Research and Reports

September 06, 1989 2 min read

Both heredity and environment determine intelligence, according to a new French study of adopted children that is being heralded as having finally put to rest much of social science’s “nature or nurture” debate.

The study, conducted at the University of Paris by Christiane Capron and Michel Duyme and published in the August issue of the journal Nature, compared 38 children who had been adopted across socioeconomic lines.

The researchers found that, regardless of the status of adoptive parents, adopted children born to high-status parents had intelligence quotients averaging nearly 12 points higher than those of children born to low-status parents.

At the same time, children reared by high-status families had iqs averaging more than 15 points higher than those of children who had been reared by low-status parents, regardless of the status of their birth parents.

The study did not make clear whether the biological influence on iq is due solely to heredity or to other such factors as prenatal care.

Black neighborhoods in 10 metropolitan areas have been defined as “hypersegregated” in a new study by researchers who analyzed 1980 census data using five measures of segregation.

Exhibiting high levels of segregation on all five measures were Baltimore; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Gary, Ind.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Newark; Philadelphia; and St. Louis.

Such levels indicate that blacks are not as free as others to move to neighborhoods or suburbs served by high quality public schools, said Douglas Massey, a co-author of the report and a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. Mr. Massey is also director of the university’s Population Research Center. His co-author, Nancy Denton, is a senior research associate at the center.

Mr. Massey also said the findings have a further implication for education in light of recent studies that have found that black culture and language in highly segregated neighborhoods are diverging further from the American mainstream. “If a facility in standard American English is a basic requirement for getting a good job,” he said, “blacks are increasingly at a disadvantage.”

Copies of the study are available for $4 each from William H. Harms, University of Chicago News Office, 5801 South Ellis Ave., Room 200, Chicago, Ill. 60637.

Although a majority of states require school-based aids education, few have given schools additional money for the task, a new survey has found.

The study, conducted by the National Association of State Boards of Education, in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that, while 28 states and the District of Columbia require aids education, only seven states have appropriated funds for the instruction. Another seven states and the District of Columbia have channeled money from their general health-education program to aids education.

The survey also found that 16 states and the District of Columbia require that aids education begin in elementary school, seven mandate instruction in middle school, and Florida students receive instruction during high school. Four states did not specify when aids education begins.

While the majority of state policies address abstinence and general prevention, only three discuss condom use, and only two address homosexuality. Only Minnesota requires districts to develop programs aimed at high-risk youth.

Copies of the “nasbe hiv/aids Education Survey” are available for $7 each from nasbe, 1012 Cameron St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 1989 edition of Education Week as Research and Reports