Saturday, October 27, 2012

Diversity Is Bad for Your Health

We have it on no less authority than the United States Supreme Court that diversity is an intrinsic and transcendent good.

It doesn’t matter that minority children placed in academic environments where they are destined to do poorly are damaged by the process.

What matters is how it all looks. That is, the aesthetic is more important than the practical. If it looks like America then all is right with the world.

Thus spoke the United States Supreme Court.

To add injury to the insult we now discover, via the American Journal of Public Health, that minority group members who live in more diverse neighborhoods pay for it with poorer health.

Diversity is making them very sick.

The Daily Caller reports on the study:

Diversity may be killing older African-Americans and Hispanics, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in the America Journal of Public Health, which shows that people suffer less cancer and heart disease when they live among their racial or ethnic peers.

“Living in an ethnically dense neighborhood is beneficial when it comes to heart disease and cancer,” said Kimberly Alvarez, a co-author of the new study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Alvarez’s phrase, “ethnically dense,” describes a community in which at least 50 percent of people are from the same ethnic group.

Let’s see. The progressive groups who believe that we must engineer the most diverse communities are unwittingly contributing to elevated levels of cancer and heart disease among minority group members.

If someone wants to live in a more “ethnically dense” community, that doesn’t mean he’s a racist. He may just not want to get cancer or heart disease.

Should you ever be tempted to ask yourself why Americans spend so much money on health care, a significant contributing factor might be diversity.

Why should this be so?

It appears that people who live in “ethnically dense” communities have better health habits than do those who live in more diverse communities.

Diversity fosters anomie and social disharmony. People do not know their neighbors, do not feel like they belong to a community and do not know the rules of good conduct. They live lives filled with a constant barrage of inadvertent insults.

When people adopt good habits they are not just asserting self-interest. They are doing it for family and community. If their family is falling apart and their community feels like a hodge-podge they will be less motivated to do the right thing.

Not knowing what the rules are and what they need to do to feel like they belong to the community they are more likely either to give up, or, if they are younger to join subgroups that are defined by bad habits.


Anonymous said...

I would not be surprised if the study were no good. IF they looked at 40 diseases and used a 5% confidence interval on average they find two statistically significant ones.


Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks, Bill. As I understand it, the study was peer reviewed, so I assume that it is not that far off.

Obviously, cancer and heart disease are two major killer diseases. They are not just any diseases. And, of course, there are many different varieties of each... they are not just two diseases.

Anonymous said...

As far as peer- review goes, there was an article in one of the med journals a couple of years ago that got some internet attention. My point is not an original one; I use their idea.

The author used emergency-room data from, I think, Canada and was able to find statistically significant at 5% level between specific horoscope signs and a couple of types of injuries. The author used horoscopes as something that should not mater at all.

There are statistical corrections people should use but typically don't when testing a number of different hypotheses. Roughly, if you are testing 2 things, you use 5%/2=2.5% critical values for single hypotheses, 5%/N (approximately) when doing N individual tests.

As far as diversity being a good thing we can ask the residents of the former Yugoslavia about that.