Opened something of a hornets’ nest here, has our intrepid researcher.
Satoshi Kanazawa’s racist nonsense should not be tolerated
The psychologist’s latest article asks ‘why black women are less attractive’. What will Psychology Today and the LSE do about it?
Well, go have a look at what he actually said (using Google cache).
As I commented at The G:
A few bits.
The Add Health database, from which he takes his raw data, covers tens of thousands in each wave. His data is fine.
His use of language is indeed a bit odd. Then again, English is not his first language (in fact, when I was being taught by a different Japanese Professor at the LSE English was his fourth, which made lectures difficult).
Peer review? You’re kidding! This was a blog post!
Scientific freedom does include the right to research things you’d rather people didn’t research.
Finally, in less clunky language, what he’s saying is “In this database of tens of thousands of Americans, we have the interviewers stating, as what they see as an objective fact, that black/African descent women are less attractive than women of other racial backgrounds. Black/African men are seen as more attractive than the norm, women less so.
I wonder why?
We do know that black/Africans have more testosterone in their hormonal make up. We also know that testosterone masculinises facial features. We could hypothesise therefore that black/African men are considered more attractive than normal because they have more masculinised features. This is pretty much the definition of being more attractive. Women of the same genetic background also have that more testosterone, more masculinised features and are therefore considered less attractive.”
Fine to disagree with him but to do so you need to come up with an alternative explanation of the findings from those Add Health questions that have been asked over the years.
BTW, yes, he did control for both intelligence and BMI, so it’s not either of those reasons.
You may or may not like what he’s saying but it’s not obvious that he’s transgressed against anything other than what you consider good taste.
Note the very large difference between what The G says he said, he asks “why are black women less attractive”? and what he actually asks “this data says that black women are considered less attractive. Why?”
That second is an entirely valid scientific question. After all, the proper study of man is mankind. So if we’ve this objective fact about how people perceive the looks of those from different racial (uggh, horrible word, genetic then) backgrounds, yes, wouldn’t it be interesting to know the answer? His may or may not be the correct one but it seems a reasonable one.
Update: worth recalling that this is all US data. So “black/African” really means “of West African descent”.