Satoshi Kanazawa: professional idiot, full time racist

How did I miss this moron? Satoshi Kanazawa, a Tokyo born academic at the London School of Economics, inexplicably earned his PhD at the University of Arizona. Now, he spends his time publishing papers on why Africans are a) ugly and b) stupid. Recently, Psychology Today’s editors slept on the job and even gave him a forum with which to spread his idiotic, racist research, which is of a statistical quality one might expect more of college freshmen than PhD’s at a respectable institution.

While I am late in jumping on this liberal bandwagon (call me what you will), the crux of his latest piece of nonsense is this: Black women are more unattractive than anyone else in the world, yet mistakenly believe that they are the most attractive. Kanazawa, using zero evidence, confidently claims that this is because women of African (read Sub-Saharan, err black) descent have higher levels of testosterone, and thus are more masculine in appearance.

Please. Aside from the incredible difficulties of assigning race, and the massive genetic variation that exists in every method of partitioning humanity, we must ask, has this man ever been to Africa? Satoshi reminds me of my drunken 55 year old racist english conversation students that I used to teach in Japan, who enjoyed ignorantly pigeonholing the world’s vast collection of geographic regions, peoples, cultures and individuals into three nice and convenient categories. His command of written English is about as proficient. Actually, he would do well in racist circles in any part of the globe.

One is free to find a particular type of person attractive or unattractive, but besides the incredible methodological difficulties in assigned groups and measuring “attractiveness,” we have to ask, what is the value of this research?

Fortunately, many, including Scientific American, have stepped up to debunk his methods and you can read about them here.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

2 responses to “Satoshi Kanazawa: professional idiot, full time racist”

  1. Simonson says :

    Satoshi Kanazawa is a very mentally disturbed individual. I met him at LSE once, and can say he has paranoia complex that people are all out to get him. Gee if I wrote the stuff he does I would think that too! I told him so and he said simply, “no that’s not it.” I asked him what he thought it was then and he looked at me and said: “I can’t tell you –you might be one of THEM.”

    I got the hell out of his office and wondered where he kept his conical tin hats. He really is very disturbed.

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