kind of retro or traditional costume, though I was always too self-conscious to ever dress in such a way myself. This was an extremely common affliction at our school, by the way, more than I think people are fully conscious of, and the question should probably be probed more thoroughly. Such occasions are fairly rare in actual life, especially if one if too obtuse to seek them out. Still, this explains in some part my secret lifelong attraction to 1840s style squaredancing clubs, renaissance fairs, and country-western themed bars and hoedown type events, though I have never been to any of these kinds of things...