Rushton, race, and sexual behaviour

[See also my post on black precociousness]

Rushton (1995) makes a number of claims regarding race and sexual behaviour. The races fall into a pattern of blacks on one end of the spectrum, asians on the other, and whites in between. Blacks supposedly have:

– an earler age of sexual debut
– greater numbers of sexual partners
– greater intercourse frequency
– greater degree of concurrent sexual relationships

Age of puberty and sexual debut

I discuss these issues in my post on black precocity. In sum, the data from the U.S. consistently shows earlier onset of puberty and sexual activity for blacks. However, the global data does not lend much support to such differences.

Number of sexual partners

In the United States, blacks seem to have more lifetime sexual partners than other ethnicities(1,2). In Britain, too, black men have more sexual partners, and significantly higher prevalence of concurrent relationships (1,3,4). This is especially interesting, because Britain has large numbers of both black Africans and Caribbeans, and black Africans are a highly successful group in Britain (being an elite sample) – in this study, African men being the most qualified ethnicity. The differences in social health show up clearly between the African and Caribbean sample in the different ages of sexual debut – for Caribbean males, it is 15, but for Africans it is 17 (the same age as white males). Despite that, when comparing whites, blacks from the Caribbean and Africa, Pakistanis, and Indians – black men from the two parts of the world looked more like each other in terms of numbers of sexual partners and concurrency, despite being far apart socioeconomically.

However, globally, the data is different. Though concurrency, as I discuss elsewhere, is a global phenomenon associated with blacks, there is no evidence that blacks in Africa have more lifetime sexual partners than other regions of the world, in fact, generally the evidence indicates less than western nations(5,6).

Intercourse Frequency

Rushton reported global and national data suggesting greater intercourse frequency among blacks. In a now familiar pattern, in the U.S. blacks do perhaps have intercourse at a greater frequency(1,7,8), though the differences are not very large, and sometimes not there at all(9). There is also some evidence for greater intercourse frequency among blacks in Britain(1).

However, what global data there is, does not argue for Sub-Saharan countries deviating from the normal range of global variation in comparison to western and eastern nations(10,11,12). In any case, intercourse frequency is highly dependent on other factors – for example, as is pointed out in Sexual Frequency, Women’s Decision-Making, and Contraceptive Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Analysis (2010): “Based on qualitative and quantitative evidence from Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, it has been found that the move from arranged marriages to romantic marriages affects coital frequency, particularly for younger people. This shift in marriage type, which has also increased coital frequency in some Asian nations, particularly in new marriages…”

Concurrent Sexual Relationships

I deal with this issue elsewhere. Suffice it to say, there is a global pattern of concurrent relationships being more common among blacks (men that is) – in Africa, Britain, the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Rushton, Lynn, and black precociousness

[update: see also my post on race and sexual behaviour]

Rushton, in Race, Evolution, and Behaviour (1995), makes various claims about the differing rates of maturation between races. I want to get an idea of the current state of these claims. The areas in which Rushton claims different rates can be grouped into the following:

– Gestation period
– Psychophysical development
– Ossification (incl. dental development)
– Puberty
– Sexual Debut

Gestation period

The black/white difference in gestation period has been confirmed in various studies in the U.S. (sources: 1, 2) Britain (sources: 1, 2), and African countries (sources: 1, 2). Recent studies have found it plausible that at least part of the cause is genetic (source), and researchers have begun looking for the specific genes involved (source). Although environmental explanations are still being sought (source). Additionally, there is evidence that, despite black infants being born ‘prematurely’, they have experienced accelerated maturity:

“The suggestion that maturity occurs earlier in gestation in Black babies is consistent with many reports over the last 20 years that black babies suffer less from respiratory distress syndrome than white European babies for any given gestation at birth… Consistent with the accelerated pulmonary maturity seen in preterm black babies, neonatal survival in black babies is also higher than that of white Europeans.”


Pyschophysical development

Rushton cited studies showing faster black infant development on various indexes, including sitting up, walking, turning over, etc. We should also discuss Richard Lynn’s formulation of ‘black infant precocity’ (source) – which essentially posits that black infants are more advanced psychophysically until around 15 months, after which point the lead disappears. A number of studies over the last decades have found a pattern of black infant precocity in psychophysical development. A 2007 study from South Africa entertains Lynn’s idea:

“Another possible explanation for the findings of the current study is the concept of Black infant precocity (Lynn 1997). Lynn compared Black South African infants’ performance on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development to the American standardisation sample and found that the Black infants were significantly more advanced in terms of their mental and motor development during approximately the first 15 months of life. This age range is similar to that of the sample in the present study (i.e. 13 to 16 months). Positive evidence of this was first advanced by Falade (1955) who found that Black Senegalese infants assessed on the Gesell Developmental Screening Inventory were significantly more advanced in areas of fine-motor development, eye-hand coordination, problem-solving and object permanence than matched White American infants. Similar results were obtained with Ugandan infants (Gerber 1958), Nigerian infants (Freedman 1974) and Black South African infants (Richter-Strydom and Griesel 1984, Lynn 1997).”

Nevertheless, genetic explanations have not swept the field; from a 2011 paper:

“This “precocity” was initially interpreted as a biological, genetically driven phenomenon. Subsequent investigation led in other directions (Kilbride & Kilbride, 1975; Leiderman, Babu, Kagia, Kraemer, & Leiderman, 1973; Super, 1976, 1981; Varkevisser, 1973). First, it was demonstrated that traditional methods of infant care common in sub-Saharan Africa include deliberate teaching and practice of sitting and walking (and, sometimes, crawling). These customary practices, carried out by parents, siblings, and other relatives, reflect a local understanding of what young children are capable of, and this understanding is manifest from the infant’s earliest days (Super & Harkness, 2009). Further, careful observation revealed high levels of leg, trunk, and back exercise, and also vestibular stimulation, incidental to customary methods of holding and carrying the infant… When families migrate from traditional rural areas to an urban environment such as Nairobi, they adapt to quite different physical and social settings, and they come in contact with a greater variety of ethnotheories: Both daily life and infant motor development shift toward the Euro-American pattern. (source)

(Chapter 4 of Handbook of cultural developmental science also offers an in-depth cultural explanation to differing rates of motor development). Certainly culture has an important role to play in the variation of psychophysical maturation, but one can also point to the fact that African Americans likewise consistently show motor precocity (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), as do Caribbeans (source). And one might also wonder why Africans show such consistent ‘local’ understandings (see references to Africa wide findings above).

Some studies have shown differences between whites and asians as well. There is a good discussion of past results in Motor Development  in Canadian Infants of Asian and European Ethnic Origins (2009), which itself found no difference between asians and whites in Canada. Studies of asians have either shown no difference with whites, or slower development than whites, whereas studies comparing blacks have all (as far as I’m aware) found faster psychopysical development.

It is suggestive that the results have been broadly consistent with Rushton’s pattern of blacks > whites > asians. However, the varying results of asians vs. whites suggests environmental factors (at least for those races). The asian case especially implicates culture, because it tends to be in the studies in which asians and caucasians live in the same country that they become more, or entirely, similar (source).

Connolly et al. (2011) in “The Influence of Ethnicity on Infant Gross Motor Development: A Critical Review” analyze past studies and find that “In the articles reviewed, the differences in motor milestone attainment between Black infants and Western norms averaged 1 month… As well, in ethnic groups that were delayed, the amount varied from 1-1.5 months compared to Western norms… Currently, we can only say that motoric differences exist between ethnicities but we cannot… explain accurately why and how these differences exist.”

Ossification rates (including dental development)

Earlier studies showed accelerated rates of ossification in early childhood for Africans, followed by retardation at later ages, which fits in with the ‘Black Infant Precocity’ theory. From Effects of ethnicity on skeletal maturation: consequences for forensic age estimations (2000):

“Hand skeleton development of a population of West African children aged between 10 days and 15 years was investigated by Massé and Hunt [39]. In comparison to children studied by Greulich and Pyle, they found early maturity in the early postnatal months, followed by deceleration and sometimes retardation in middle and advanced childhood. Marshall et al. [37] and Garn et al. [22] also reported comparatively accelerated skeletal development in Africans during their early years of age. On the other hand, there have been several studies which reported that in advanced childhood and adolescence no time difference in skeletal maturation existed between Whites and Blacks… Studies so far evaluated seem to suggest that there is a genetically determined potential of skeletal maturation which does not depend on ethnicity and is available for exploitation under optimum environmental conditions (i.e. high socio-economic status), whereas a less favourable environment may lead to retardation of skeletal maturation.”

This, however, is not really contradictory to the black precociousness position, which generally argues a faster development in earlier childhood, and prenatally, not a continuously accelerated pace, while the counter-evidence comes from later childhood. Rushton has, however, also generally ascribed precocity for blacks to a longer time period, not just in infancy (ie. through puberty). The early infancy data, sparse as it is, indicates possible black infant precociousness.  Unfortunately, I don’t know of any newer studies on early racial differences in ossification rates. However, the above cited evidence on black infant precocity in fetal development and motor development, provides at least a background which is generally supportive of what limited data is available.

The third molar shows evidence of signficant differences in age of mineralization among races (source), black development stages being earlier than other groups, in the order black > white > asian.


The U.S. data generally shows earlier age of puberty for blacks (source), but given how sensitive puberty is to environmental factors, and the lack of a global pattern, genetic explanations seem premature. Menarchy, for example, varies greatly among blacks depending on country, as well as other environmental factors such as urban vs. rural, SES, etc. Age of menarchy differs dramatically in general over time, and, in fact, between European countries as well..

Source: Determinants of menarche (2010)

Source: Menarcheal age among urban Kenyan primary school girls (2011)

Source: Menarcheal age among urban Kenyan primary school girls (2011)

Nevertheless, persistent racial differences in the U.S. lead some to consider genetic explanations:

“…controlling for height and either BMI or weight, the rate of early menarche remained significantly higher among black girls, suggesting that race is an independent factor of pubertal/menarcheal timing. The racial difference in pubertal maturation may reflect genetic factors. Black girls present higher insulin response to a glucose challenge, and subsequently increased levels of free IGF1, which is associated with skeletal and sexual maturation compared to white girls [36].” (source)

Sexual Debut

Once again, the U.S. data shows earlier black sexual debut (and later for asian) – (sources: 1, 2). However, blacks in America seem to begin sexual activity at a younger age than blacks in Africa (sources: 1, 23). Thus, data from the U.S. alone is likely misleading For example, in data from the U.S. we see “the median reported age of first sexual intercourse was 15.0 years for Black males, 16.3 years for Black females, 16.6 years for white males and females, 16.5 years for Hispanic males, 17.3 years for Hispanic females, and 18.1 years for Asian American males.” However, Sexual behaviour in context: a global perspective (2006) has global data on median age of first sex for men and women – and when I average out the median age of first sex for Sub-Saharan countries, I get 18.5 years for men, and 16.7 years for women (average 17.6 years – which is pretty close to what we get from the average of 7 western nations: 17.75).

Britain provides a good example of the variability because there are large numbers of both black Africans and black Caribbeans. A 2005 study found that, while white men began sexual activity at a median age of 17, for black Caribbeans the age was 15; however, black Africans began, like whites, at 17. (Indians and Pakistanis at 20). For women, whites and black Carribeans began at 17, while black Africans at 18 (Pakistanis: 20, Indians: 21). Similarly, a much larger percentage of black Caribbean males claimed to begun to have sex before age 16, whereas the number were about the same for white and black African males. For women, about the same percentage of white and black Caribbean women began having sex before 16, whereas significantly less black African women did. It should be noted that black African immigrants are often an elite sampling of their home country. It is of interest as well that Caribbeans have such an early sexual debut, similarly to American blacks – interesting because the global data referenced before does not show the Caribbean to have lower age of sexual debut. So what’s going on?

This last topic especially I’m going have to revisit in the future. Clearly, very little is settled in any of them.

Unequal Distribution of Crime

Three parts to this post:

1) Black Crime in Britain and Canada
2) Muslim Crime in Europe
3) Other Minority Crime in Western Countries


Black Crime in Britain and Canada


The U.S. situation is already well known, so I’ll pass over that – but what about other western nations? Unfortunately, most countries aren’t keeping data on this, but Britain has a fair amount, and Canada has a couple glimpses. Aside from that, no other nations seems to have any data.



“Black people make up 2.7% of the UK population aged 10 to 17, but represent 8.5% of those in that age group arrested in England and Wales” (source)

“In London, the overrepresentation of young black men in gun crime appears to be undisputed. Figures from Operation Trident, a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) operation set up to combat shootings among black Londoners, show that, of all MPS firearms homicides and shootings in 2006, 75% of victims and 79% of suspects were black.”
“More than half of suspects charged in London over robbery and knife-point muggings last year were black, official figures revealed today… 55 per cent were black. Just under a third of suspects were white, while 11 per cent were Asian… Three out of five of the 1,613 suspects charged with knife-point muggings were also black, compared with 27 per cent white and 10 per cent Asian… In Lambeth and Lewisham, for example, three-quarters of those taken to court for robbery were black, while in Southwark the proportion was 69 per cent, although in Westminster black suspects accounted for only 37 per cent of the 495 people charged….Separate figures for people charged for “knife-enabled robberies”—in which a victim is either shown a blade or told that the offender is carrying one—show that 967 of the 1,613 alleged offenders last year were black. That represents 60 per cent.”
[According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, based on 2006 estimates, London is 69.4 percent white, 13.1 percent are South Asian, and 10.7 percent are black.] (source – pdf)

“Sixty Per Cent of Knife Muggers in the Capital Are Young Black Men”

“One of the few police forces to have begun recording the figures of reported gang rape is the Metropolitan Police. In 2008 alone, they received reports of 85 gang rapes. Using the Met’s definition of gang rape – those involving three or more perpetrators – we began to look at the number of convictions. We tracked down 29 cases, from January 2006 to March 2009, in which a total of 92 young people were convicted of involvement in gang rape. … One fact stood out. Of those convicted, 66 were black or mixed race, 13 were white and the remainder were from other countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.” (source)

“Young black men now account for nearly 40% of the population of youth jails in England and Wales, according to a report by the chief inspector of prisons.
The report, published jointly with the youth justice board, shows that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic young men in young offender institutions (YOIs) has risen from 23% in 2006 and 33% in 2009/10 to 39% last year. (source)

“Twelve per cent of London’s men are black. But 54 per cent of the street crimes committed by men in London, along with 46 per cent of the knife crimes and more than half of the gun crimes, are thought by the Metropolitan Police to have been committed by black men.” (source)

Police hold black men responsible for more than two-thirds of shootings and more than half of robberies and street crimes in London, according to figures released by Scotland Yard.
It found that 67 per cent of those caught by police for gun crimes were black.
Among those proceeded against for street crimes, including muggings, assault with intent to rob and snatching property, 54 per cent were black males.
On sex offences, black men made up 32 per cent of all male suspects, with 49 per cent of those apprehended by police being white men.
The statistics also suggest that police hold black women accountable for a disproportionate amount of violent crime. On knife crime, 45 per cent of suspected female perpetrators were black.
Among those women and girls police took action against for gun crime, 58 per cent were black and in robberies that figure was 52 per cent.
Unsolved crimes were not included. Just over 12 per cent of London’s 7.5million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69 per cent is white, according to the Office for National Statistics. (source)



“In Toronto, Canada, unofficial figures suggest that recent Afro-Caribbean immigrants, while making up 2 to 5 percent of the population, are responsible for between 32 and 40 percent of the crime (The Globe and Mail, February 8, 1989). Immigrants from the Pacific Rim, however, are underrepresented in crime.” (from Rushton, 1995)

“the Star’s groundbreaking 2002 series on race, policing and crime in Toronto, which used police arrest and charge data… showed that blacks then were 3.3 times more likely to be charged with violent crimes… A repeat of the 2002 analysis looking at arrest and charge data from 2003 to 2008 shows those results have changed little.” (source)

Toronto (2002): “The data show that accused black people represent nearly 27 per cent of all violent charges; this, although the latest census figures show that only 8.1 per cent of the population list their skin colour as black.” (source)

Toronto Star: In 2009-2010, blacks make up 8.3% of Toronto’s population, but 30% of violent crime charges were laid against blacks.

“At the provincial level in 2009, those who self-identified as being black made up 10 per cent of the prison population in Nova Scotia’s five jails, which is again (more than) what you would expect, based on population, Clairmont said. The 2006 census showed that blacks made up just over two per cent of Nova Scotia’s population — 19,230 blacks in a total population of 913,462.” (source)

Nova Scotia: “They account for 22 per cent of all young offenders and 26 per cent of all repeat offenders, which is five to six times higher than their proportion in the general population. And in 2005, blacks accounted for 24 per cent of the young people sentenced to custody. That was a huge jump from 2000, when blacks made up 14 per cent of all young people sentenced to custody.” (source)


Muslim Crime in Europe


They don’t exactly make much of an effort to collect or report this data, and some countries really have no data at all (in fact collecting ethnicity based data is banned in some) besides estimates of numbers of prisoners who are Muslim.  But the glimpses we get are pretty revealing.

Actually, much of the data can’t be claimed to be only Muslim, but its clear that much of the immigrant crime is Muslim (ie. Moroccan, Somali, etc). But pay attention to where it is simply saying ‘foreign’ or ‘non-western’.

By country:




“The study is the first where the crime statistics have been analyzed according to ethnic origin. Of the 111 charged with rape in Oslo last year, 72 were of non-western ethnic origin, 25 are classified as Norwegian or western and 14 are listed as unknown.Rape charges in the capital are spiraling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so far this year. Nine out of ten cases do not make it to prosecution, most of them because police do not believe the evidence is sufficient to reach a conviction.Police Inspector Gunnar Larsen of Oslo’s Vice, Robbery and Violent crime division says the statistics are surprising – the rising number of rape cases and the link to ethnic background are both clear trends. But Larsen does not want to speculate on the reasons behind the worrying developments.While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo’s population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background.Larsen said that since this was the initial study examining ethnic make-up there were no existing figures to put the numbers into context. “Meanwhile, it is our general experience that this is an increasing tendency. We note this by the number of time we need to use interpreters in the course of an investigation,” Larsen said. (source)

In 2010 48.7% of perpetrators of any kind of rape in Oslo were European, 19.7% were African, 15.1% Middle Eastern, 14.1% Asian and 2% American. (source – pdf)

“Norway’s capital Oslo has seen a sharp increase in cases of outdoor rape, with the number of attacks in 2011 already double the total for the previous year, according to figures compiled by newspaper Aftenposten…. Police in Oslo registered 24 such cases in 2010 compared to 48 so far this year, Aftenposten said… “It can not be denied that many of the culprits have an ethnic background with a critical view of women,” Conservative party justice critic Andre Oktay Dahl told TV2. (source)

“Ethnics account for 70 percent of family violence in Oslo” (source)

“‘Immigrants behind most rapes in Stavanger’ – In all, 18 rape judgments were handed down from 2009 to 2011 in the south-western city, according to a review carried out by state broadcaster NRK. The cases involved 22 men, two of whom were cleared of rape charges. Of the 20 men found guilty of rape, half were of African origin, five had Asian backgrounds, one had Polish roots and three were ethnic Norwegians, said NRK, which did not disclose the ethnicity of one of the men. (source)



“Alarmed at last week’s police statistics, which revealed that in 68% of all rapes committed this year the perpetrator was from an ethnic minority, leading Muslim organisations have now formed an alliance to fight the ever-growing problem of young second and third-generation immigrants involved in rape cases against young Danish girls. ” (source)

Study found that more than half of those charged with ‘assault-rape’ (distinct from contact-rape and partner-rape) were not North-European (source – pdf)



Swedish study (pdf), finds that immigrants commit crime at 2.5x the rate of native Swedes, while those with two foreign parents commit crime at 2x the average, and those with one foreign parent commit crime at 1.5x. When corrected for age/sex/education/income, the relative risk for the foreign born shrinks to 2.1x, while that with two foreign-born parents shrinks to 1.5x.

This is somewhat misleading, though, as the foreign born are a heterogeneous group – for example, those from the Anglo-American countries and East Asia commit crime at essentially the same rate as native Swedes (under average) – whereas the highest rates come from ‘Other’ Africa (5.3x average), North Africa (4.7x), Western Asia (3.8x), and East Africa (3.5x). Central and South American regions also have high rates – 3.25x. Intermediate regions are places like South East Asia (2.1x), and ‘New EU Countries’ (2.3x).

Further, some crimes are disproportionately common among immigrants – for example when it comes to lethal violence or robbery, the rate at which foreign-born commit them is 4.2x the average rate (2.6x for children with one-foreign born parent). As for rape/attempted rape, the rate of being suspected of the crime for the foreign-born in 5x the rate that of Swedes, while for those with least one foreign-born parent it is 1.8x.



Between 2006 & 2009, foreigners were convicted of 34% of the rape, despite being only 3% of the population. Iraqi’s, for example, though making up only 0.1% of the population were responsible for 5% of the rapes in 2011. (source)



“The report, published jointly with the youth justice board, shows that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic young men in young offender institutions (YOIs) has risen from 23% in 2006 and 33% in 2009/10 to 39% last year… The changing demographic profile of the population inside youth jails in England and Wales also shows an increasing proportion of young Muslims, up from 13% last year to 16% this year. Foreign national young men account for a record 6% of the population.” (source)

“Official figures from police forces across England and Wales shows how immigrants make up a large proportion of those arrested for major crimes… In London, of the 547 people charged with rape in the past 12 months, 174 were non-UK citizens… The nations whose individuals were charged the most frequently with rape in the capital were Jamaica, 19 suspects, Nigeria, 11, Poland, ten, and Australia, nine.” (Source)

Jack Straw is not looking quite as lonely as he was last Friday when he made the controversial statement that there was a “specific problem” involving British men of Pakistani descent grooming young white girls for sex because they think they are “easy meat”… An initial burst of outrage, led by fellow Labour MP Keith Vaz, has been followed by more sympathetic statements from Muslim commentators and women’s rights campaigners… Martin Narey… said: “…My staff would say there is an over-representation of people from ethnic minority groups among perpetrators – Afghans, people from Arabic nations, Pakistanis. But it’s not just one nation.”…. Last week the Times published its own survey into the ethnicity of those convicted of on-street grooming. It found that over the past 13 years there had been 17 court prosecutions by northern and Midlands police forces involving such crimes… Of the 56 people found guilty, three were white and 53 were Asian. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards said: “To stop this type of crime you need to start talking about it, but everyone’s been too scared to address the ethnicity factor. (source)

“In Britain, 11 percent of prisoners are Muslim in contrast to about 3 percent of all inhabitants, according to the Justice Ministry.” (source)

“The number of women and girls in the UK suffering violence and intimidation at the hands of their families or communities is increasing rapidly, according to figures revealing the nationwide scale of “honour” abuse for the first time… Statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act about such violence – which can include threats, abduction, acid attacks, beatings, forced marriage, mutilation and murder – show that in the 12 police force areas for which comparable data was available, reports went up by 47% in just a year… But this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg, campaigners say, as so many incidents go unreported because of victims’ fears of recriminations… Jasvinder Sanghera of victim support group Karma Nirvana said the real figure could be four times as high.” (source)



“The Belgian newspaper De Standaard claims that “foreigners” constitute 44 percent of the Belgian prison populations… Moroccan immigrants are among the most notorious hardline criminals in Belgium. ” (source)

“In Belgium, Muslims from Morocco and Turkey make up at least 16 percent of the prison population, compared with 2 percent of the general populace, the research found.” (source)



“Of the 212,000 suspects arrested in 2005 63 percent was native Dutch. (Non-Western immigrants account for 11 percent of the Dutch population.)” (source)

“THE HAGUE, 18/03/09 – Two out of three serious teenage criminals are children of parents born outside the Netherlands. In most cases, no prison sentence is imposed, it emerges from a study sent to parliament by Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin… In the research, 447 case files of youngsters aged from 12 to 17 were studied. All the files involved cases in which the perpetrator was convicted of a crime for which the maximum jail sentence is 8 years or more. These were murder, manslaughter, robbery with violence, extortion, arson, public acts of violence and sexual crimes… Only just over one-third (37 percent) of the convicted youngsters are white Dutch. Two-thirds are of immigrant origin, meaning that they themselves or their mothers were born abroad… The most prevalent group of youthful immigrants (among the perpetrators) are young Moroccans (14 percent),” according to the report. For another 14 percent, the parents’ country of birth could not be determined. A further 8 percent of the young criminals came from Turkey, 7 percent from Surinam and another 7 percent from the Netherlands Antilles, 9 percent from the category ‘other non-Westerners’ and 4 percent, ‘other Westerners.’ (source)

“Of the Moroccan-Dutch boys in Rotterdam aged 18 to 24, almost 55% have gotten in trouble with the police on suspicion of offenses. For Antilleans and Surinamese that’s 40%, for Turkish-Dutch men 36% and for ethnic Dutch Rotterdam residents 18.4%.” (source)

“Research by the Open Society Institute, an advocacy organization, shows that in the Netherlands 20 percent of adult prisoners and 26 percent of all juvenile offenders are Muslim; the country is about 5.5 percent Muslim” (source)



“This prison is majority Muslim — as is virtually every house of incarceration in France. About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in the country’s prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country’s population…. Many of the Muslim inmates in this prison just west of Lille are the children and grandchildren of immigrants who were brought to the northern region decades ago to work in its coal mines.” (source)

“As the number of French prisoners is expected to break a new record this month, Muslims account for 70 percent of inmates despite making only 5-10 percent of the population, Press TV reports.” (source)

“Iranian-French researcher Farhad Khosrokhavar said in his recently published book Islam in Prisons that Muslims make up some 70 percent of a total of 60,775 prisoners in France… As ethnicity-based censuses are banned in France, he said complexion, names and religious traditions like prohibition of pork indicate that Muslims constitute an overwhelming majority in prisons.” (source)

“In ten years, the number of halal meals served in prison has increased dramatically, so that today they represent 70% of food served in our prisons.” (source)



I found the following table here for the region of Catalonia (original source archived here). The table-maker at the first link notes that ‘African’ is mostly means Magreb, as you can see if you visit the second link (he also notes that black africans seem to have a lower rate than non-Spanish EU countries and Americans).

Spain Europe EU Europe Non-Eu Africa* America* Asia*
Nationality if Criminal 54.5% 6.5% 2.6% 20.1% 15.3% 1.1%
Criminal if Nationality 1.1 2.6 5.9 7.9 5.1 1


Other Minority Crime in Western Countries

But what about other poorer minorities, especially Indigenous, in Western countries?

– Canada: Natives make up 2% of the population but are 18% of those incarcerated
– New Zealand: Maoris make up 15% of pop. but are 49.5% of prisoners
– Australia: Aborignes are 2.3% of pop, but 27% of prisoners
– Apparently in the US, the black crime rate is 4 times higher than Amerindians
– In Japan, the Burakumin, once the ‘untouchables’ of Japan, though ethnically Japanese, were arrested at 3x the rate of other Japanese. Burakumin and Koreans, also marginalized in Japanese society, make up a disproportionate number of the yakuza (apparently making up about 75% of the largest underworld crime group, the Yamaguchi Gumi) (source).

Black Music and Misogyny

The worst forms of dancing and music seem to be emerging from African communities.

A few studies over the last couple decades have quantified the much higher level of degrading sexual lyrics found in black music, as well as its increase over time.


“Degrading and Non-Degrading Sex in Popular Music: A Content Analysis” (2008)

This study looked at 279 songs, and found that 103 had lyrics referring to sexual activity. They found that, of those 103 songs, references to degrading sex were more common than to non-degrading sex: 65% to 35%.

However, a different picture emerges when broken down by genre:

Country: non-degrading sex (44.5%), degrading sex (7.5%)
Pop: non-degrading sex (5.6%), degrading sex (3.0%)
Rap: non-degrading sex (13.9%), degrading sex (64.2%)
Rythm&Blues/Hip Hop: non-degrading sex (27.8%), degrading sex (22.4%)
Rock: non-degrading sex (8.3%), degrading sex (3.0%)

Most notable is how totally opposite rap and country are in this spectrum (by the way, rap and R&B are not over-represented because of having more songs included in the analysis – here is the breakdown: Country (n=61), Pop (n=35), R&B/Hip-Hop (n=55), Rap (n=62), or Rock (n=66)).

I made these charts which lay it out pretty starkly:


“Sexualization in Lyrics of Popular Music from 1959 to 2009: Implications for Sexuality Educators” (2011)

This is an interesting study: they analyzed the top 100 songs of the final year of each decade for the last 6 decades for degrading vs non-degrading sexual content. They analyzed white and non-white artists separately.

White artists:

1959: 88.1% non-degrading; 11.9% degrading
1969: 93.8% non-degrading; 6.2% degrading
1979: 90.8% non-degrading; 9.2% degrading
1989: 95.2% non-degrading; 4.8% degrading
1999: 97.2% non-degrading; 2.8% degrading
2009: 92.0% non-degrading; 8.0% degrading

1959: 93.9% non-degrading; 6.1% degradingNon-white artists

1969: 93.9% non-degrading; 6.1% degrading
1979: 85.7% non-degrading; 14.3% degrading
1989: 86.5% non-degrading; 13.5% degrading
1999: 84.4% non-degrading; 15.6% degrading
2009: 54% non-degrading; 46% degrading

I put it graphical form (by % of songs with degrading sexual content):

As you can see, there has been an explosion in degrading sexual content in the non-white music scene. What is the cause of this? The rise in degrading music coincides with big labels taking over the industry – is this being driven by them giving audiences what they think they want, as some say? Or has ghetto culture overcome social norms that previously held it in check, and become acceptable?

The final word to the authors: “The current study identified distinct differences in sexual references made by White and non-White artists in this sample. Whereas White artists made significantly more references to kissing, hugging, and embracing, non-White artists made significantly more references to preparation to give/receive sexual activity, sexual response, penile-vaginal sex and oral sex.”


“Songs as a Medium for Embedded Reproductive Messages” (2011)

The authors studied the songs from the top billboard charts of Country, Pop and R&B. They analyzed the songs for “reproductive messages” (ie. involving all aspects of mating – including commitment, mating, mate guarding, privisioning, etc).

Country had an average of 5.96 reproductive messages per song, Pop had an average of 8.69 per song, and R&B had 16.77.

“The four most frequent reproductive categories contained in the lyrics of Country songs were commitment, parenting, rejection, and fidelity assurance, in that order. For Pop songs the most frequent reproductive categories were sex appeal, reputation, short-term strategies, and fidelity assurance. For R&B songs, sex appeal, resources, sex act, and status constituted the most frequent themes. Whereas 46 out of the 58 parenting themes came from Country songs, only four appeared in R&B songs. In contrast, references to resources were featured 106 times in R&B songs, but appeared only six times in Country songs.”

I think we can assume rap would be like R&B, only more so.


“Gangsta Misogyny: A content analysis of the portrayals of violence against women in rap music, 1987-1993” (2001)

This study just went through 13 bands and analyzed their lyrics, looking through 490 songs altogether that were produced between 1987 and 1993. They found 22% of the songs contained violence and misogynistic lyrics. However, the authors seemed to be counting only more extreme examples of those things, and not other degrading content.


“Misogyny in Rap Music: A Content Analysis of Prevalence and Meanings” (2009)

They analyzed all rap albums from 1992 – 2000 that reached platinum status. They mention that this time period is a transition time in which it was moving towards a more commercialized and an industry driven by big label interests.

They found misogyny present in 22% of the songs. Since that time things have gotten even worse, as discussed above. They also mention: “Although women are presented as subordinate to men in a majority of rock and country songs as noted earlier, rap stands out for the intensity and graphic nature of its lyrical objectification, exploitation, and victimization of women… Rare are lyrics that describe women as independent, educated, professional, caring, and trustworthy. Although the majority of songs in the original sample did not contain misogynistic lyrics, even these songs failed to present women in a favorable light.”

This paper makes the argument mentioned above that the rise increase of misogynistic lyrics in rap music is related to big labels pushing it in that direction. However, their own research suggests a deep seated misogyny in the black community:

“Violence is one means of eliciting respect from others or punishing those who it (Kubrin and Weitzer 2003), but men are also admired for economically and sexually exploiting women. Four decades ago, Liebow’s (1967, 140-144) ethnographic study of a low-income, Black neighborhood described how important it was for men to be seen as ‘‘exploiters of women,’’ even if they did not always treat women in this way. Recent research indicates that exploitation and degradation of young women is still a feature of some inner-city communities today and continues to shape gender relations (Miller and White 2003). Anderson’s (1999) study of an African American community identified several dimensions of a distinctive neighborhood culture, what he calls the ‘‘code of the street.’’ For many young men in such neighborhoods, the street code places a high value on sexual conquest, promiscuity, and the manipulation of women

“Because of the implications sex has for their local social status and esteem, the young men are ready to be regaled with graphic tales of one another’s sexual exploits. . . . Status goes to the winner, and sex is prized as a testament not of love but of control over another human being. The goal of the sexual conquests is to make a fool of the young woman. . . . [The male] incurs sanctions [from his peers] for allowing a girl to ‘‘rule’’ him gains positive reinforcement for keeping her in line. . . . In many cases the more the young man seems to exploit the young woman, the higher is his regard within the peer group. (Anderson 1999, 150, 153, 154)”

Once again, it isn’t clear to me that the form that rap has taken now isn’t a more accurate reflection of the black male attitude than the music some perceive as being a more grassroots golden age of rap music.


Given that the social pathologies in the black community are long standing, it is strange that there has been such a drastic rise in violent and degrading sexual imagery over the last couple decades. The huge black crime rate has not similarly grown uncontrollably, it has simply been continuously high. It is possible the ‘big label’ theory has something to it. It could also be that traditional mores that kept the worst aspects of ghetto culture from being promoted in the media have withered away, exposing what was always there (and, as we have seen, they were indeed already there). The global data (below), also suggests that the ‘big label’ cannot be the whole story.


Global trends

It’s not just in North America that this issue exists, but in other parts of the black world as well.

In both the Caribbean and South Africa there has been a parallel emergence of these trends as well, represented in the styles known as Kwaito (South Africa), and Dancehall (Caribbean). From Negotiating a Common Transnational Space: Mapping Performance in Jamaican Dancehall and South African Kwaito (2009):

Kwaito, like Dancehall, has distinct styles of dancing, performance,
fashion, and language (mostly township slang and indigenous languages). Unlike the protest music of Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, among others, Kwaito like the 1980s emergence of Dancehall music is thought to be apolitical, with often misogynist content focussed on girls, cars and partying, and sexually explicit dance moves.

On the concept of ‘slackness’ found in Dancehall, which gained popularity in the 80’s (from ‘Dis Slackness Ting’: A Dichotomizing Master Narrative in Jamaican Dancehall 2005):

Slackness often refers to the display of women’s sexuality whether through lyrics, dance moves and so on… And it is the sexuality of women, much moreso than that of men, which is both celebrated and devalued in the culture of the dancehall…
Lyrics began to reflect… a roundabout turn away “from the social concerns of the seventies” which fuelled the “”new” dancehall era with songs replete with sexual braggadocio, misogyny and violence… This view is recorded by Salewicz & Boot (2001, p. 172) who explain Dancehall as a distinct musical genre characterised by “the marriage of digital beats and slackness: that moment and music in which lyrics about guns, women’s body parts and men’s sexual prowess come together,” in songs…

Sonjah Stanley-Niaah says:

What we call ‘slackness’ was always a part of the music… It’s just that when dancehall became popular around the 1980s, those themes – slackness in particular – became more popular too, as dancehall moved from a more private space of consumption to a more public space.

Also of significance is the origin of the styles of ‘dancing’ known as grinding/daggering. These highly sexualized forms of dancing seem to have originated in the Caribbean. It seems likely the attitude implicit in these forms of dancing is very similar to that discussed here in connection to music. Now, there is no evidence that ‘grinding’ or ‘daggering’ were going on in in traditional Africa, however in Dancehall: from slave ship to ghetto we hear:

Ajayi explains that for the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Benin and Ghana, perceiving “the body that dances with spiritual and pious fervour in worshipping God” and that same body dancing “with sensual pleasure and delight on social and courtship occasions” evokes no contradiction.

Reggaeton is another Caribbean/Latin style of music that is highly sexualized and often misogynistic. While it is primarily a latino phenomenon, it was heavily influenced by Jamaican dancehall, as well as hip hop.

As mentioned before, these global trends suggest that the ‘big label’ theory, usually based on the American situation, cannot be a satisfactory explanation. These have been organically growing, grassroots music trends that emerged in several areas of the worldwide black community.


African origins

I discussed some issues related to African sexual behaviour in relation to the AIDs crisis, and also whether the data supports claims about black sexual promiscuity.

There is obviously overlap with this issue, in that if there is any connection between sub-saharan culture and black music, it would presumably be tied to the putatively more exploitative / degrading / transactional orientation towards sexual relations. (I recall a newly arrived refugee, who had been a pastor in the Congo and Uganda, remarking to me on how much more men in [the white, North American city in which I live] evidently love their wives).

Unfortunately, not enough research exists on the level of misogyny in music in other parts of the world. There are clear trends of highly sexualized and misogynistic music and dancing styles in diaspora black communities, as well as South Africa, but elsewhere there is little data. I need to do further research on inter-sex relations in traditional African societies.



Rap has become especially popular among young white males, especially because of the perceived masculinity of rap music and blacks in general. As David Starkey, the British historian, said in reaction to the London riots: “The whites have become black.” This is an especially alarming trend in light of data of the nature discussed above.

Finally, here is ‘Get Low’ by Lil Jon. It reached the top ten of the Hot 100. Consider what that means.