Drowning disparities – Part II

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I made a recent post on male-female drowning disparities in maritime accidents. As the subject generated a whooping 51 comments, let’s follow up that blogging success with a new study on the black-white Drowning Gap:

The findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, not only confirm past research showing that a large number of young drowning victims are African American, but also identify where these deaths are happening.

Overall, three-quarters of the victims were male, and black males were at greatest risk. Their rate of drowning was anywhere from 5 to 12 times higher than that of white males, depending on the age group. Hispanic males were also at greater risk than whites, but the difference was much smaller.

“5 to 12 times higher?” Hmm…

PS.
Fun fact of the day: The built-in Blogger spell checking software does not recognize the word “blogging”. Heh.

21 Comments

  1. From the article “It’s not clear why young African Americans…are more likely to drown…Researchers have speculated that the higher drowning risk among African Americans has to do with income; lower-income families are less likely to be able to afford swimming lessons. However, Saluja’s team found that the racial discrepancy persisted even when they factored in income. More research, they say, is needed to understand the underlying reasons. 
     
    Good lord above, could this seriously be a mystery? How dangerous a world is it in academia that the obvious explanation couldn’t even be hinted at?

  2. I see that Steve Sailer discusses this, and I think makes the obvious point rather sensitively.

  3.  
    However, Saluja’s team found that the racial discrepancy persisted even when they factored in income. More research, they say, is needed to understand the underlying reasons. 
     
     
    Oh dear. Clearly, it is persistent and pernicious prejudice causing the difference.

  4. Anecdotal, but when I did competitive swimming and later gave swim lessons, I almost never encountered African Americans. I think the stats for USA swimming says that less than 1% of the organizations swimmers are minorities. Even high income minorities don’t gravitate towards swimming…it just doesn’t seem to be a “cool” sport in those groups.

  5. I looked through the actual article briefly but could not find any data for swimming rate by race/ethnicity. It would be interesting to see if some of the disparities could be explained by this factor. Also, I would think Hispanics in this country would naturally be better swimmers (not competitive though) than blacks and whites. Hispanics tend to have more body fat and those of us who are mestizo usually inherit the long torsos that good swimmers have.  
     
    This study is of personal interest to me; I’m Hispanic and I can swim like a fish.

  6. Does this imply that the recently discussed ”Aquatic-Ape” and ”Out-of-Africa” hypotheses compliment one another to form the Out-of-Africa-and-to-then-become-Aquatic Apes” hypothesis?

  7. Any “racially aware” person knows that as a general rule of thumb, blacks don’t swim. In almost every newspaper article I’ve read concerning a non-infant and/or non vehicle related drowning, the victim was black. 
     
    Another not well known behavior is Europeans are much more sylvan loving. Go hiking along the trails in Yosemite and you’ll see very few non-white individuals. Don’t even mention the back country. The ratios are definately disproportionately white. I once had a chinese lady acquaintance who, commenting on my overgrown landscaping, bragged that her parents paved over their yard to eliminate that problem. 
     
    -B

  8. The body-fat ratio is obviously pertinent. I took swimming lessons as an adult. The instructor taught mostly children and she was fantastic. She was rotund, but not flabby, Swedish background, and had taught herself to swim by jumping in the pool at the age of two. She could stay at the bottom of the pool for almost four minutes holding her breath. During my lessons, I noticed that Asians (the far eastern kind) made of the majority of kid swimmers. Their parents sat in the bleachers and watched carefully.

  9. Another not well known behavior is Europeans are much more sylvan loving.  
     
    why of course! that’s why those eastern european communists were such stewards of the environment! 
     
    rule of not-dumb-thumb: being pro-environment usually means having a few generations of affluence under your belt.

  10. I think folks are dismissing the socio-economic factor being the sole reason too quickly. Of course it would be silly to argue that there isn’t a significance difference in bone density and body fat % between blacks and non-blacks. But those factors begin to kick in when we start talking about having very good swimming skills or performing at the elite level. But that’s not what the article is about. Higher bone density and low-body fat % would be huge obstacles to someone becoming a very good/fast swimmer but one can hardly argue that it will prevent anyone from learning how to swim. It seems to me to make a lot of sense that the observed differential in drowning rate can be totally explained by non-biological factors like access to swimming facilities at a young age. All you need to do to keep yourself from drowning is to swim a very short distance in most cases.

  11. I have read that a high percentage of adult drownings are alcohol-related. Could that be a factor in the racial disparity?

  12. IQ predicts accidental death generally pretty well. Go to Linda Gottfredson’s webpage for some literature on this.

  13. I skimmed through the long thread and didn’t see any mention of the physiological fact which was probably what the feminist whipping girl was talking about (whether or not it was relevant to the Titanic case). 
     
    Women not only have more body fat, but they have a different fat metabolism which helps them in endurance events ultramarathons and Channel Swimming. Besides insulation, fat gives more buoyancy, and in Channel Swimming the male — female gap (France ot England) is apparently 8.05 — 8.48 (hours) 
     
    Channel swimmers 
     
    Records

  14. I think that it is probable that minorities are not so often found in the wild in part because they fear attack, or an embarrassing fear response by whites. The former would be very unlikely today, of course. It would be a hangover from reconstruction and the decades after. 
     
    The Japanese are, of course, world famous for their horticulture and gardens.

  15. BWB wrote: Another not well known behavior is Europeans are much more sylvan loving. 
     
    “A Canadian settler hates a tree, regards it as his natural enemy, as something to be destroyed, eradicated, annihilated by all and any means.”

  16. Jeff wrote: “Higher bone density and low-body fat % would be huge obstacles to someone becoming a very good/fast swimmer but one can hardly argue that it will prevent anyone from learning how to swim.”
    I’d argue the opposite. Olympic level swimmers end up with higher bone density and lower body fat after years of training, but the children who decide to take up swimming (for entertainment or competition) tend to be the ones who don’t sink to the bottom of the pool and suffer the horror of waiting to be rescued (and obviously not those mentioned in the study who are not rescued.)

  17. My girl friend’s Golden Retriever loves to go swimming whereas my cat hates to. I’m pretty sure this is a genetic difference not socio-economic.  
     
    Since blacks are ancestral to whites it suggests that whites have been bred for aquaphilia (oops I thought I had made up this term but I looked it up and found out that its a sexual fetish). Make that bred for water-loving (oops thats might be worse). You know what I mean.

  18. Since blacks are ancestral to whites it suggests that whites have been bred for aquaphilia 
     
    Why would the ancestral European environment promote love of swimming?

  19. How could contemporary blacks be ancestral to contemporary whites?

  20.  
     
    How could contemporary blacks be ancestral to contemporary whites?
     
     
    they aren’t. there is circumstantial evidence that the dominant phenotype of sub-saharan africans, in particular the western africans here in the USA, is less than 10,000 years old.

  21. I was just wondering if Pat was attempting to place the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis in the Holocene. (It may be a tight fit.)

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