UK psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa under fire for racial "study"
May 30, 2011
An academic at one of Britain's most reputable universities has come under fire over his 'research' supporting the idea that black women are less attractive than other races.
An inflammatory blog from London School of Economics (LSE) psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa was hurriedly removed from the US-based Psychology Today website on Monday (May 16) just hours after it was posted.
Kanazawa has a history of racially-charged research and has been attacked for using flawed science to promote racist stereotypes, including the claim that sub-Saharan Africans have poor health because of low IQ and not poverty.
Fed-up students, graduates and academic contemporaries are now demanding that the LSE reconsider his position at the institution.
Professor Paul Gilroy, a sociology lecturer at the LSE and author of seminal text There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, said: “Kanazawa’s persistent provocations raise the issue of whether he can do his job effectively in a multi-ethnic, diverse and international institution.
“If he announces that he thinks sub-Saharan Africans are less intelligent than other people, what happens when they arrive in his classroom? What happens when they feel that they cannot take his classes because of his widely publicised opinions?”
He added: “The LSE risks disrepute if it fails to take a view of these problems.”
Kanazawa based his piece on the findings of a survey of men and women across the races who were asked to rate each other’s attractiveness. Black women scored the least, even though they marked themselves highly.
Among the criticisms was his motivation for the research, the lack of scientific grounding and a lack of context. He did not explore the idea that women were measured against the dominant European ideals of beauty.
Kanazawa, whose website carries the slogan ‘prepare to be offended’, was himself unable to draw any serious conclusion.
After musing it had nothing to do with black women’s ‘lower IQs’, or because they were ‘much heavier on average’ than women of other races, he added: ‘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… Women with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.’
A campaign group has been formed calling for an end to Kanazawa’s tenure at the leading institution.
Women’s rights activist Rukayah Sarumi, who co-founded LSE: Home of the Racist Academic. Say No, said: "This kind of pseudo science is not only dangerous for black women, but society as a whole. When racism is given legitimacy through the power of science, it emboldens racist and prejudiced organisations and adversely affects the confidence and esteem of young black people. This is not the kind of thing that can be allowed to fester in a progressive society."
The group is now preparing a petition and an open letter to Psychology Today to demand an apology for publishing the article.
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