Black Women Less Attractive - Is the Outrage Due to Flawed Researched or Political Correctness?

This is based on an article posted on Yahoo this morning.

After a quick skim of his Wiki page, this does not seem to be the first time Satoshi Kanazawa has stirred some emotions. He’s all about Evolutionary Psychology which many people are against and reading some quotes he seems to be very blunt, and appears to lean towards the wacky side. However one quote he says I do agree with and makes a part of me look for evidence there is a crusade against him. He says "“political correctness is a bigger threat to American evolutionary psychology than religious fundamentalism”.

Is this blacklash a case of “HOLY CRAP, YOUR NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THAT” or is his research biased towards racism and his personal subjective opinion? My curiosity expands from the worry that political correctness may one day wipe out valid research in the case true positive-negative racial differences are found. What does the Dope feel about this issue?

Without reading the original paper, I won’t myself say that it’s flawed, but any study which claims to be objectively measuring attractiveness has at the least a very high bar that it needs to clear.

I will probably get flamed for this but as a personal preference (I am a white, heterosexual male) I find black women overall less attractive than white women BUT a really attractive black women, to me, trumps white women almost every time. There are some stunningly beautiful black women who are hard to beat.

I have guessed, being white, I tend to allow for a more shades of gray when I look at white women and decide (again for myself) whether they are beautiful physically. I have found my boundaries for what I consider to be a beautiful black woman to be more narrow. That, I suspect, would reverse itself if you asked a black man.

I also noticed on my recent trip to London that the black women I saw there tended to be faaaar more attractive than black women here. Again in my view and of course anecdotal. Seriously though, my jaw was hitting the floor. The black women there I found to be gorgeous more often than not.

I’m hard pressed to think of a woman I’d rather have sex with than Halle Berry. Of course that is an open question as there are lots of beautiful black women and lots of beautiful white women (and Asian and Indian and Persian and whatever).

At the end of the day I am a guy. Hot is hot and I am not choosy about race/nationality/religion.

As I understand it, to a large degree “attractiveness” is a sort of mathematical average of the facial appearance of people; take a bunch of sample faces, merge them into an average and you get a face most people will find more attractive. I expect that means that anyone obviously far off the average will generally be considered less attractive, and in this country black people aren’t the average.

I agree. We’ve all encountered cultural practices that we find hideous (or at least unattractive) and yet within that culture is a sign of beauty. Even within our own culture, if we look at photos of what was considered attractive 50 or 100 years ago, it’s not the same as what we consider attractive today.

As for whether or not Political Correctness or Religious Fundamentalism is a bigger thread to Evolutionary Psychology, I don’t think the latter really comes into play at the level of peer reviewed scientific journals, but I’m always suspicious of claims of PC control of science. Evolutionary Psychology is a strange field to begin with, and a lot of what goes on in that field is not really testable or falsifiable.

There’s a lot of physical variation in “negroid” facial features. Far more than in “caucasoid” features, which are pretty diverse themselves, but after all defined according to what some German guy in the 18th Century considered “the beautiful race.”

So there are black women whom I would consider (entirely subjectively) as beautiful as anyone, and black woman that I would treat with complete disinterest. Kind of like white women, really. But then, I come from blonds, so I’m not all that impressed by fair skin; just being pale doesn’t really make you pretty.

Using the Add Health Study on adolescent health and behavior as data is only one of many problems with the evo psych bunk presented by Kanazawa. Here is a fairly in depth summary of the rebuttals people have already made to this garbage:

I’m not understanding what you’ve written here. First of all, do you know that there is more physical variation among “negroid” faces than among caucasian (which just for the sake of this argument we will define as “European” even though that is not by any stretch the only accepted definition of caucasian)?

Second of all, what do you mean about the faces being “defined by some German guy in the 18th century”? The ideal, proportionate, symmetrical “averaged” face was being idealized at least as far back as Ancient Greece.

Here’s the original article.

Reads more like a blog post than a scientific article.

There are certain ethnic groups that I find completely unattractive. I can’t believe that men in those ethnic groups agree with me. I’m thinking, for example, of Papuan people. I’ve heard East Asian women talk about how disgustingly hairy European men are-- hair on your arms!! GMWaS!!

OTOH, there is nothing more attractive than an angry Armenian woman. HOT!!

Some of them like that about white men.

You have to admit, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” is a pretty inflammatory title. If I were writing the results of the study I would have come up withing something a little more appropriate. I do question how one can objectively define attractiveness. You might produce a study showing most people display a preference for skin color and other factors but that doesn’t make black women objectively less attractive than white women.

There’s a scene in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy where an African Bushman sees a white person for the first time in his life and she’s half-naked. The narrator describes the woman as the fattest he has ever seen with skin white like a grubs. Of course the woman is Sandra Prinsloo and she’s pretty attractive by our standards. I just thought that was a fantastic example of the subjective nature of beauty.

From what I can recall there are really only three “universal” standards of beauty. Clear skin, symmetry and youth.

His quote is true, religious fundamentalism does not prevent any biologists from saying what he wishes, but the PC NKVD which policies all of academia will hound out anyone who utters any blasphemy against orthodoxy.

At any rate, I and him and everyone else are entitled to believe whatever they want in believing who is attractive and who is not.

Yeah, that’s why nothing new has been discovered or taught in decades. :rolleyes:

Odesio: That’s an important part of what “beauty” is, but it can’t be all of it. Surely there has to be an element of the human form involved and a sense of proportion. If I have a perfectly symmetrical nose that looks like a grapefruit, I’m not winning any beauty contests.

It apparently was a blog post and not a scientific article. The apology on the Psychology Today website refers to it as a blog post, and as far as I can tell it was only posted online and was never in their print version. And Psychology Today is a magazine aimed at the general public, not a scholarly journal.

I think you have made an astonishingly true statment that solves ths “problem”. One you get out of the “hot” zone you become pickier, but less so with people of your own (perceived) group. A white women who is a 6 is better looking for me than an Asian of Black one who’s also a 6. Once you get 9 and beyond race (whatever that is) becomes less relevant.

I hate that argument with the passion of several fiery suns! Dismissing your critics as “too pc” allows you to sound all disinterested and objective while acting like they’re all about the groupthink. Actually, there are a lot of us social scientists who criticize evolutionary psychology because so much of it is unscientific nonsense. If a study’s not replicable and not falsifiable, it’s not science, period, and so much of ev psych is like that. It also tends to ignore cultural differences (as is blindingly obvious in this particular piece) and puts too much emphasis on genetics for humans, when it’s clear that behavioral flexibility is a hallmark of our species.

Take this guy’s study. While symmetrical features are generally considered beautiful, there’s still a lot of variation in there, and there is no culturally-universal standard of beauty beyond that. Hell, even that gets tossed out the window when confronted with real-life people. There was a magazine article once, years ago, that had plastic surgeons show what they’d change about famous beauties. I think it was Audrey Hepburn that had the crooked eyebrows. Relatedly, there’s an entire cultural history denying black women beauty- everything from the color of their skin to their facial features is supposedly “ugly”. Who did Kanazawa question in the survey? What countries were the men from, what groups? You can’t make broad generalizations about evolved human behavior if you only talk to, say, college students in western nations, which many ev psych people do. What do men in Ghana think? How about Papua New Guinea? Or the Bushmen mentioned above?

Ev psych studies are riddled with these kinds of flaws, and all they can throw back at their detractors is that we’re “too pc”. That’s a sign of a bad argument, right there.

Scientific American has a guest blog post that addresses the problem with Kanazawa’s post. I forgot all about the abuse of statistics that’s common in ev psych. This is hardly the first or last study that did things that would make my stats professor glare.

Silly me, thinking he was presenting a study of some kind, I didn’t realize he was posting statistical data and graphs to describe his own personal preferences.

The who, what, where? Don’t you mean that peer review in science is an excellent way to deconstruct scientific inquiry and ensure that the data used are reliable, repeatable, and statistically significant? None of which happens to be the case with the crap posted by Kanazawa.

I linked that in post 7 of this thread and yes, the statistical problems with the study are frightening.

Oh, shoot, I’m an idiot. Sorry about that, Implicit.