A lot of you have probably already seen this, but I feel compelled as an Angry Black Woman to add my own commentary. The story is this:
Yesterday (a Sunday), Psychology Today blog The Scientific Fundamentalist posted a piece that was originally titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” but is now magically re-titled “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women, But Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?” I know the change happened because I saw the original a few hours ago. Google doesn’t have a cache of the page, but when I searched I saw the original title, as so:
Anyway, things go downhill after the title:
Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, 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.
From these three scores, I can compute the latent “physical attractiveness factor” by a statistical procedure called factor analysis. Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement. The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.
So, the first thing that popped into my mind was: what the hell is Add Health? Second: who are these mysterious ”interviewers”? Of what race are they? (Seems like that kind of thing would matter…) Also, how do you objectively measure attactiveness?
For a post on a supposedly scientific website/magazine, this shit is lacking a lot of footnotes, endnotes, explanations, and anything resembling scientific vigor. It might have been there in whatever study this dude is talking about, but he does not show it so we’re left with just his word.
You can guess how much that’s worth.
Then he gets to this part:
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.
Well how dare they!
Finally, the conclusion:
What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women?
It’s not because we’re fat (though we are fat), and it’s not because we’re not smart (though we’re really not smart), it’s because we… (drumroll) looka likea man.
You think I’m playing:
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. …women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.
I think I might just hit this person. Except, you know, that would be too testosterony.
There’s a lot wrong with this, obviously. I mean, the entire premise reeks of bullshit. And the conclusion also reeks of herteronormative bullshit.
But what I want to know is: what in Hera’s name is wrong with Psychology Today that they think it was okay to allow this on their site? This isn’t even the first crazypants from this guys. Oh yes, Mr. Satoshi Kanazawa has quite an impressive list of clips. To wit:
Why we are losing this war – All you need is hate. (A good response to 9/11? Nuclear bombs and racial hatred. You think I am making this up, click and see how I am not.)
I can’t even.
So, obviously Psychology Today is completely down with this guy since he’s had a blog there for years. Fine. I mean, I’ll consign them to the trasheap of history as a completely irrelevant den of stupidity instead of, say, writing an angry letter. They’ve probably had plenty of angry letters. The editor-in-chief either really buys what this guy is selling or he’s doing it for the pageviews. Either way, I want no part of it.
What I will do is this: I’m dedicating the Angry Black Woman to pictures of black women all week long. The best response to this yahoo is to show just how beautiful we sisters are. If he and “Add Health” disagree, what the fuck do we care? We’re looking at pictures of beautiful ladies!
Would you like to contribute? Place a link to an image in a comment on any picture post. I shall find it. Or, if you’re on Tumblr, you can submit a picture directly by going here.
Please include some basic information about the picture you submit. Who’s in it, who took it (if you know), where it was taken, when it was taken, and anything else you’d like folks to know.
But seriously, if I ever see this man on the street I’ll show him what too much testosterone leads to.