Once Again: Black Women are NOT (Rated) Less Attractive

September 2, 2013 in Blog

I’m frustrated by Satoshi Kanazawa. Again.

It was bad enough that Guardian journalist Sadhbh Walshe recently gave Kanazawa’s pseudoscience the light of day: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/smart-women-not-having-kids.

But no, she thought it would all be OK with this caveat:

“Kanazawa’s judgement has been called into question in the past, regarding a study in which he found that black women are less attractive”

Actually, no. That’s NOT what Kanazawa found, despite him SAYING that’s what he found. Jelte Wicherts and I conducted an extensive reanalysis of the very same data he said he analyzed and concluded that his claims did NOT follow from the data. More directly, we found that black women are NOT rated less attractive.




I emailed Walshe about a month ago (using the email address she provided on her “About” page) and politely requested that she change her wording to make it clear that Kanazawa *purported* to find that “black women are less attractive”.

I never received a response. Her wording hasn’t changed in the article, which has over 26,000 facebook shares.

Why am I rehashing this now? Why am I so upset over a little wording difference?

Only because this wording difference makes all the difference in the world. This journalist is propagating a dangerous lie. By writing that Kanazawa found that black women are less attractive, she is perpetuating the same stereotype he perpetuated in his article.

There is a meaningful difference between:

(a) conducting an analysis that finds that black women are less attractive, and

(b) purporting to conduct an analysis that finds that black women are less attractive, when in fact the researcher really was looking at a dataset of subjective ratings of attractiveness and cherry picked the data to confirm a prior hypothesis.

I’m sure you all clearly see the difference. But why can’t this journalist understand that?

One Response to “Once Again: Black Women are NOT (Rated) Less Attractive”

  1. john mcvirgo says:

    OKCupid did a 2009 analysis on their data:

    Concluding:” Men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.”

    Whereas you claim: “Once Again: Black Women are NOT (Rated) Less Attractive”

    What would say is the primary reason for the differing conclusions on the attractiveness of Black women here?