British psychologist reignites the debate about race ideology in science

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa

A British based psychologist has caused outrage after posting comments on a study which suggests that black women are less attractive than whites, Asians or Native Americans, and has reignited the debate about race ideology in science.

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, claims that his analysis indicates that black women are less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women.

He based his findings on a study of physical attractiveness on the Ad Health website which asked people to score the attractiveness of individuals, where he said that black women scored lower than other races.

Dr Kanazawa’s comments were posted on the website of the journal Psychology Today, but after a storm of protests by readers who referred to the comments as racism his post was removed.

Based on the Ad Health study graph he said, “black women are…far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.” (The Scientific Fundamentalist: Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? Why black women, but not black men? Dr Satoshi Kanazawa: May 15, 2011)

While the study indicated that black men were seen as attractive, Dr Kanazawa explained this apparent contradiction by saying that Africans in general had a higher level of testosterone than other races, and while this is a beneficial trait in black men, making them more desirable and masculine in features, for black women it produced the opposite effect. He even suggested that since Africans had lived longer than any other race they had more mutations in their genes which results in a decreased attraction, until he realised that this suggestion contradicted the findings that black men were seen as attractive. He then settled for the testosterone conclusion.

Fighting race ideology in science head on

While Dr Kanazawa’s blog has been removed, readers are demanding an apology and retraction from the magazine and the scientist, but this will perhaps create more interest for the type of race ideology Dr Kanazawa is perpetuating. This ideology of inferior races based on skin colour has been with us since Europeans took the first African slaves across the Atlantic. The root of this ideology is based on racism and it should be fought head on with rational debate.

Dr Kanazawa is Japanese, promoting an ideology that women of his own race have been victims of. Beauty has been defined by the Western world, there is little debate about that. Black supermodel Naomi Campbell has long spoke out against racism in the fashion and beauty industry. (Read Naomi Campbell speaks out against racism in the fashion industry)

The devastation that race ideology has had on women of other races is profound. Alphonso Van Marsh, in a report for CNN Health in November 2007, said “Skin bleaching — using chemical or natural products to lighten skin color — is common practice in the Americas, Africa, across Asia, and increasingly, in Europe.” (CNN.com/health: UK’s skin bleaching trade exposed: Alphonso Van Marsh: November 26, 2007)

Bella Online’s Chinese Culture Editor, Michelle Lee mentions how both Chinese and Japanese women have an obsession with white skin, turning to skin bleaching creams to pursue their ideal. (Bella Online: Asian Women’s Obsession for White Skin: Michelle Lee:)

The effects that race ideology has had on how people view beauty is evident from the examples given above. Dr Kanazawa’s analysis of the Ad Health study failed to take these crucial factors into account.

Readers would will take note that the ancient view of Africans was quite opposite to the modern European view that prevails today. In his book Before Colour Prejudice, Professor Frank Snowden, of Classics at Howard University said that the father of Greek history Herodotus, referred to Ethiopians as “the most handsome of all men.” (p.77) Asclepiades refers to “melting like wax” before a beautiful black woman. Theocritus refers to his “honey-brown”, black beauty to a violet and hyacinths, Ovid’s Sappho tells his black love Phaon that her skin reminds him of Andromeda, who captured the heart of Perseus with her beauty and Ethiopian skin.

There is a distorted view of African people which stems in part from modern Europeans and the slave trade. This view continues to shape how other races see Africans and how Africans see themselves.

It is the same view that has led to Dr Kanazawa’s statement and continues to mislead people that racism is respectable under the guise of science.

For further research:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8521854/London-School-of-Economics-psychologist-Black-women-are-less-attractive-than-whites-and-asians.html

http://www.myglobalhustle.com/wp/2011/05/16/why-are-black-women-less-physically-attractive-than-other-women-why-black-women-but-not-black-men/

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art33164.asp

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/11/26/vanmarsh.skinbleaching/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Snowden, F.1991  Before Colour Prejudice: Published by Harvard University Press, London.


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2 Responses to British psychologist reignites the debate about race ideology in science

  1. Bee says:

    I am a dark skinned black woman embraced with African features…afro kinky twists in my hair, broad button nose, full luscious lips, pearly white teeth, silky mocha chocolate skin and a full figure that kisses the curves sunshine…born and raised in the City of London roots stemming from Africa.

    (To some this may not be your taste and I appreciate). However, I describe myself this way because my beauty lies within me and I believe EVERBODY should embrace themselves more in this way irrespective of race/background. Because maybe then through loving ourselves more we can appreciate and accept the differences within other races and embrace each other.

    We seem to focus on the aesthetics of ideolised beauty which, without knowing has been programmed within you subconsciously by the power of media claiming to mirror society. When we really need to concentrate on coming together as HUMANITY (please bear in mind we are easily weakened when we divide)

    As for Kanazawa’s opinions I draw no hurt from reading his comments as a black woman and merely dispose them as opinions with no real depth and educational substance. What does concern me is his professionalism towards his students of colour.

    Let’s all start thinking outside the box! 🙂

  2. Mark Watson says:

    Readers should note that this is not the first time that Dr Kanazawa has courted controversy when it comes to race.

    In 2006 he argued that Asian cultural traditions and character inhibit Asian creativity in science. Read http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/ep04129137.pdf Dr Kanazawa seem to be suggesting that Western culture and traditions produces the best results for scentific progress, a belief which reveals more about his mindset than it does about Asian scientific progress.

    Kanazawa courted controversy again in March 2008, when he posted comments on Psychology Today saying that hate is a human tendency and racism was natural to human beings. Read http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200803/why-we-are-losing-war

    He suggested that the reason why ‘we’, the West was losing the War on Terror was because they did not have enough hate for their enemies.

    In one disturbing paragraph he wrote:

    “We have always hated our enemies purely and intensely. They were “Japs,” they were “Krauts,” they were “Gooks.” And we didn’t think twice about dropping bombs on them, to kill them and their wives and children. (As many commentators have pointed out, the distinction between combatants and civilians does not make sense in World War III, and the Geneva Convention — an agreement among nations — is no longer applicable, because our enemies are not nation states.) Hatred of enemies has always been a proximate emotional motive for war throughout human evolutionary history. Until now”

    If it was not for the fact that Kanazawa is Japanese, no one would be faulted to have believed the above paragraph was written by a white racist extremist. Note he uses the term ‘we’. He associates himself with white imperialism.

    Kanazawa left his most disturbing comment for last, saying:

    “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.”

    This a Japanese professor indirecly condoning the genocide of an entire people, a Japanese professor who seems to have ignored the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War 11 by America, at the cost of millions of lives and birth defects and health problems for the population of those bombed cities to this very day.

    In November 2006, Kanazawa caused more outrage when he said that Africans were poor and in ill health because they had lower intelligence than people in richer countries. Read http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/nov/05/highereducation.research

    Kanazawa’s views would in no doubt fit in at a white extremist convention, and this is perhaps the most revealing aspect of his mindset.

    On a final note, readers should take into consideration that science and scientists can still degrade Africans and other people of colour in the name of academic freedom and objectivity.

    What Kanazawa advocated in his views on the war on terror is Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ for Muslims.

    That he is allowed to say this within the realms of science demonstrates how racism and Eugenics continues to shape science and scientists.

    As I constantly always ask in my articles, imagine Kanazawa saying this about European Jews and it would be an entirely different outcome. Would Psychology Today publish his views if it was about Jews? We can take an educated guess, absolutely not.

    Kanazawa reminds us not only how devastatingly effective European race ideology has been on modern science, but also how twisted the mindset of non Europeans such as Kanazawa has become as a result of this ideology.

    Many of us have now adopted the views of the far right, calling for immigrants to leave ‘our country’ and using language to new immigrant arrivals that is associated with bigots.

    The mindset of Kanazawa, and the racism of Modern Western science must be challenged as it does not represent progress but clearly white supremacy.

    In affect, Kanazawa is a white supremacist.

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