U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 02-06-2015, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,522 posts, read 12,313,950 times
Reputation: 3827

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
The first link references the Mother Jones article eschaton linked. Seriously? Mother Jones is not a research journal, and correlation does not equal causation.
Obviously you are correct, but its probably unethical to do the definitive study to prove causation in humans. Nonetheless, the correlation is remarkably robust, and holds up across different states and even different countries worldwide. We also have very good data about the effect of lead exposure on human behavior, so the theory is very plausible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-06-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,117 posts, read 102,899,540 times
Reputation: 33170
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Obviously you are correct, but its probably unethical to do the definitive study to prove causation in humans. Nonetheless, the correlation is remarkably robust, and holds up across different states and even different countries worldwide. We also have very good data about the effect of lead exposure on human behavior, so the theory is very plausible.
I think it's the measles vaccine. Oh, wait, that's supposed to cause autism! Is there a link between the increase in autism and the decrease in crime? Or maybe there's a link between the increase in obesity and the decrease in crime. Or this correlation, or that correlation. Sounds "logical" to me!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 08:57 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,180,376 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
I think it's the measles vaccine. Oh, wait, that's supposed to cause autism! Is there a link between the increase in autism and the decrease in crime? Or maybe there's a link between the increase in obesity and the decrease in crime. Or this correlation, or that correlation. Sounds "logical" to me!
High lead exposure levels are known rather well to affect intelligence and behavior, I don't think that's disputed. So it's a lot more plausible, then a measles vaccine or obesity. So not a good analogy. Whether it's enough to explain crime rates, I don't know. While it's not proven (and the Mother Jones article says causation can't be proven) I can't understand why it should dismissed as silly.

The "lead in gasoline theory" does fit one observation: larger, denser cities tend to have the highest lead levels (more car exhaust per area). The bigger, denser cities on average saw larger crime increases around the time of increased lead levels and steeper crime decreases around the time of decreased lead levels. It could be a coincidence, but it does make the lead level more plausible. And of course even if the lead theory is true, there were other factors so it's hard to separate, though multiple regression helps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,117 posts, read 102,899,540 times
Reputation: 33170
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
High lead exposure levels are known rather well to affect intelligence and behavior, I don't think that's disputed. So it's a lot more plausible, then a measles vaccine or obesity. So not a good analogy. Whether it's enough to explain crime rates, I don't know. While it's not proven (and the Mother Jones article says causation can't be proven) I can't understand why it should dismissed as silly.

The "lead in gasoline theory" does fit one observation: larger, denser cities tend to have the highest lead levels (more car exhaust per area). The bigger, denser cities on average saw larger crime increases around the time of increased lead levels and steeper crime decreases around the time of decreased lead levels. It could be a coincidence, but it does make the lead level more plausible. And of course even if the lead theory is true, there were other factors so it's hard to separate, though multiple regression helps.
Oh, I'm sure it's true. Just ask Jenny McCarthy! Sorry, not buying this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:07 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,180,376 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Oh, I'm sure it's true. Just ask Jenny McCarthy! Sorry, not buying this.
Perhaps you could give an explanation of why it's so absurd instead of making fun? That's really the opposite of convincing.

The vaccine - autism connection couldn't even prove a correlation nor is there any plausible mechanism similar to lead and behavior. The lead-crime theory does also can explain another pattern in crime rate change (correlation with size and density of cities), a predictive power that hints a theory may work. The vaccine - autism theory did no such thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,522 posts, read 12,313,950 times
Reputation: 3827
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Oh, I'm sure it's true. Just ask Jenny McCarthy! Sorry, not buying this.
You don't believe that lead exposure results in neurological damage, especially in children, or you don't believe that lead exposure results in criminological behavior?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,117 posts, read 102,899,540 times
Reputation: 33170
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
You don't believe that lead exposure results in neurological damage, especially in children, or you don't believe that lead exposure results in criminological behavior?
I'm skeptical that lead from auto exhaust, which began to be phased out decades ago, results in criminal behavior. For one thing, most people spend most of their time INDOORS!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,494 posts, read 12,006,720 times
Reputation: 10581
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Going back to the topic of this thread - one of the biggest failures of urbanists is failure to recognize the importance of schools to families. FallsAngel and others have been telling you this for years. (Seems to be an area of convenient blindness for urbanists)
Did you ignore my post near the start of the thread.

To recap, most city schools are "bad" because they have poor students in them. Within the U.S. context, the way one "fixes" a school is by almost totally displacing the poor kids and replacing it with yuppie spawn. I won't say there is no other way to raise test scores, but I will say it's quite telling that there are hundreds of urban school districts across the country, all of which have experimented with various methods to improve their under-performance, and not a single one has managed to meet top suburban schools. Indeed, the only city schools which match the performance are the "districts within a district" in the favored quarter of cities, along with merit-based magnets which keep the under-performing poor kids out.

What I draw from this, as a parent, is there is no appreciable difference in teaching quality between suburban and urban schools - there is a difference in student quality. Thus I have no issue sending my children to an urban public school with poor children, as long as I don't think the environment is too disruptive to learning or unsafe.

Of course, most parents won't make this conclusion. I don't expect them to. Although enough parents are making these conclusions that neighborhood schools at the K-5 level in places like Chicago, Portland, and Seattle are "gentrifying" just as their neighborhoods did.

As to what parents can do to hurry this along, I would say not much overall. If a district decided to change its feeder zones to concentrate the poor kids away from the gentrifying neighborhoods, it could run afoul with the Justice Department via a Civil Rights Act lawsuit. No Child Left Behind requires that students from "failing schools" be allowed to transfer to good schools within its district, so feeder zones are nominal anyway. Things are changing, but the change is going to be slow for quite some time yet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,494 posts, read 12,006,720 times
Reputation: 10581
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
I'm skeptical that lead from auto exhaust, which began to be phased out decades ago, results in criminal behavior. For one thing, most people spend most of their time INDOORS!
The decades of lag is part of the hypotheses. Children are exposed to exhaust, and then once they hit their teens/20s, they turn towards serious criminal behavior.

Also, as the article notes, the lead from exhaust stays in the soil essentially forever without remediation, getting kicked up every summer. Thus if you play outside in an urban area (even today) you will get some lead exposure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2015, 09:20 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,180,376 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
I'm skeptical that lead from auto exhaust, which began to be phased out decades ago, results in criminal behavior. For one thing, most people spend most of their time INDOORS!
You missed some parts of the article, then. Lead is absorbed in childhood, someone who was a young adult in the late 80s was exposed to leaded gasoline as a young child. The crime decline occurred after the late 80s, coinciding with when young adult lead levels dropped.

As for leaded gasoline affecting lead levels in people, the chart from the Mother Jones (which was taken from the CDC) shows it did. Average in 1976 for children under 6 was around 18 micrograms / deciliter. Average in children in 1991, 4. The decline had to have been steeper in large cities were lead levels in air were higher.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top