Racism, Black Women and Psychology Today

DaenelTHave you ever read something that was so completely ridiculous that you weren’t sure whether to be angry or stunned by its stupidity?  Yes?  Good, because that’s how I felt when I read evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa’s blog post, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” in Psychology Today.  They’ve since removed the article, but there are cached versions out there.  I won’t link to them because I don’t want Psychology Today getting any traffic from my blog.

The post basically states that black women are less physically attractive than other women because they have more testosterone in their systems than women of other races.  *blank stare*  This increase in male hormone is due to genetic mutations that have occurred over time because people of African descent have been around longer.  Kid you not.  Let me clarify personalize this for you so you can understand just how vile, dehumanizing and racist this “scientific report” is.  Kanazawa is saying that my sisters, my daughters, my granddaughter and I are less attractive than you (assuming you are a non~black woman who is reading this post) because our bodies contain more of the male hormone  than yours.  He also states that this increase in testosterone explains why black men are more physically attractive than other men.  I can almost hear the auctioneer pointing out the potential breeding possibilities of the big black buck in the shackles….

That this post was published bothers me but not as much as the fact that it was published on the website of a respected journal like Psychology Today.  I mean, seriously, how did that editorial meeting go?

Editor #1:  ”Looky here, we got us a fine piece of scientific research on why black women are so ugly.”

Editor #2:  ”Hmmmm, looks good to me.  Let’s print it.”

Editor #1:  ”Alrighty then, how ’bout we go have ourselves a rally?”  *high fives all around*

What the heck were they thinking?  This is the type of foolishness that led to the enslavement and subjugation of blacks for hundreds of years.  This “scientific theory” is what led to the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.  Did they really think they’d be able to sneak this by the masses and no one would have a thing to say?

When I look at my sisters, my daughters, my granddaughter, my friends of color and myself, I see beautiful women in all shades of brown.  I see tenderness and strength, I see attitude and heart, I see all the things that make me proud to be a black woman.  But I also see women who have been denied the truth of their beauty for far too long by magazines, television shows and now psychologists who say they aren’t good enough.

To Satoshi Kanazawa and the editors of Psychology Today, I only have one thing to say “Black is beautiful and we wear it well.”

To read the reactions of others around the blogosphere, check below:

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  • dwija borobia

    “Have you ever read something that was so completely ridiculous that you
    weren’t sure whether to be angry or stunned by its stupidity?” YES!  I cannot believe this Daenel.  Insane. Not only is it a bunch of racist b/s, it is completely unscientific to try and define a subjective concept (attractiveness) by using obective “data” (non-existent data in this case, making it even more obnoxious).  CRAZY.

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      Exactly.  I didn’t even touch on the faulty stats or the subjective vs the objective points of his “research”.  The problem is that all it takes is for one idiot to look at this and think, Yeah, he has a point…  Sounds like a far stretch but these were some of the arguments used for slavery and mass murder.

  • http://lisabrowndesign.blogspot.com/ LisaBrownDesign

    Seems like something they’re just doing for attention… and SO not true! 

    And, for what it’s worth, I once mentioned to my sister (who has a PhD in Counseling Psychology) about an article I heard about in Psychology Today, and she just laughed. Apparently it’s like the National Enquirer of psychology magazines… read by everyday people, but a joke to actual psychologists. 

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      I like that, “National Enquirer of psychology magazines”.  The perfect description.

  • http://twitter.com/krisjacobson Kris Jacobson

    This man has also written a post on his Psychology Today blog about “What’s wrong with Muslims” :



    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      Just shaking my head…

  • http://twitter.com/krisjacobson Kris Jacobson

    Shockingly stupid and racist.  And wrong.  I cannot believe anyone would publish that.  You’re *way* more attractive than my white self, btw. 

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      It just amazes me the stupidity that passes for scholarship.  This guy’s stats, documentation, theory and conclusion are all faulty.  

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  • http://shellywildman.net Shelly W.

    Wow. Just wow. For what it’s worth, I think you’re gorgeous.

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      Thank you.  I think this was one of the most asinine pieces of “research” I’ve read in a long time.

  • Denene@MyBrownBaby

    Thanks, sis, for shouting out my blog post on MyBrownBaby. I’m so happy that we’ve all collectively raised our voices and called that “study” out for what it is: Complete and under bull *in my Bernie Mac voice*

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      Denene, I so appreciate what your daughter wrote ~ love her confidence and her sense of self.  Mad props to her.

  • Anonymous

    Well said. 

    What a racist ignoramus.

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com DaenelT

      I know, right? I can’t believe Psychology Today would give credence to such idiocy.

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