Racially motivated stress as an explanation for infant mortality rates?

OK, you have differences in "poor nutrition, inadequate prenatal care, teen pregnancy, heredity, high blood pressure, stress, obesity, low birth weights and prematurity," but some academics have a different theory:

"The pregnancy scares the life out of me because I am pregnant with a baby boy, and I know how black boys are treated in this society," one study participant told researchers from Spelman College and Emory University in Atlanta. . . .

Here is my question: how has the gap between black and white infant mortality rates changed over time? The 1950s and 1960s should have had really high relative infant mortality rages, but they weren't. Well, I looked up some numbers:

The infant mortality rate for Black Americans in 1999 was 2.5 times the rate of White Americans. In 1950 the mortality rate of black infants was only 1.5 times the rate of white infants. . . .

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Blogger Pete said...

Not a mention of drug use.

9/30/2007 12:53 PM  
Blogger Darnell said...

Black infant mortality rates being higher with Blacks is most likely because of pregnant mothers not seeking prenatal care. And their not seeking it is purely an issue of education and culture, because they're not aware of its value. Education and culture are at the root of most issues regarding Blacks. Fatherless homes seem to breed more of the bad culture, a culture that does not value education enough.

Drugs were not mentioned because most Blacks don't use drugs.

My wife has our 3rd Black male child in her womb growing as I type this. Being a Black male myself, I never fear when my wife is pregnant. I'm VERY happy I've got nothing but boys :) .

9/30/2007 11:14 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Darnell:

Thanks for taking the time to post a note. I appreciate it. What you write sounds very reasonable and correct to me.

(There is one possible point of disagreement: I have four boys and one girl, and I am happy so far with all of them.)


10/01/2007 12:19 AM  
Blogger Darnell said...

Daughters are great for the fathers who can accept guys coming to their house for more than watching a football game :) . I can't handle the thought of what is involved in raising a daughter. I'd go insane :) .

10/01/2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

I think that Darnell has a handle on the issue.

Perhaps if fatherless white babies were compared with fatherless black babies, the mortality rates would track more closely.

10/02/2007 11:33 PM  

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