Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Biological and Cognitive Correlates of Murder and Attempted Murder in the Italian Regions

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Biological and Cognitive Correlates of Murder and Attempted Murder in the Italian Regions

Article excerpt

The present study extends the findings of Lynn (2010), who reported higher mean IQ in northern than southern Italy and of Templer (2012), who found biological correlates of IQ in the Italian regions. The present study found that murder and attempted murder rates were associated with Mediterranean/Mideastern characteristics (lower IQ, black hair, black eyes) and that lower murder rates were associated with central/northern European characteristics (higher cephalic index, blond hair, blue eyes, and higher multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia rates). The eye and hair color findings are consistent with the human and animal literature finding of darker coloration associated with greater aggression.

Key Words: Italy; Eye color; Hair color; Murder; IQ.


The purpose of the present study was to relate murder and attempted murder rates in the regions of Italy to IQ and to coloration and other biological variables. Our research is based on six lines of research: (1) darker coloration in animals is associated with greater aggression; (2) darker skin color in humans is associated with greater violence; (3) blue vs. brown eye color in children is associated with shyness vs. socially uninhibited behavior; (4) the research of Lynn (2010), who found higher IQ in northern than southern Italy and attributed the difference to genetics; (5) the study of Templer (2012), who found northern Italian regions to have more central/northern European biological characteristics and higher IQ and southern regions to have more Mediterranean/Middle Eastern biological characteristics and lower IQ; and (6) the well-established relationship of lower IQ with more violence, e.g., Herrnstein and Murray (1994).

1. As reviewed by Ducrest et al (2008) and by Rushton and Templer (2012), darker animals within a species are more aggressive and more sexually active than lighter colored animals. Ducrest et al (2008) reported that this phenomenon was found with three species of mammals (African lion, soay sheep, and white-tailed deer), 36 species of birds, four species of fish, and four species of reptiles. Rushton and Templer reviewed subsequent literature that includes white patches in Russian foxes bred for tameness (Trut, 2003) and white colors in ordinarily aggressive black rats that have been bred for tameness (Trut et al, 1997). Animals that became lighter in color with domestication include dogs, cats, sheep, donkeys, horses, pigs, goats, mice, and cattle. The melanocortin system mediates coloration, aggression, and sexuality.

2. Rushton and Templer (2009) found that violent crime was more common in countries with darker skin color, lower IQ, shorter life expectancy, and higher rates of HIV/AIDS. Violence was more highly correlated with the biological variable of skin color than with the social variable of per capita income. Templer and Rushton (2011) reported that across the 50 U.S. states skin color (% Black) was correlated with violent crime, with the highest correlation with murder rate (r = .84). The correlation of composite violent crime with skin color was .55 in contrast to its correlation with per capita income of only -.17.

3. White children with blue eyes are shy and socially wary and inhibited compared to white children with brown eyes who are more socially uninhibited. This was found with children from kindergarten to third grade (Rosenberg & Kagan, 1987, 1989), in children from 42 to 66 months (Coplan et al, 1998), in 14-month-old children (Reznick et al, 1989), in 24-month-old children (Rosenberg & Kagan, 1987), in pre-school-aged children (Rosenberg & Kagan, 1989), and in kindergarten- through-second-grade children (Rubin & Both, 1989).

4. Lynn (2010) reported that regions in northern Italy had higher IQs than regions in southern Italy. Lynn's study was based on literature indicating that southern Italy is less prosperous and less technologically advanced than northern Italy and that the preponderance of great scientists was in the north. …

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