Psychology Today Publishes Racist Article Asking 'Why Black Women Aren't Pretty'

Yeseterday the internet was in an uproar over a racist article posted on Psychology Today entitled, 'Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women.' Written by Satoshi Kanazawa, its premise was based on some scientifically unsound assumption that seemed to come from a 1940s eugenics fantasy, mainly this premise:

Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Uh yeah no. That direct quote from the article comes not from Psychology Today, which has since taken the piece down, but from a response article in the Prospect, brilliantly titled, 'Why is Satoshi Kanazawa a Huge Asshole?' His premise was also based on a study in which 'interviewers rated the physical attractiveness of its respondents on a five-point scale, with 1 being very unattractive and 5 being very attractive. On “average” women were found more physically attractive than men, but Black women were far less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women, according to the study. The study found that Black men were not less attractive in comparison to other races,' according to BET.

So basically, rather than asking whether the respondents in that study were providing their answers based on internalized racism, or delving into the subjectivity of attractiveness based on each individual human (both far more interesting topics) this dude just decided that 'black women aren't pretty.' So not only is he wrong, he is a bad scientist... and probably stupid.

Psychology Today told The Rootthat it deliberately removed Kanazawa's ramblings, and that traffic stemming from the article had crashed the site yesterday. Hopefully they won't publish him again, although it's questionable what the editors were thinking when they decided to run it in the first place. At any rate, here's their contact info.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at May 17, 2011, 4:58am

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