Psychology Today Says Black Women Aren’t as Attractive as Other Races of Women

Psychology Today Black Women

Psychology Today Says Black Women Aren’t Attractive

So since the uproar by What About Our Daughters readers, the article has since been pulled – but if you’d like to know what this offensive piece of mess by Psychology Today that was masquerading as “science” said keep reading:

Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?

Why black women, but not black men?
Published on May 15, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist


There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why? 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.

Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men. So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the “average” Add Health respondent, except for black women. As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the “average” Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.

In contrast, races do not differ in physical attractiveness among men, as the following graph shows. Men of all races are more or less equally less physically attractive than the “average” Add Health respondent.

This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III). In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.

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. In Wave III, Add Health asks its respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness subjectively on the following four-point scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = slightly, 3 = moderately, 4 = very. As you can see in the following graphs, both black women and black men rate themselves to be far more physically attractive than individuals of other races.

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.

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. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Apparently Satoshi Kanazawa, a Japanese American, has a history of misogyny and junk science type of studies. What boggles the mind even more is that a respected publication like Psychology Today would even print such foolishness.

What is impressive however is the quick response from the online community to this drivel, and how under extreme pressure, Psychology Today had the article yanked. Black women may not be so insignificant after all. Now if we could act so coordinated and authoritatively in other aspects of our lives – amazing what we’d be able to accomplish.

Braids, Locs, Wigs and Weaves: Best Natural Hairstyles for Working Out

Natural Hairstyles

Best Natural Hairstyles for Black Women Working Out

It’s summertime and it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do with that hair after you’ve seated it out running, jumping, biking and swimming or whatever your exercise regime happens to be.

Now as black women, I know many of ya’ll have an aversion to sweating out the “do” you just paid way too much money for. However, as I’ve noted on this blog on many an occaison, not sweating is not an option. Black women’s health depends on a bit of sweating so ya’ll just need to get with the program and figure the best way to keep those locs stylish and that body moving. Here are a few suggestions I found around the web:

Put a Wig On It!

If you still haven’t learned to care for you own hair don’t let it hold you back any longer. You have options you can get braids, a weave, or put a “Wig” on it. Now, I have never been really been in favor of wigs or weave but Ladies you got to put your health first. So if that means getting a sew-in or sporting a wig a couple of days a week then do just that. Oh, and these days you don’t have to worry about your wig falling off. Consult with your beautician about getting a lace wig. One of my girls has one and she loves it…Keep Reading

Hair Care Tips for Sisters on the Move

This is a pamphlet created by Harvard researchers back in the 90’s. Yes I know it’s old, but it still holds up to time. It gives great suggestions fro relaxed and natural hairstyles. Goes into detail on the may hairstyle choices available to women from short dos to locs and braids. I recommend all black women who are concerned about their hair as it pertains to their workouts download the pamphlet and check it out.

Healthy Summer Hair Tips for Black Women

As the summer gradually descends on the nation’s capitol, thousands of African American women are considering what to do with their tresses. In addition to being harangued by the humidity of the city, Black hair is often caught in style limbo due to damage from over-processing or the many summer activities that “sweat hair out.” But according to area stylists, all is not loss...Keep Reading

Afrobella Celebrates “Beautiful Big Girls Working It Out”

Afrobella, one of my favorite blogs that hopefully you are reading as well, is celebrating the beauty of the full-figured form, particularly Toccara Jones. As you may remember, Toccara was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model and is now featured in the first issue of Vogue Italy to showcase all black models.

She talks about inspirational it is to see Tocarra and other full-figured Bellas like Missy and Queen Latifah slimming down for their health as opposed to trying to fit society’s ideal of what a woman should look like.

Watching women like Toccara become fitter while still maintaining their curves
is inspiring to a bella who is trying to improve her health and shed some weight
by way of diet and exercise. For me, looking at photoshopped images of
Mariah, Janet, or insert-hypersexed-scantily-clad-pop star here has never worked as inspiration. Instead, I look to celebs who I can identify with, who I know must work consistently hard and sweat to achieve their goals. Read more

Here here Bella!

Ironically, as I was losing weight I had a picture of Tocarra and Queen Latifah up as my “ideal.” I never wanted to be thin and waifish. I embrace my curves and celebrate those that have them.

Kudos to those bellas working hard to regain their health and truly feel beautiful – whatever that may look like to them.

Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.

Adore The Skin You Are In

You live, you die
And spend the years in between asking the question
Why you’ve been through what you been
You lose, you win
You even pay for other sins
But you must always adore the skin you are in

A couple of weekends ago, I went out to a sports bar with a girlfriend. We were dressed to the nines as we planned to head out to a club afterwards to meet up with some folks for a birthday celebration. I was wearing a sassy skirt and a sleeveless top that dipped dangerously in the middle. When I weighed over 300lbs you wouldn’t dare catch me in anything sleeveless. Even though my weight was pretty evenly distributed over my 5’9 frame, my arms were extremely large. I was disgusted by them so naturally everyone else would be. For most of my teens years into my twenties, I kept them under wraps.

Now that I have lost the weight, my arms still remain fairly large. Although it’s been a while since I stopped covering them up, whenever I see pictures of myself, my eye still goes to my arms and how they appear in comparison to the rest of my body. I often try to pose to hide them.

On this particular night as we were finishing up dinner, a photographer came around taking picture for the restaurant website. I hate being photographed because I don’t consider myself especially photogenic. Probably stems from the days I was super morbidly obese and was reminded of how I looked to other people every time I looked at a photo of myself. As the photographer started to take the picture, I unconsciously pulled my jacket up over my arms. He gave me a disapproving look until I removed it.

Afterwards, he sat down next to me and told me how beautiful I was and how women out there were paying thousands of dollars to get what I had. “Love what you got. Don’t be ashamed of it or cover it up.” I didn’t get the sense he was trying to get his mack on. He was just telling it as he saw it. His words definitely gave me plenty of food for thought.

When I decided to have the surgery, my main goals were to be healthy and to truly be comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to like what I saw when I walked past the mirror. So many women, whether they are a size 2 or a 22, are not happy with themselves. If you’re not happy with yourself, how can anyone else be happy with you or around you. I don’t want that. I want to truly embrace and adore the skin I am in.

Do you? If not, what are you doing about it?