Satoshi Kanazawa’s blog post on the Psychology Today website has caused quite a furor. The post was taken down from the Psychology Today website without discussion. The editorial staff so far has not responded directly but several bloggers have posted about the fracas, including a post by Daniel Hawes entitled What is Wrong with Asking Why Black Women Are Less Attractive?
Before I read Dr. Kanazawa’s post, I did a quick Google search of Kanazawa.
1) Low IQs are Africa’s curse, says lecturer: Researcher accused of promoting racist stereotype wins backing from LSE
2) Can Our Fantasy Life Affect Our Perceptions of Real Life?
3) ‘Black women are less attractive than others’: Controversial LSE psychologist sparks backlash with his ‘scientific’ findings
A handy chart on this post puts the famed London School of Economics into perspective.
Hmmm. It seems that there is history here.
It’s all too familiar. His defenders resort to ad hominem attacks against those who challenge Kanazawa. Kanazawa’s PT blog, “A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature” by its title alone positions itself as a teller of well researched, proven, yet unpopular truths. Knowing how hard truth is to come by, you would think everyone involved would be slightly more skeptical.
It’s important to call these kind of things out. Many of the newspapers, magazines and blogs that critiqued Kanazawa’s shoddy science in response to this post, earlier raised no questions about his past. Or commended him as a well respected member of the evolutionary psychology community.
However pouring passion and intensity into these kind of paper tigers is unwise. Dr. Kanazawa most assuredly will not change. Psychology Today will most likely roll on. Put your actions into something that can change the game, not the players. Into say, funding or conducting compelling research that puts these ideas to rest or concerted actions for social change.
Translation: you can’t rely on today’s journalism or bloggers to put folks into context for you. So when you read something controversial, at a minimum, before you wade into an intense exchange, consider the source.
And I’ll use Dr. Lyubansky, another PT blogger, to answer Daniel Hawes’ question (What is Wrong with Asking Why Black Women Are Less Attractive?)
Kanazawa’s entire premise — that there is such a thing as a single objective standard of attractiveness — is fatally (and tragically) flawed.
See? You could have stopped right there.