Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/257

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



stipend man's scholarship standing is not due to industry and patient application rather than to superior organic vigor.

In regard to race it is interesting to note that 77 per cent, of Group I. and 75 per cent, of Group II. of honor scholarship men were Americans, while only 62 and 71.5 per cent., respectively, of Groups I. and II. of stipend scholarship men were Americans. The Hebrew race had the next largest per cent., being 15.5 and 11 per cent, in the I. and II. honor scholarship class and 11.3 and 7.75 per cent., respectively, in the stipend scholarship class. But the English and Polish Hebrews, from whom the American Hebrews have largely descended, average only 66.5 inches and 63.8 inches, respectively, in height. The other races, all averaging below the Americans, except the English and Scotch, are represented by a very small per cent, in any of the groups, but the largest number of foreigners, from 30 to 40 per cent., is in the stipend scholarship class. In a measure, this fact would help account for the inferior stature of this class of students. The differences in height and weight, due to nurture in adults of the same age, sex and race, averages as high as 312 inches in stature and 7 pounds in weight. The honor scholarship men are presumably better nurtured than the stipend scholarship men, coming as they do from wealthier families where they have been better housed, fed and clothed, and better cared for generally. The difference between the average of Group I. of honor men and Group II. of stipend men is 1.4 inches in height and 4.4 pounds in weight. This extreme difference is probably partly due to race inheritance, and partly due to nurture, but what may be termed the organic or physiological factor plays an equally important part. It will be observed that there is little variation in weight between the different groups of scholarship men, in the honor men Group I. actually weighing over a pound less than Group II., and the stipend men of Group I. only equal the weight of Group II.

It will also be noticed that there is a close correlation between the weight and the strength in the different groups. This diminutive weight upon the part of all scholarship men may be accounted for in several ways. The most reasonable explanations, however, are lack of sufficient physical exercise, and mental over-training. In order to meet the demands of the present scholarship standard it is necessary to hold oneself down to many hours of highly concentrated and long-sustained mental effort. Under these circumstances the respiration and circulation are slowed down, the digestion is more or less imperfect, and the organic activity of all parts of the body except the brain is sadly interfered with. The body for the time being is literally being starved in order that the brain may be surfeited. If this intense mental activity is followed by a moderate amount of physical exercise, in which the large masses of muscle in the trunk and limbs are vigorously used, no harm follows from hard study. In developing the mus-