Japanese professor in England in trouble for finding that black women are unattractive

Now this is what I’d call insensitive. Seriously.

The Guardian reports:

Student groups at the London School of Economics are calling for the dismissal of a social scientist who has become embroiled in a racism row after claiming that a study showed black women to be less attractive than women of other races.

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the institution, published his comments on a blog and claimed he had analysed data from an online study of physical attractiveness.

In his article for Psychology Today, Kanazawa wrote: “Black women are far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.” The piece drew a barrage of complaints from readers and has since been removed from the site.

The row has prompted the University of London Union Senate, the union’s legislative body, which represents more than 120,000 students, to vote unanimously for the dismissal of Kanazawa, and to condemn his research.

Sherelle Davids, anti-racism officer-elect of the LSE students’ union, said: “Kanazawa deliberately manipulates findings that justify racist ideology. As a black woman I feel his conclusions are a direct attack on black women everywhere who are not included in social ideas of beauty.”

Amena Amer, incoming LSE students’ union education officer, added: “We support free speech and academic freedom, but Kanazawa’s research fuels hate against ethnic and religious minorities promoted by neo-Nazi groups. Not only does he use the LSE’s credentials to legitimise his “research” but this jeopardises the academic credibility of the LSE.”

The LSE launched an internal investigation into Kanazawa’s comments after senior academics at the school, including the new director, Judith Rees, received letters of complaint over the remarks. Dr Kanazawa is abroad on sabbatical this year.

The incident is the latest embarrassment for the LSE, following the resignation of previous director Sir Howard Davies, in March after admitting that the institution’s reputation had been damaged by the acceptance of a 1.5m pound donation from a foundation controlled by Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam.

The investigation will look at the data Kanazawa analysed and the quality of his work, before deciding what punitive action, if any, it can take.

In a statement, the LSE sought to distance itself from the researcher’s comments, but acknowledged freedom of academic expression.

“The views expressed by this academic are his own and do not in any way represent those of the LSE as an institution. The important principle of academic freedom means that authors have the right to publish their views ? but it also means the freedom to disagree. We are conducting internal investigations into this matter,” the statement said.

Kanazawa has been criticised in the past for substandard research in the area of race and intelligence. [Hey, they called The Bell Curve “pseudoscience.”]

James P. writes:

Kanazawa’s opponents (i.e., pretty much everyone at LSE) are arguing that what attracts men to women—beauty—is “socially constructed.” In the words of Sherelle Davids, the no-doubt black “anti-racism officer-elect” (Political Commissar) at the London School of Economics, he is attacking women “who are not included in social ideas of beauty.” Common sense and everyday experience, as well as some studies like Kanazawa’s, suggests this is fatuous. Beauty is not socially constructed any more than sex or intelligence are. If what attracts men to women is physiologically determined, then what Kanazawa said is true, and all the PC screaming is not going to change this truth. Nevertheless, Kanazawa may be forced to fall on his sword, in effect becoming to black beauty what James Watson was to black brains—the speaker of an unacceptable hatefact, and the object of a hysterical leftist attack on reality.

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Mark Jaws writes:

Wow. What is that Japanese professor smoking? I find black women far more attractive than Native American Women. In fact, the only two attractive Native American women whom I know of are Disney’s Pocahontas and Donna Reed playing Sacawagea in the movie “Far Horizons.” While I have always preferred white women, I know of many, many gorgeous black women.

Michael D. writes:

None of the hysterical commentaries I’ve read on the evil Satoshi Kanazawa have bothered to include the full title of his blog entry at Psychology Today, preferring instead to create the misimpression Professor Nasty singled out black women for insult. However, the title of his piece actually was:

“Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women, But Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?”

The above link leads to a PDF scan of Kanazawa’s PT article, hosted on the African-American History Examiner blog. Not having discerned any outrage at all from the less fair sex, I can only assume we non-black men silently accept our need, on average, to substitute humor and wealth for looks if we are to remain romantically competitive.

In answer to Mark Jaws’s question, the Japanese professor is smoking data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (a.k.a. Add Health, which is the term used in the professor’s article). The professor’s preferences might match his conclusions, he doesn’t say; but his conclusions do match the preferences of others, much to my own chagrin.

LA writes:

Here are two e-mails I’ve written to two readers, explaining why I didn’t want to post their comments on this subject:

To the first reader:

I don’t want to get into a discussion at the site about comparing the beauty of races or saying that one race lacks beauty. With all the deficits blacks have, and that we talk about all the time at VFR, we don’t need to get into that, which really sounds like just putting people down.

To the second reader:

I feel uncomfortable with this subject. I don’t like the idea of people discussing in public the idea that a certain group is less attractive.

We wouldn’t do that about an individual. I don’t think we should do it about a group either.

Blacks already have so many deficits, and VFR discusses them a lot. But to go after them, or after black women, for their looks, it doesn’t feel right. And it’s worse when it’s done on a supposed scientific basis.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 20, 2011 11:51 AM | Send

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