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Articles    H4'ed 5/17/11

Beauty May Be In Eye of Beholder But Eyes See What Culture Socializes

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Originally Published on OpEdNews

I just conducted a study that found Black women are more attractive than women from other racial/ethnic groups. I polled myself, 3 different times over 5 hrs. The results are statistically significant and show strong test-rest reliability. I have pretty charts that summarize the data.

Not convinced?

Of course, you're not. My opinion doesn't represent anyone other than me, no matter how many times I decide to poll myself (and for the record, I don't think women from any racial group are any more attractive than women from any other).

Obvious?

Perhaps! But fellow Psychology Today blogger Sutoshi Kanazawa doesn't seem to think so.

In case you missed it, Kanazawa, in his most recent PT post (which has since been removed from the site) Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? reported that

...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. (read full post here )

Here's the pretty chart:

But it gets worse:

This difference (in what he calls "objective" attractiveness) is not, he explains, "due to race differences in intelligence."

So, basically, Kanazawa, a prominent (and controversial) evolutionary psychologist, would have us know that Black women are more ugly and more dumb than women from other racial groups.

The evidence?

Kanazawa reported that

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.

It sounds scientific. And it is possible that it is, but Kanazawa doesn't give us enough information to know, and when necessary information is missing, I tend to think the author is trying to hide something.

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Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity, Theories of Psychotherapy, and a graduate-level restorative justice practicum based at a youth detention center. An autobiographical essay of Mikhail's interests in race relations and basketball is available here.

Since 2009, Mikhail has been learning, facilitating, evaluating, and supporting others in the U.S. in learning about Restorative Circles, a restorative practice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and his associates. In addition to conflict and restorative practices, Mikhail also has a long-standing interest (going back about 20 years) in race and (more...)
 

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