Curtis S. Dunkel

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Curtis S. Dunkel
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Curtis Scott Dunkel, is an American independent researcher and HBD pseudoscientist who writes controversial papers for Emil Kirkegaard's OpenPsych pseudojournal.[1][2] Dunkel was a tenured professor of psychology at Western Illinois University prior to 2024.[3][4]

Dunkel with Kirkegaard and Michael A. Woodley of Menie were speakers at the London Conference on Intelligence (LCI) in 2016.[1] Dunkel's co-authored paper with Dimitri van der Linden for the LCI was "Sex Differences in Brain Size Do Translate into Difference in General Intelligence". It suggests women are less intelligent than men by an equivalent of 4 IQ points on average.[1][5] He has also written a paper for Mankind Quarterly.[6]

In 2019, Dunkel authored a paper in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences with far-right figures Michael Woodley of Menie, Jonatan Pallesen and Emil Kirkegaard.[7] The paper cites the work of Kevin MacDonald, a retired psychologist known for pushing antisemitism.[1] A 2020 paper "How White nationalists mobilize genetics" noted how Dunkel's paper is unreliable:

A recent article “Polygenic scores mediate the Jewish phenotypic advantage in educational attainment and cognitive ability compared with Catholics and Lutherans” in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences (Dunkel, Woodley of Menie, Pallesen,, & Kirkegaard, 2019). Its first author, Curtis Dunkel is a psychologist at Western Illinois University, the other three fit the amateur designation: Michael Woodley of Menie is listed as an affiliate with the far right Unz Foundation, and Jonatan Pallesen and Kirkegaard list no affiliation. The article draws on polygenic scores for IQ from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study comparing Jews to Catholics and Protestants. They claim that Jews’ higher polygenic scores cause them to have an IQ advantage. This was rebutted by a group of sociogenomics researchers who showed that given the polygenic score of the Jewish group, their IQ should actually be four standard deviations above non-Jews not slightly above average as it is. This means the polygenic score is actually a function of population stratification and the direct comparison that Dunkel et al. made is fallacious: “The obvious danger of naïve efforts to use polygenic scores is that the influence of various sorts of social differences will be misidentified as genetic influences” (Freese, Domingue, Trejo, Sicinski, & Herd, 2019).[8]

Dunkel was listed online as a psychologist at Western Illinois University but they clarified in 2024, "Curtis Dunkel is no longer an employee at WIU." and "I cannot comment on the reason for his departure." indicating that it was not a mutually amicable departure.[9] He has written dozens of papers with Dimitri van der Linden.[10]

In 2024, for the far-right Aporia Magazine he wrote an article, "Does IQ alone explain Jewish success?".[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Activist who led ouster of Harvard president linked to ‘scientific racism’ journal: Christopher Rufo recommends a newsletter to his readers that has published several supporters of discredited genetics theory by Jason Wilson (31 Jan 2024 07.00 EST) The Guardian.
  2. Curtis S Dunkel.
  3. Department of Psychology Western Illinois University (archived from January 29, 2023).
  4. Department of Psychology Western Illinois University (archived from October 2, 2023).
  5. London Conference on Intelligence 2016.
  6. Testing the Replicability of High Jewish Scores on the General Factor of Personality.
  7. Dunkel CS, Woodley of Menie MA, Pallesen J, & Kirkegaard EOW (2019). Polygenic scores mediate the Jewish phenotypic advantage in educational attainment and cognitive ability compared with Catholics and Lutherans. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 13(4), 366–375. 10.1037/ebs0000158
  8. Panofsky, Aaron; Dasgupta, Kushan; Iturriaga, Nicole (2020-09-28). "How White nationalists mobilize genetics: From genetic ancestry and human biodiversity to counterscience and metapolitics" (in en). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 175 (2): 387–398. doiWikipedia:10.1002/ajpa.24150. ISSN 0002-9483. PMC 9909835. PMID 32986847. 
  9. Scientist cited in push to oust Harvard’s Claudine Gay has links to eugenicists: Christopher Rufo, credited with helping oust school’s first Black president, touted critic associated with ‘scientific racists’ by Jason Wilson (14 Jan 2024 07.00 EST) The Guardian.
  10. Curtis Dunkel.
  11. Does IQ alone explain Jewish success?. Aporia Magazine.