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Psychology Today Publishes "Scientist" Who Claims Black Women Are Ugly

A lot of you have probably already seen this, but I feel compelled as an Angry Black Woman to add my own commentary. The story is this:

Yesterday (a Sunday), Psychology Today blog The Scientific Fundamentalist posted a piece that was originally titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” but is now magically re-titled “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women, But Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?” I know the change happened because I saw the original a few hours ago. Google doesn’t have a cache of the page, but when I searched I saw the original title, as so:

Update: Psychology Today removed said article, but it lives on at the SomethingAwful forums and in this image screencap I made.

Anyway, things go downhill after the title:

Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively.  At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale:  1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive.  The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.

From these three scores, I can compute the latent “physical attractiveness factor” by a statistical procedure called factor analysis.  Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement.  The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

So, the first thing that popped into my mind was: what the hell is Add Health? Second: who are these mysterious ”interviewers”? Of what race are they? (Seems like that kind of thing would matter…) Also, how do you objectively measure attactiveness?

For a post on a supposedly scientific website/magazine, this shit is lacking a lot of footnotes, endnotes, explanations, and anything resembling scientific vigor. It might have been there in whatever study this dude is talking about, but he does not show it so we’re left with just his word.

You can guess how much that’s worth.

Then he gets to this part:

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.

Well how dare they!

Finally, the conclusion:

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women?

Enlighten me.

It’s not because we’re fat (though we are fat), and it’s not because we’re not smart (though we’re really not smart), it’s because we… (drumroll) looka likea man.

You think I’m playing:

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.  Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently.  …women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.

I think I might just hit this person. Except, you know, that would be too testosterony.

There’s a lot wrong with this, obviously. I mean, the entire premise reeks of bullshit. And the conclusion also reeks of herteronormative bullshit.

But what I want to know is: what in Hera’s name is wrong with Psychology Today that they think it was okay to allow this on their site? This isn’t even the first crazypants from this guys. Oh yes, Mr. Satoshi Kanazawa has quite an impressive list of clips. To wit:

Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?

Why we are losing this war - All you need is hate. (A good response to 9/11? Nuclear bombs and racial hatred. You think I am making this up, click and see how I am not.)

If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White

I can’t even.

So, obviously Psychology Today is completely down with this guy since he’s had a blog there for years. Fine. I mean, I’ll consign them to the trasheap of history as a completely irrelevant den of stupidity instead of, say, writing an angry letter. They’ve probably had plenty of angry letters. The editor-in-chief either really buys what this guy is selling or he’s doing it for the pageviews. Either way, I want no part of it.

What I will do is this: I’m dedicating the Angry Black Woman to pictures of black women all week long. The best response to this yahoo is to show just how beautiful we sisters are. If he and “Add Health” disagree, what the fuck do we care? We’re looking at pictures of beautiful ladies!

Would you like to contribute? Place a link to an image in a comment on any picture post. I shall find it. Or, if you’re on Tumblr, you can submit a picture directly by going here.

Please include some basic information about the picture you submit. Who’s in it, who took it (if you know), where it was taken, when it was taken, and anything else you’d like folks to know.

But seriously, if I ever see this man on the street I’ll show him what too much testosterone leads to.

From The Angry Black Tumblr | Comment below or Reblog @ Tumblr

41 comments to Psychology Today Publishes "Scientist" Who Claims Black Women Are Ugly

  • This clown is a racist loon. His only explanation as to why whoever he surveyed thinks we are less attractive is because of testosterone? Not socialization, racial bias, racism, european standards of beauty, nope nope. It’s because we are basically not feminine, at least not as feminine as white and asian women, if i hear this crap one more time! I wonder how the asshat explains my amazing waist to hip ratio, is testosterone responsible for that? Great post

    • bob

      black women are ugly. its because they have horible personalties and are obese. they are truly ugly inside and out. that is why they act like the ghetto scum that they are.

      • Alex

        Bob you are one of the racist loons the person above is talking about. Have you ever talked to a black person in your life?? Probably not because if you did you would have known not ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE GHETTO! That is a lame excuse and for that matter i’ve seen a lot of WHITE PEOPLE who are obese AND have horrible CLOSED MINDED personalities. If anything, THAT makes you uglier than the least physically attractive person in the world…

  • Mok

    Can I just say ARGGGGGGH? Because, seriously, what an idiot! D:<

  • Let us not get it twisted, there is no science here. This is only some straight up b*llsh*t. But the fact that an article like this ended up on a “reputable” publication is quite problematic. It’s not enough that the article has been taken down. I think a serious apology is in order.

  • Louise

    Psychology Today used to be on my reader. I assumed it might feed me interesting psych-related stuff. Ahem. I took it off a while back because of how offensive and just plain stupid most of the articles were (are). It’s a weak pop-psych blog full of pseudo studies & essentialist bullshit. But even given that, this is some shameful shit. Urgh.

  • 7thangel

    thanks for this, i’ve been searching around looking for info. i read another blog, which i wasn’t familiar with, that mentioned this bs but she chose not to link or name either of them, which i understand, but there wasn’t enough details to google.

    combined with what happened on twitter, once again involving the professional left/white progressives (and again joan walsh), and this disgusting crap, i’m in a really bad mood

  • I haven’t read it, but from everything I can gather, the PT article is unscientific. Coincidentally, I posted on race and beauty just this morning before seeing the PT article. There are a lot of interesting perceptions out there, past and present on the issue. Here’s some of what I wrote:

    I have noticed one use of the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ in literature of which I’ll give just two examples. The first is found in The Song of Solomon 1:5-6: “I am black, but comely…Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.” Solomon’s beloved apologizes for being black and says she is beautiful in spite of her skin color. The term ‘black’ seems here to be synonymous with ‘ugly.’ Granted, Solomon’s beloved gained darker color because of working in the vineyards and not necessarily because of race, but the verse doesn’t say “I am tan, but comely.”

    Before I give my second example, here are some of Webster’s definitions of ‘fair:’

    “Fair: Clear; free from spots; free from a dark hue; white; as a fair skin; a fair complexion. Hence, Beautiful; handsome; properly having a handsome face, pleasing to the eye…just, equitable…not foul…honest, honorable, civil, liberal, free from stain or blemish…”

    My second example comes from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo likens Juliet’s beauty, when compared to other women, to “a snowy dove trooping with crows” and to “a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear.” It would seem, at least in the times of Shakespeare, King James, and Noah Webster, that the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ meant ‘ugly’ and ‘beautiful.’ In the Shakespeare quote, an ‘Ethiope’ is the embodiment of ‘ugly.”

    Feel free to read the rest of it at

    http://stansgreatbooksblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-connotations-of-racial-terms-black.html

  • And here we are again. Manipulated by white America and blamed for that manipulation.

    It was 60 years ago that Ralph Ellison wrote The Invisible Man. He chronicled the life and times of black men in America from Reconstruction up to the early 20th century.

    His story found that because black women were not a threat to white men, they were able to get jobs in close prozimity to white women that black men couldn’t get.

    Because of this divide in finances, a wedge was driven between black women and black men. The only difference between then and now is that we, as black women, did not abandon our black men in favor of white males.

    Over the past 60 years anyone will agree that primarily because of sports, the black man has become the new icon of health and vitality. With that new-found fame, some 80% of these black men have wholesale dumped black women by the curb as so much
    trash while they rush to get a white woman to share in their good fortune.

    And for the most part, you can’t really blame them.

    The blame for that is still ours as black women because we raised those black boys and if we failed to raise them with an awareness of our impending genocide at the manipulative hands of the white
    man… and we have to accept responsibility for that.

    As mothers, we black women plopped our young children in front of the television and allowed that to brainwash and indoctrinate them into the world. We allowed those crooks on Wall Street to distort the minds of our young boys into believing that white womanhood was more beautiful, more to be desired sexually and more valuable than black women and girls.

    We didn’t correct our boys as they reached puberty and began dating white girls in school en masse.

    We accepted and regurgitated the lie that, “A woman is a woman is a woman” because we were too ignorant to realize this was a refrain promoted by white women and white women alone when they decided in the late 60′s and early 70′s that they wanted to date/marry black men. No one else in the history of the United States has ever used that refrain before or since that time.

    Certainly no white man ever has throughout our history here.

    We accepted and repeated other lies which did not benefit our racial struggle in America because we jus wanted to belong. We just wanted, “…everybody to get along”. Another lie that only black people have uttered.

    The white man never intended that we should all just get along and we know that because he has had it in his power to help us make it happen and he never has.

    But even so… undeniably the most damning evidence that black men find white women more attractive than us is to just look at how many professional sports figures are married to black women, The answer is almost non. Maybe 2 out of 100.

    Now that’s our shame out there for the whole world to see. And I am very ashamed for them.

    But the question they should have asked in this article is, “Why does most of racist America believe white female facial features are more attractive than black female facial features?”

    Because certainly we as black women do not believe that drivel.

    Most of us have answered the lie many times in our lives and we have refused to believe the white man’s b.s. Black women in America know that we are beautiful, desirable and very attractive in all of our lovely shades.

    We never have accepted the white man’s beauty standard as ours and we never will. We know our beauty lies inside our souls and not just on our faces.

    We will bear the shame that our men have sold us out -but we will never acquiese to their standard of beauty and we will never let that distorted view of beauty innundate our pride and our own self-worth.

    Selena Makeba

    Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? | Psychology Today
    http://tweetmeme.com/story/5075489605/why-are-black-women-rated-less-physically-attractive-than-other-women-psychology-today

  • Noir

    Testos… what. OMG, so much bullshit. SO little time.

  • What racist, gender-essentialist, trans/homophobic bullshit that article is.

    Sadly, this is nothing new or even unusual for Evo-Psych Yesterday. It is not a peer-reviewed publication at all; not only do they write for the general public, but do so in a way that reinforces every racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, evo-psych-bullshit trope that’s out there. In short, PT is worth less than whaleshit.

    “Objective”, my ass, Kanazawa.

  • Layogenic

    Rutina Wesley. 2010 Emmys. If that’s what “too much testosterone” does, I’ll get me somma that.

  • This article is very instructive in that as the late Dr. Asa Hilliard taught us, “White psychology is hidden in their history”. Well, in this article White history is on display as “evolutionary psychologists” who practices pop psychology, Dr. Kanazawa, elucidates a White supremacists’ psychology and axiology imposed African people’s bodies. This study does a great deal to prove Dr. Cress Welsing’s theories correct. This article speaks to the author’s fear of White genetic annihilation at the hand of Black women. Even if a Black woman has sex with a White man, because of the “numerous mutations and testosterone” a Black woman has dominant genes and will genetically overpower all other men except a Black man.

    The late Dr. Robert Guthrie would get a kick out of this as another example of how, as his famous book title states, “Even the Rat was White”. The major finding of this study is that, and I paraphrase,”Black folk rate themselves as more attractive than any other folk”. Thus Black people know their true beauty and power. This finding speaks to the psycho-social issues at the foundation of the study rather than the pseudo-biological machinations the author goes through to explain the said phenomena. Also the “evolutionary psychologist” says, “I can’t think of anything better”. Well, I sure can thanks to my being exposed to Dr. Cress-Welsing’s theories.

    Remember, this is just a theory, like Dr. Kanazawa is just “exposing theories”. White women and many other women find Black men more attractive because their family could be made evolutionarily stronger by taking in the sperm of the dominantly genetic Black man, if one follows Dr. Cress Welsing’s theory. The author of the article tried to explain these findings in “evolutionary-psychology” terms as if they were pure fact and not White-European axiological theories, which does not surprise me but always amuses me.

    In closing, Public Enemy said it best, the answer to why Black women are less attractive is, White’s (and those who revere Whitness’) “Fear of a Black Planet”. Michelle Obama and Beyonce keep shaking what God gave you and maybe these scared pseudo-scientists will be able to get over their fears. De-sensitize them to the Black booty! Long live The Black Woman and her amazing body types, skin tones, hair-textures, and sex appeal. You are fearfully and wonderfully made Sisters!

  • Sierra

    Here they again, comparing black women to white european standards, which they’ve always done. In the past we’ve fallen for it; but now that we’re relishing in our own beauty…by wearing our hair natural, not trying to be too skinny, just enjoying being in our own skin, white folks have a problem with that and they always have! Why in the world would they claim that their figure, straight hair and porcelain skin (I call it pasty)is better than ours. To me, that has always been the most ridiculous argument that I have ever heard. The above emailer, Stan seems to think the Shulamite girl was apologizing for being black from the sun. She was not! She knew she was beautiful and not only did the boy with whom she cared about think so, but so did King Solomon who tried to woo her, but she refused him! I love everything about me, all that God gave me and he saw that it was beautiful. You are the last person to decide who’s beautiful or not, since many of you go under the knife. Black women are beautiful and we don’t need your seal of approval!

  • Kelster

    You cannot blame Psychology Today for this. They do not edit the blog posts of any of their bloggers. You apply to blog, they ensure that you can write and then they say go ahead, do your thing.

    I have more to say but this thing pisses me off beyond belief.

  • Rene Llewellyn

    “Add Health” is the nickname for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health conducted by the Carolina Population Center at UNC. Its purpose was to gather social, behavioral, and biological health data from a cohort of 7-12th graders (in 1994) as they aged to young adulthood in 2008.

    The question, “How physically attractive is the respondent?” actually was on the questionnaires and is part of the dataset available to the general public here: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/studies/21600?archive=ICPSR&q=21600. However, Kanazawa apparently failed to read the disclaimer about the information being “purely descriptive.” These data were never objective and never meant to be analyzed as if they were.

    Must be nice for him up there, so high in the ivory tower that he doesn’t need to worry about annoying little details like citations or critical thinking or… reality.

  • Drae

    Let’s take peoples feelings getting hurt out of the equation here…How often do you see a black woman that is gorgeous? i am a man that appreciates all different races but if I’m being totally honest I see less attractive black women than other races…They aren’t saying all black women are unattractive so unless you are unattractive you should not be offended by this in any way, asian people are short, they don’t mind

    • @Drae, I’m approving your comment just so people can make fun of you.

      Also, to answer your question “How often do you see a black woman that is gorgeous?” take a look at the front page of this blog. All week long I’m posting pictures of gorgeous black women. Plus, every day on the streets of NYC I see gorgeous black women around me. This may not be true for less urban environments, but that’s not the fault of the gorgeous black women.

      • John P.

        I live in a medium sized town in Washington.
        Most of the people here (and as a result the attractive women) are either white or asian.
        But just about all the black women I see are either very attractive or drop dead gorgeous.
        Even living in a less urban environment isn’t an excuse for not seeing totally hawt black women.

    • Mok

      Let’s take peoples feelings getting hurt out of the equation here…
      Why? So you can use your ‘logic’ and tell us what the Truth is?

      How often do you see a black woman that is gorgeous?
      Do you expect someone to reply to this question? Because, seriously, you make me want to punch a wall!

      i am a man
      That doesn’t mean you have to be a moron.

      that appreciates all different races
      Of course, it’s not like you are a racist paramecium! *rolls eyes*

      but if I’m being totally honest
      No need to.

      I see less attractive black women than other races…
      Buy a good pair of glasses, then.

      They aren’t saying all black women are unattractive
      Nope, they are making a poll about something as abstract as beauty and clearly saying that black women are ugly, masculine and inferior to other races. That’s way better, isn’t it?

      so unless you are unattractive
      WHAT DOES THAT EVEN AAARGGGGGGH

      you should not be offended by this in any way
      Mr. Kanazawa says “black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women”. How is that NOT offensive, to you?!

      asian people are short, they don’t mind
      WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING, NGGGGGGH!!!!

    • How often do I see a gorgeous black women? Lets see for starters the moment I wake up and face my mirror and throughout the day! I see gorgeous black women all day because beauty to me is more then skin deep. When I see a black mother laugh with her child in the grocery store that’s beautiful to me, when I see black girlfriends walking down the street with a swag of self confidence and knowledge that’s beautiful, I see the beauty in age, wisdom and self assurance. So to answer your question; I see beautiful black women all day long because I see who we really are. The problem here is you and a society who is so brainwashed and blinded by euro influence its unbelievable. Further more, what does height have to do with this? Ones height is pretty tangible; beauty can only be deemed opinionated and therefore has no scientific basis; which is the basis of his “false study”. Geez…my thirteen year old son got it! Ladies, I’m raising an awesome, strong black young man..who told me yesterday “Mom, I think lots of girls are pretty but black girls are the prettiest”!!

    • Alex

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder isn’t it? So what’s beautiful to some may not be beautiful to you. I’m not going to curse you out or tell you that you are a moron, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. HOWEVER, I will say that if a poll found black women exotic and white women inferior then all these people would be singing a different tune…

  • Count me in with the “an apology is in order” crowd. Also, they need to hire a Black scientist, preferable a Black woman (or three or four). Their blogroll list is ALL white!!

    And this bozo needs to be fired. That’s just for starters…

  • I ran across this one at Pam’s House Blend as well — it’s total garbage.

    Pam also quoted the “psychologist” as noting that “women are more attractive than men,” to which my response was “To whom?”

    So he’s not only racist and sexist, he’s heterosexist as well.

  • Here’s a helpful page, if anybody hasn’t yet complained about Satoshi Kanazawa or request that they hire more Black scientists:

    https://my.psychologytoday.com/feedback

  • K. Farrell

    So, both versions of the article are down, I just checked. Whew! What a relief! I though I was going to have to jump on the Asian *ick issue – No, wait – that may have been too difficult. Pun intended.

  • J

    Drae- All you are proving is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That – and nothing more. (Though, I also personally believe socialization, media, and racism play a role.)
    Personally every time I leave the house I see beautiful black women. But then I like dark smooth skin, dark eyes, dark curling eyelashes, beautiful eyes, noses, lips and smiles, not to mention small waists and nicely shaped butts. That’s a black neighborhood for you. Thanks for leaving it to the ones who appreciate

  • Karinna A.

    Drae–Really? Really? You’re comparing something that’s pretty easy to quantify and measure objectively–height–and comparing it to something that’s almost impossible to quantify and measure objectively–attractiveness. You’re telling BW to just get over…what, exactly? The hundreds of years of a dominant culture and society that held, and still holds up WW as being the beauty standard? Current media practices that lighten the skin of BW in ads? The dearth of black models in ads?

    I don’t know where you live, but in even Whiteopia, Midwest, where I’m at, I still see beautiful black women every day. Used to work with a black woman at a large corporation, and she had me absolutely in awe of her looks and her poise and her style. There’s the black lady who sometimes rides my bus who has a smile that could light up a whole city. There’s the woman who until a couple months ago used to live in my building–she has pretty, large eyes and beautiful curly hair. I think your…opinion…of BW says far more about you that it does anything else.

    Because my Pandora is on a jazz and blues kick:

    Billie Holiday: http://tolucantimes.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/T10-21-Billie-Holiday.jpg

    Nina Simone: http://www.blogcdn.com/icons.blackvoices.com/media/2011/01/nina-simone04-155kc012011.jpg

  • They discussed this on “Blacking It Up w/ Elon James White”
    http://bccostudios.com/2011/05/blacking-it-up-77-idiotic-scientific-nonsense-today/
    It was an interesting show.

  • I’m with you ABW on pimp slapping this fool and adding a knee to the groin as well.

    I had a roommate once who had such flawless, even toned skin that all she wore to work at times was lipstick and mascara. People still swore she was wearing makeup.

    I can’t tell you how many beautiful black women i see on the streets before we even get to the ones walking the runways and in the public eye.

  • Drae

    H ngr blck wmn, wh dnt gt vr bng n ngr blck wmn nd qt thnkng vrbd s t t gt …ts rl nnng t s blck ppl stll gng rnd thnknng th wht mn s t t gt thm nd kp thm dwn…bm bng hlf blck shld hv rsd tht mntlt. Wh dnt gt rd f r ngr t wht ppl thng nd shw r grwn p? wht ppl d nt g rnd thnkng h hw cn gt n ths blck prsns w td? ts th blck mntlt tht th cnt d nthng tht stnds n thr w. N wht prsn lvng td ws ssctd wth slvr r th hstr bhnd wh M fl th w d, nd t gt vr rslf nd strt tkng rspnsblt fr r wn ctns.

  • denelian

    I’m new here [but will be sticking around] but, despite fisking this on other blogs, i wanted to reiterate a point:

    from the wording, it appears that each woman “objectively measured” was only “measured” THREE TIMES. and we don’t even know if it was the SAME PERSON over the years of this “study”, or who or what or whatever. it’s that three times that’s really, really bugging me – because the sample isn’t the WOMEN BEING MEASURED, but rather the people doing said “measurement”.

    on another note – that BS about Obama being “Half-Muslim” because his father is from an ethnic group that is majority [but NOT totally! there ARE Christians in that group, and Jews. i don't know if there are other religions] made me JUST as angry as this. according to HIM, religiously i ONLY follow Cherokee ideas and ideals – because i’m half Cherokee [and otherwise a mutt of pretty much everything except east-Asian]. WTF? religion is NOT the same as ethnicity [which means a damned sight less than psuedo-scientists like him think!] and ANYONE can convert to another religion! for the love of all that’s holy, that’s is the most generally insulting thing [as in, i can't think of any group NOT insulted by it!] that i’ve EVER read.

  • Janet

    Yes sister preach!!!!!!

  • Janet

    stay forever strong black woman

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