HBD: Human Biodiversity

Oh No, He Di'int!

HBD Chick relates, in uncapitalized, sparseley punctuated blogspeak, a story of a naive sociobiologist who, in the search for truth, offended a protected minority. 

you prolly heard by now that satoshi kanazawa says black women are ugly.

of course, he didn’t really, but who cares about silly little ol’ details like that.

what happened was kanazawa got some “attractiveness” data from add health. the evaluations were made “three times by three different interviewers over seven years” (during waves i – iii). the data showed that, consistently, black females scored lower in attractiveness than white, asian, or native american women; this did not happen in the case of black males.

andrew over @

“At this point, we have no idea who the interviewers who rated the students were. The attractiveness ratings would have been altered by varying degrees of prior familiarity between the individuals… whether the interviewers were of a certain age… the same sex or opposite sex breakdown… ingroup/outgroup… interviewer race… et cetera. There are simply a lot of variables that bring the reliability of attractiveness data into question. Perhaps this information is available, but it wasn’t in Kanazawa’s article, and I couldn’t find it on the study’s website.”

well, add health (a university of south carolina entity) apparently outsourced its fieldwork positions to both the national opinion research center (norc) of the university of chicago (waves i and ii) and rti international (wave iii).

fieldworkers seem to be part-time, contract workers, afaics. with the connection to the unversity of south carolina and the university of chicago, i was guessing that the fieldworkers were likely college students — maybe grad students interested in the field — sociology or whatever the heck it is (i’m talking about the interviewers here — i realize that the add health people are in the medical field). and, who winds up in sociology? mostly white women, with perhaps a few asian women thrown in. so, i was thinking that a lot of the interviewers might’ve been young white college women — and they might not find black women to be very attractive.

however, on the norc website, there are some videos of field interviewers explaining why they love their job, etc., etc., and they’re all older folks, i.e. not college students. of course, i’m sure this group is a pc-selected group — they’ve got almost all the races included there. but, still, three out of the five are white folks. if that is at all representative, then, yeah — there could, again, very well be some bias introduced here.

it’s still interesting that black women were consistently evaluated as the least attractive, but who were the evaluators? if they had been all black men, perhaps the results would’ve been different.

what i think is even more interesting is that blacks — both men and women — consistently rated themselves as attractive or highly attractive, more than members of the other races. black and proud! good for them!:

Paul Kersey continues the tale:

The author of the now censored study describing why Black females are the least attractive, Satoshi Kanazawa, also wrote this fantastic article for Psychology Today (which is still available) that describes 10 politically incorrect truths of human nature. No. 1 is a worth repeating:

Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)

Long before TV—in 15th- and 16th- century Italy, and possibly two millennia ago—women were dying their hair blond. A recent study shows that in Iran, where exposure to Western media and culture is limited, women are actually more concerned with their body image, and want to lose more weight, than their American counterparts. It is difficult to ascribe the preferences and desires of women in 15th-century Italy and 21st-century Iran to socialization by media.

Women's desire to look like Barbie—young with small waist, large breasts, long blond hair, and blue eyes—is a direct, realistic, and sensible response to the desire of men to mate with women who look like her. There is evolutionary logic behind each of these features.

Men prefer young women in part because they tend to be healthier than older women. One accurate indicator of health is physical attractiveness; another is hair. Healthy women have lustrous, shiny hair, whereas the hair of sickly people loses its luster. Because hair grows slowly, shoulder-length hair reveals several years of a woman's health status.

Men also have a universal preference for women with a low waist-to-hip ratio. They are healthier and more fertile than other women; they have an easier time conceiving a child and do so at earlier ages because they have larger amounts of essential reproductive hormones. Thus men are unconsciously seeking healthier and more fertile women when they seek women with small waists.

Until very recently, it was a mystery to evolutionary psychology why men prefer women with large breasts, since the size of a woman's breasts has no relationship to her ability to lactate. But Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe contends that larger, and hence heavier, breasts sag more conspicuously with age than do smaller breasts. Thus they make it easier for men to judge a woman's age (and her reproductive value) by sight—suggesting why men find women with large breasts more attractive.

Alternatively, men may prefer women with large breasts for the same reason they prefer women with small waists. A new study of Polish women shows that women with large breasts and tight waists have the greatest fecundity, indicated by their levels of two reproductive hormones (estradiol and progesterone).

Blond hair is unique in that it changes dramatically with age. Typically, young girls with light blond hair become women with brown hair. Thus, men who prefer to mate with blond women are unconsciously attempting to mate with younger (and hence, on average, healthier and more fecund) women. It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe, probably as an alternative means for women to advertise their youth, as their bodies were concealed under heavy clothing.

Women with blue eyes should not be any different from those with green or brown eyes. Yet preference for blue eyes seems both universal and undeniable—in males as well as females. One explanation is that the human pupil dilates when an individual is exposed to something that she likes. For instance, the pupils of women and infants (but not men) spontaneously dilate when they see babies. Pupil dilation is an honest indicator of interest and attraction. And the size of the pupil is easiest to determine in blue eyes. Blue-eyed people are considered attractive as potential mates because it is easiest to determine whether they are interested in us or not.

Now what exactly did the study state and what did Kanazawa conclude in his blog post that got Black women everywhere (whom, if trends continue, will all be considered morbidly obese in 30 years) upset and had them rushing to a beauty salon to get weaves and hair that looks white? Well, it said this:

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.

It’s a well known fact that Black women have less success at online dating and lower rates of marriage, but is it due to higher rates of testosterone? Not being an evolutionary psychologist, we’ll leave the questions raised by Kanazawa to be answered by professionals.

The London School of Economics, where Professor Kanazawa is employed, is now "investigating" whether it should take action against the HBD menace. 

LSE investigates lecturer's blog over race row

The London School of Economics is investigating a blog post by one of its lecturers, which sparked anger by discussing "why black women are less physically attractive".

Satoshi Kanazawa cited the findings of a University of North Carolina survey in which he said interviewers rated the "physical attractiveness" of subjects.

The post was removed from Psychology Today as critics accused him of causing offence and demanded his sacking.

The LSE said his views were his own.

Dr Kanazawa, a reader in the management department at the LSE, could not be reached for comment.

He is on sabbatical, but normally lectures on evolutionary psychology and management science.

Although the posting was removed, cached versions are available elsewhere on the internet.

According to those, the blog said that in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), black women were, on average, rated to be less attractive than women of other races, while black men were not rated less attractive than men of other races.

Dr Kanazawa suggested, but then rejected, that this may be because of higher body mass index or increased genetic mutations, but said that it might be because of higher testosterone levels.

He did not detail the social or ethnic backgrounds of the interviewers, or the criteria on which they had based their judgements of "physical attractiveness".