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Racist “Psychology Today” article puts down black women, gets attention

Date: May 25, 2011 | Posted By: Stacey

A totally meaningless graphic used in Satoshi Kanazawa's "Psychology Today" article titled, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?"

A totally meaningless graphic used in Satoshi Kanazawa's "Psychology Today" article titled, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?"

You say tomato, I say tomahto. You say psychology, I say blatant racism. Whatever.

 

Last week, Psychology Today published a piece by Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa titled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

A completely unscientific answer to a stupid question no one has ever asked? Whatever stirs up controversy, right?

Shamefully attention-seeking title aside, the article itself argues that according to a set of data, black women (but not men) are “objectively” less attractive than their white, Asian, or Native American counterparts.

According to Kanazawa, this is because of increased testosterone and black women’s “more masculine features.”

The world is a scary place if this kind of crap can be considered “science,” no?

If this was another cheap attempt by Psychology Today to get people talking (the magazine’s motto has got to be “all press is good press,” right?), it worked.

Readers (rightfully) responded with outrage, and the article’s title was later changed to “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” before being removed completely from the site.

Perhaps the craziest part of all this nonsense is that the so-called objective data set Kanazawa references in his article is anything but.

A totally unscientific diagram depicting so-called "objective" data in Satoshi Kanazawa's "Psychology Today" article titled, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?"

A totally unscientific diagram depicting so-called "objective" data in Satoshi Kanazawa's "Psychology Today" article titled, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?"

Akiba Solomon of Colorlines reveals that the data is based on researchers’ ratings of a multiracial group of participants in a longitudinal study.

 

Akiba asserts, “I’m confused about how these data are objective. Did some bias-free robots from the utopian ether descend upon each testing site to perform this portion of the evaluation? Or were the interviewers human beings, subject to the same racism, sexism, ablelism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, fat phobia and whateverthehellelsephobia that undergirds beauty standards?”

Akiba sums it all up nicely by calling Kanazawa “a bigot with a Ph.D.” Check out her post for more awesomeness.

And thanks again to About-Face reader and resident Psychology Today watchdog, Patricia Greenwell, for pointing out yet another bad move on the magazine’s part.

–Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.

’m confused about how these data are objective. Did some bias-free robots from the utopian ether descend upon each testing site to perform this portion of the evaluation? Or were the interviewers human beings, subject to the same racism, sexism, ablelism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, fat phobia and whateverthehellelsephobia that undergirds beauty standards?



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