A reader kindly pointed me in the direction of an incident in Psychology Today where Satoshi Kanazawa wrote a post asking, “Why Are African American Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The post has been taken down, in part because it is staggeringly racist. But it’s not just racist. It represents some of the sloppiest research imaginable. That seems to be a theme of Kanazawa’s work (I’m not sure how common his racism is, but reviewing his work and responses to it online over the last hour, I am sure that his work is terribly done. Good thing he has tenure at LSE). Anyway, if you were wondering Kanazawa’s answer is about as intelligent as his question,
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.
Wow. I won’t bother to comment on this, as lots of bloggers have taken it on. But I thought I’d guide you in their direction (see below). I will note that such racism and pseudo-science is nothing new for Kanazawa. This is a man who wrote,
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 [he’s referring here to Hillary Clinton]
Here are some bloggers who have taken on Kanazawa’s racism on attractiveness: