The article by Kirkegaard and Dutton (2022) explores how intelligence, religiosity, conservatism, and fertility are related in the USA. One of the main findings is that Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have higher fertility rates than other religious groups, and that their fertility is positively correlated with their intelligence. This means that more intelligent Latter-day Saints tend to have more children than less intelligent ones.
The authors suggest that this pattern may be explained by some of the core beliefs and practices of Latter-day Saints, such as234:
- Their belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world and their faith in his grace and atonement.
- Their belief that families can be sealed together forever through God’s power and that having children is part of God’s plan for them.
- Their belief that God still speaks to humankind through prophets and revelation and that they should follow his commandments and guidance.
- Their practice of studying God’s word in the Bible and other scriptures, such as the Book of Mormon.
- Their practice of serving others through missionary work, humanitarian aid, temple work, etc.
The authors argue that these beliefs and practices may foster a positive attitude towards life, a sense of purpose, a strong moral code, a high level of education, and a willingness to sacrifice for future generations1. These factors may enhance both intelligence and fertility among Latter-day Saints.
The article also discusses some possible implications of this trend for the future of American society. The authors speculate that if intelligence is partly heritable and if Latter-day Saints continue to have high fertility rates compared to other groups, then they may become more influential in politics, culture, science, etc. over time. They also suggest that this may have an impact on the balance between liberalism and conservatism in America.
The article is an interesting read for anyone who is curious about how religion affects intelligence and fertility. It may be especially relevant for Latter-day Saints who want to learn more about their own group’s characteristics and prospects.