January 12, 2005

Jodie Foster's Eugenics Obsession


What's truly interesting about Jodie Foster is not whether or not she's a lesbian, but the feminist movie star's obvious obsession with eugenics. As I wrote in "Feminist Celebrity Eugenics" in 2000:

Feminist heroine / single mother / glamour queen Jodie Foster apparently undertook a more methodical search for the perfect sperm donor. According to numerous reports in the British press in 1998, she had proudly announced that after a long hunt, she had had herself impregnated with the gametes of a tall, dark, handsome scientist with an IQ of 160.

While Miss Foster will neither confirm nor deny these articles, this does not at all seem out of character. In her movies and personal life, Miss Foster has often appeared to be loyally trying to reproduce her unusual upbringing. According to her ne'er-do-well brother Buddy's tell-all book Foster Child, Alicia Foster's nickname of "Jodie" is a tribute to "Aunt" Jo, who was their mother's pistol-packing live-in lesbian lover [Josephine Dominguez, or "Jo D"].

Jodie was a child prodigy who thrived in this environment, reading at 18 months, becoming the Coppertone Kid at three, and later on graduating summa cum laude from Yale. Thus, her first directorial effort was "Little Man Tate," in which she played a single mother raising a seven-year-old genius. Similarly, her production company received multiple Emmy nominations for "Baby Dance," a Showtime cable movie with Stockard Channing playing a wealthy, high-powered woman who wants a baby but can't get pregnant in the traditional manner. Not surprisingly, Jodie named her firm Egg Pictures.

And Jodie is widely celebrated for her leftist activism. The last story she would want circulating is one that makes her sound like Nazi film directrix Leni Riefenstahl brainstorming with Himmler and Goebbels over the specs for the Master Race's next generation. Especially because Jodie actually is going to produce and star in an upcoming bio-pic currently called "The Leni Riefenstahl Project."

Whoever the father of Jodie Foster's baby really is, the general truth is that, despite the strident egalitarianism of so many feminists, the process of getting artificially inseminated inevitably turns women who can't bear to be impregnated by a man into practicing eugenicists. They have to ask themselves which sperm donor is genetically superior. Leafing through fertility clinics' catalogs, they are forced to agonize over such politically incorrect questions as, "Does Donor #543's curly blonde hair and 6'-3" height mean he gives better seed than Donor #361, who is only 5'-7" but has an SAT score of 1450?" ...

Now, eugenics has a terrible reputation. Much of its notoriety is well deserved, since its most visible manifestations in the 20th Century were governments murdering or sterilizing people they didn't like. Voluntary eugenics, however, is too universal and too fundamental to human life for us to continue to observe the taboo against discussing it in print...

One benefit of thinking frankly about eugenics is that we can grasp its practical limitations. Consider the alleged 160 IQ of little Charles Foster's daddy. That's an extraordinary number: Only 1 out of about 30,000 Americans scores so high. Does this guarantee that, if the rumor is true, the Foster family will be blessed with another prodigy? Definitely not. According to psychologist Chris Brand ... the expected boost in the kid's IQ from using a sperm donor with an IQ of 160 instead of a one with the average IQ of 100 is only 12 points. And your mileage may vary … and almost certainly will vary dramatically. (Another book showing how to do these calculations is Daniel Seligman's delightful introduction to the science of IQ, A Question of Intelligence.)

Now, twelve IQ points (80% of a standard deviation) is nothing to sneer at. It's the difference between the 50th percentile and the 79th percentile on the Bell Curve. Still, I fear Jodie would find herself a tad disappointed.

Why is the expected payoff of even such painstaking eugenic efforts as this so small and so uncertain? Regression toward the Mean. We each carry two sets of genes. You might have gotten lucky and gotten dominant genes that granted you a huge amount of some desirable trait. But your recessive genes are also a random selection from the average of your ancestors' genes, weighted by their closeness to you on the family tree. At the moment of your child's conception, you and your mates' four sets of genes are completely reshuffled. Thus, the children of the highly intelligent tend to have kids who aren't as bright as they are. That's why royal dynasties are founded by usurpers with exceptional talents, but quickly recede to nothing-specialness. In merciful contrast, the exceptionally dim tend to have children who are a little smarter than they are.

So, who will little Charles Foster take after the most? His Nietzschean Superwoman mom? His handpicked dad? Or, just maybe, his Uncle Buddy?

Steve Sailer's homepage and blog is iSteve.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, Jodie Foster's son Charles Foster has the same name of the SWAT team member Charles Foster, a person shot the gunman dead while the another man injured the gunman seven years later and his name is believe it or not, Jodie Fore!