This guy Kanazawa is one of the reasons why evolutionary psychology has a really bad reputation as pseudoscience. He wrote a blog titled: Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? for the Psychology Today (which I mostly consider as really bad pop science magazine, anyway), which Psychology Today pulled off their web site. Apparently this kind of drivel was too much even for Psychology Today, even though Kanazawa is well known for his misogynist posts. PZ Myers, who has very little tolerance for this kind of nonsense, rips Kanazawa and his bullshit pseudoscience in his blog I guess even Psychology Today has limits. Read the entire PZ post, it's satisfying to read how an actual scientist explains Kanzawa's batshit crazy pseudoexplanations. Somebody actually saved Kanazawa's article as pdf. read it if you want to vomit, or if you need an illustration of what people like Kanazawa consider "objective" data. The explanations Kanazawa comes up with are even crazier than the actual "objectivity" of black women being less attractive than women of other races.
Check this out:
There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.
This is so ignorant from a genetic point of view I wouldn't know where to start: Africans have not accumulated mutations at a higher rate than any other human ethnic group. He confuses variation with mutation, he probably read that Africans being the ancestral population, are more diverse and have more genetic variation than other ethnic groups, mainly because other ethnic groups descend from a subset of people who left Africa and therefore carried only a portion of the total amount of genetic variation with them. What an ignorant individual. Why do people talk about genetics with authority if they don't even know the basics?
Also, from PZ Myers's blog, note how data are objective when people judge other people's attractiveness (objective? how is beauty objective and not a social construct?):
Because, as we all know, beauty is easily measured in a linear scale with no possibility of subjective bias (I say sarcastically). I'm quite pleased that no one in my family is a participant in Add Health, because I'd have to kick them out of my house when they came around. Same with Galton. Fortunately, his leering pseudo-statistical brain is now dust and slime.
Kanazawa is the kind of guy who looks at such shaky subjective evaluations, and without even considering the biases of these self-appointed judges, declares that
It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.
Wait a moment there…where in this study is the objective evaluation of attractiveness? Because Kanazawa can stack up a bunch of scores and make graphs does not mean that they have suddenly acquired the property of objectivity.
I had read in the past some other drivel by Kanazawa, but Jezebel posted a really neat collection in case anybody had any doubts that Kanazawa is a misogynist: The Illustrious Career Of A Crap Psychologist.
Take a look at this!
Back in 2008, positive psychology was big. Not to be left behind, Kanazawa took to his Psychology Today blog to explain how all people could be happy. Here's how:
Money, promotions, the corner office, social status, and political power are what make men happy (as long as they win, of course, but then dropping out is by definition a defeat). Spending time with their children is what makes women happy.
This has larger policy implications:
What can evolutionary psychology tell us about what we as a society can do so as not to repeat the Swedish mistake [Swedes are not as happy as Danes] and make our citizens happy? The best thing to do is to kill all the feminists and hippies and liberals.
On President Coulter
During the 2008 primary, Kanazawa proposed his own candidate:
Here's a little thought experiment. Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost.
Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who's running.
Or even this:
Some of Kanazawa's latest columns have concerned the discussion of prostitution in Superfreakonomics. Kanazawa first opined,
If monkeys and nonhuman apes routinely engage in prostitution, as the research by de Waal, Chen and Santos, and others seems to indicate, and if the evolutionary origin of prostitution thus dates back long before we were human, then it means that prostitution is evolutionarily familiar. If prostitution is evolutionarily familiar, then men's brain should be able to recognize prostitutes and to treat them differently from "ordinary" women, whom they do have to impress if they want to have sex with them. In other words, there should be an evolved "hooker module" in the brain.
But then a prostitute named Maggie set him straight, by explaining that "the average client of a $300/hour hooker (which was exactly what I charged) wants a good, quality 'girlfriend experience' (GFE), which will be much more likely if he treats his 'date' like a lady." This led Kanazawa to conclude:
Prostitution is evolutionarily familiar, because mating is evolutionarily familiar and prostitutes (at least the classy ones) are no different from other women, whom men also have to pay –- not in cash payments but in dinners and movies, gifts, flowers, chocolates, and motor oil –- if they wanted to impress them enough to have sex with them.
Unbelievable, isn't it? What was Psychology Today thinking when they hired this guy as a blogger?