Both sides of the debate below seem to be assuming that it is upbringing that is responsible for the difference in children’s intellectual achievement — when all the research shows that genetics is the major influence — with upbringing of negligible importance. Smart people tend to get rich and pass on their smart genes to their children — and that is all there is to it. The finding is in fact just another confirmation of Charles Murray’s well-known scholarly work that showed a strong link between social class and IQ. To be very blunt about it, the poor tend to be dumb and the rich tend to be smart. There are of course exceptions but that is the general tendency that is being detected below
A CHILDâ€™S reading age and ability to count develop a month earlier for every extra Â£100 a month in family income, according to a government-funded study to be unveiled this week. Gaps in the development of children from different socio-economic backgrounds appear by the age of three and widen until 14. The findings, written by a panel chaired by Professor John Hills, are based on the Millennium Cohort Project which tracks 19,000 youngsters.
It will fuel divisions between Labour and the Tories over the link between a childâ€™s prospects and household income.
Harriet Harman, Labourâ€™s deputy leader, said last night: â€œ[The report] provides an incontrovertible basis for us to move beyond inaccurate assertions made by the opposition … David Cameron says that the differences in child outcomes between a child born in poverty and a child born in wealth are statistically insignificant when both have been raised by confident and able parents. â€œBut what he fails to say is that you canâ€™t separate out good parenting skills from family income. The two are so strongly correlated. So this is an utterly misleading portrayal of the evidence.â€
The report says inequalities are exacerbated by differences in the motherâ€™s education, the fatherâ€™s job and deprivation in the area where they live. Details of how far up the salary scale the effect occurs are expected in the report.
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