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Satoshi Kanazawa and evolutionary psychology: black women less attractive than other women

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!

 

On happiness

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.

Or this:

 

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:

 

On prostitution

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?

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According to PZ Myers, Kanazawa had already published outrageous claims regarding race before:

Africa is filled with people too dumb to live, according to the LSE

(London School of Economics)

 

What brings it up is that a reader sent me a link to a Guardian article on the subject of this paper, and I find it hard to believe that it actually makes such strong causal claims…even though the abstract does plainly state that the author is arguing for a causal relationship between intelligence and poverty, and it's not in the direction I would think reasonable.

The London School of Economics is embroiled in a row over academic freedom after one of its lecturers published a paper alleging that African states were poor and suffered chronic ill-health because their populations were less intelligent than people in richer countries.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, is now accused of reviving the politics of eugenics by publishing the research which concludes that low IQ levels, rather than poverty and disease, are the reason why life expectancy is low and infant mortality high. His paper, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, compares IQ scores with indicators of ill health in 126 countries and claims that nations at the top of the ill health league also have the lowest intelligence ratings.


That train never seems to be late, does it?

Oh my!

 

 It's true! Science, especially evolutionary science, has a really bad name amongst many blacks/African-Americans. I mean, from the image of the monkey being used as a racist epithet to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to eugenices, many blacks just have a mistrust for science (when it's actually all just bad science:-().

 

You're so right by saying that the remedy for this is to show what science actually is, compared to this psuedoscience bullshit!

It's understandable. If it serves as any comfort, a lot of regulation to protect human subjects of medical research happened because of Tuskegee and all of us biomedical researches have to sit through classes in which Tuskeege is very prominent as an example of the worst kind of unethical behavior. 

 

Check this out. This guy Kanazawa is too stupid for words. this is how he ends the blog post that was pulled out of the web site:

 

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.  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


This is the most boring, cliched drivel I've seen in a while.

how do idiots like that even get 5 minutes on any site that they themselves do not own?

Well, that's why i think Psychology Today is not a serious magazine...

still, the kid down the street, who is only ten, would know that is not even close to true, and she is only ten years old....she'd know better. 

 

i guess evvvvvvvvvery profession has a few scragglers

 that makes all the others wearing same label cringe and wanna slap at them...

Evolutionary psychology has a bad reputation amongst many scientists, because it's really not evolutionary biology at all, it's mostly made up explanations; the popular press loves this shit, though. People like Kanazawa exploit this.

Stacey from the blog Skepchick really nails it. read it for comic relief. Clowns likethis guy, trying to pass for a scientist, need to be exposed.

 

KANAZAWA

Black Women are Objectively Less Attractive

Satoshi Kanazawa has once again used his magical powers of shitty interpretation to bastardize an otherwise decent study, and while he’s at it, the good name of science. He’s the author of such gems as “Why Liberals are More Intelligent than Conservatives” and even a book about “Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters“.*** 

With every blog post, he takes the already sketchy field of evolutionary psychology to a new low. His latest installment, titled “Why Black Women are Rated Less Attractive” is no exception. In fact, this one is so bad, Psychology Today pulled the article (good for them). But don’t worry, a copy can be found here. Poor Satoshi; PT may have to start requiring approval before he blogs, because once he posts something on the internet, it’s there to FOREVER embarrass Psychology Today.

 

In a nutshell, Kanazawa says that women as a whole are rated more attractive than men, but that African American women are consistently rated less attractive than women of other races. He demonstrates this with enough charts to choke a horse (not in the copy of the article, but some of them were posted here). His charts were compiled from Likert scale ratings taken from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health for short). Here he explains in his own words: 

…the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.

 When he first said that the attractiveness of the respondant was rated objectively, I assumed he meant they would be measuring feature symmetry or something. As it turns out, he could have compiled his data from hotornot.com – with a lot more than three ratings per participant.

I think I’ve figured out the formula of the self proclaimed “Scientific Fundamentalist”: 

Sensational statement that will piss people off + Contrived post hoc rationalization = Amazing insight of Satoshi Kanazawa!

And don’t forget the graphs. Graphs are created from numbers, and numbers don’t lie!

In fact, I did an impromptu study just today to gauge the sexiness of Satoshi Kanazawa. I used three random participants from my household: a man, a woman, and a parrot. I’ll just let the data speak for themselves:

 

 

 So then it’s settled: 


***PZ evidently owns the book, but couldn’t finish it. His comments are priceless:

“[The book] sent multiple wtf signals bouncing around in my brain — the premise of the title is the product of statistical shenanigans, and I don’t think the authors would recognize a mechanism if it advanced menacingly on them and threatened them with physical dismantlement.”

hilarious graph!!  PUt my vote down that he is "not sexy ever", bringing it up to  cuz stupidity is such a turn off.

 

 

From Alternet (link). emphasis is mine. The sentence I highlighted in bold says it all.

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

Yesterday 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 apparent insane nutjob/total wanker Satoshi Kanazawa, its premise was based on some scientifically unsound assumption that seemed to come from Kanazawa's 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 Root that 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.

//"....although it's questionable what the editors were thinking when they decided to run it in the first place."//

 

mmmmHmmm

 

//"At any rate, here's their contact info."//

 

YES!!!!!   (rubs palms...)

I doubt if this guy will write another blog for Psychology Today

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