groups, such as Latinos versus Whites, when almost half of Latinos in the United States marry non-Hispanics. intelligence quotient (IQ) The ratio of a person's men- tal age (as computed by an IQ test) to his or her chrono- logical age, multiplied by 100.
Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity racism A doctrine that one race is superior. Why are schoolyard massacres national news but school drive-by killings go largely unnoticed? • ASK Yourself Years later, the mere mention of "the bell curve" signals to many the belief in a racial hierarchy with Whites toward the top and Blacks near the bottom. The research present then and repeated today points to the difficulty in definitions: What is intelli- gence, and what constitutes a racial group, given generations, if not centuries, of in- termarriage? How can we speak of definitive inherited racial differences if there has been intermarriage between people of every color? Furthermore, as people on both sides of the debate have noted, regardless of the findings, we would still want to strive to maximize the talents of each individual. All research shows that the differences within a group are much greater than any alleged differences between group avenges. All these issues and controversial research have led to the basic question of what dif- ference it would make if there were significant differences. No researcher believes that race can be used to predict one's intelligence. Also, there is a general agreement that certain intervention strategies can improve scholastic achievement and even intelli- gence as defined by standard tests. Should we mount efforts to upgrade the abilities of those alleged to be below average? These debates tend to contribute to a sense of hopelessness among some policy makers who think that biology is destiny, rather than causing them to rethink the issue or expand positive intervention efforts. Why does such IQ research reemerge if the data are subject to different interpreta- tions? The argument that "we" are superior to "them" is very appealing to the domi- nant group. It justifies receiving opportunities that are denied to others. For example, the authors of The Bell Curve argue that intelligence significantly determines the pover- ty problem in the United States. We can anticipate that the debate over IQ and the al- legations of significant group differences will continue. Policy makers need to acknowledge the difficulty in treating race as a biologically significant characteristic. srtnid •t, fr i c tirttetiou of ttrea- If race does not distinguish humans from one another biologically, why does it seem to be so important? It is important because of the social meaning people have attached to it. The 1950 (UNESCO) Statement on Race maintains that "for all practical social purposes 'race' is not so much a biological phenomenon as a social myth" (Montagu 1972, 118).
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