Black Women are Less Attractive (If Your Idea of Black Women Comes from TV)

Posted on by Pastabagel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

At least, not according to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa. Psychology Today published an article by the London School of Economics psychologist that concludes that black women are less attractive based on some dicey and very biased statistical analysis of very subjective opinions obtained from a longitudinal study of adolescent health (Add Health). This is the article as it originally appeared:
Everything you need to know is in blue letters at the top.

(The full nonsense is here.)What makes this story particularly interesting are two things. First, the article appeared under the magazine’s web column titled “The Scientific Fundamentalist,” which is your first clue that its conclusions are not based on anything approaching science. Sure there are numbers, and there are calculations, but the result is more numerology than mathematics.

Second, and more important, is that Psychology Today attempted to delete the article from existence the moment it started receiving negative attention. This is important, because it confirms that neither Psychology Today nor the article’s author were prepared to defend the conclusion.

And the conclusion is defensible. Based on the study, the interviews, and the population of respondents, the conclusion the author arrived at is the only one possible. But then you immediately have to ask Why do people have this subjective opinion?

And that’s where the research went wrong. The study really only shows that black women are less attractive to the people surveyed. Who is surveyed? Add Health respondents. What the hell is add health? “The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (also called Add Health) is the only nationally representative study of adolescent sexuality, which has spawned over one thousand peer-reviewed publications on many issues related to adolescent health and sexuality, and other adolescent health risk behaviors.”

It’s is based entirely on their perceptions of attractiveness. And those perceptions are not formed in a void. They are formed in an adolescence saturated with media, in which white women are presented in one way, Asian women in another, and Black women in still another.

How are black women portrayed in the media? How many black female characters have you seen that are sassy, or represent a certain “ghetto” attitude? How many many were overweight?

How many times have you seen black women that were actually black men in drag? Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy all have a black female alter ego that was a staple of their comedy career?

And when you do see a black woman presented beautifully, she is photographed in such a way that her skin tone appears lighter. Her hair is straightened, and often lightened significantly. In other words, when television and film producers want to present a black woman as attractive, they present her as whiter.

Perception is reality. If kids see the same images over and over again, it is only natural that they assume that those images are accurate representations of reality. We need to remember that they are not.

If the Psychology Today study revealed that Add Health respondents think black women are less attractive, the follow-up questions should be, “Why?”

Related posts:

  1. WSJ to Women: Only Have Sex With Winners
  2. Males like it when a woman ovulates. (No they don’t.)
  3. A Refresher Course in Ideology
  4. Does Paying For Condoms Make Safe Sex Cost Money?
  5. New Makeup Gives Her Face that Photoshopped Look

31 Responses to Black Women are Less Attractive (If Your Idea of Black Women Comes from TV)

  1. sunshinefiasco says:

    Slightly off-topic: Why in the world would Psychology Today publish a study like this (which is clearly going to get a lot of negative attention) when absolutely no one is ready to defend the conclusions, no matter what their merits? Especially because with a title like that, it’s total click-bait for people who are looking to freak out about it.

    • philtrum says:

      Because telling over-the-top Just So Stories is Kanazawa’s shtick. Behold.

      It is true that, in all human societies, men largely control all the money, politics, and prestige. They do, because they have to, in order to impress women. Women don’t control these resources, because they don’t have to. What do women control? Men. As I mention in an earlier post, any reasonably attractive young woman exercises as much power over men as the male ruler of the world does over women. (emphasis added)

      You don’t write things like that if you’re concerned about being able to defend your opinions logically. Kanazawa may believe what he says, but I suspect Psychology Today keeps him on because he draws attention.

      Or I could be totally wrong about that, and Kanazawa’s columns get no more hits than the rest of the PT website. In that case, I’m as stumped as you are.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:

        What he wrote may be emotionally charged and sensational but it is not incorrect.

        Men are driven by sexual success, and sexual success from a male perspective means having a lot of sex with a lot of different fertile partners. Women do drive male pursuit.

        Political correctness is so boring, isn’t it?

        • philtrum says:

          No, crappy, outdated evolutionary psychology is boring. Hoggamous higgamous, men are polygamous. Yawn.

          But it’s Kanazawa’s hyperbole that makes it clear he’s not to be taken seriously. He asserted that any attractive young woman is as powerful as the most powerful man on the planet. There are young women living in refugee camps in Chad who are just as powerful as Barack Obama or Bill Gates! For realsies!

        • Dirk Anger says:

          What, a reasonably attractive woman can make a really powerful man do many things, true, but she can’t make him do anything.

          And I’m talking about things he could really do out of self-interest, or maybe for some really special woman, but he wouldn’t do for any reasnonably attractive woman. Those things, he can do but she can’t make him do. So, even without getting into the tons of powerless attractive women in the world (any stripper, for example), and restricting ourselves to extremely attractive women with access to really powerul men, he’s still wrong.

    • philtrum says:

      Which is a long, wordy way of saying:

      “Especially because with a title like that, it’s total click-bait for people who are looking to freak out about it.”

      That’s why they published it.

    • pulchrifex says:

      PT blogs aren’t the same thing as PT. They have a lot of bloggers, some of whom are very respected scientists; I’m pretty sure they’re not vetting each blog post as it emerges.

      • sunshinefiasco says:

        After I made my original post, I realized I have seen his Feminism is the Root of All Evil schtick before.

        Still, just reading the titles of his other pieces (which are designed to incite), this seems like more of a case of not vetting the blogger rather than the post (or more likely, valuing web traffic over not giving a stage to his crazy. Also, if they don’t want credit for his ideas/line of thinking, they can pull their letterhead anytime, rather then giving him a blog and then going “UhhhBUHH where does he get this stuff??”

  2. pulchrifex says:

    “Based on the study, the interviews, and the population of respondents, the conclusion the author arrived at is the only one possible.”

    I’m not totally sure about this, actually. Or, well, it depends on what you mean by “the study,” but Kanazawa’s use of factor analysis here is a little weird. I’m not going to go into exactly why I think it’s weird, although I’ve been meaning to mock up some data to test the intuition, but the basic idea is this: Factor analysis is a reasonably sophisticated technique to reduce the dimensionality of very large datasets. This wasn’t necessary for Kanazawa’s analysis; all he needed was the mean attractiveness ratings. That the simple and obvious thing isn’t what he reported suggests that the effect isn’t in the raw data. I’m all for data cleaning and processing, but this wasn’t the way to do it.

  3. cat says:

    I’m amazed that this article was published anywhere. It’s pure drivel, and badly written drivel at that. I’m not going to get into the statistics, let’s just focus on the conclusions being drawn here.

    There’s this, for example: “Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men.” What does that even mean?

    Then there’s this. The “study” asked respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness level (i.e. they were asked to say, on a scale of 1 to 4, how attractive they considered themselves). Black women and men rated themselves higher on average than did other races. The author concludes:

    “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.”

    Er, no. Can Kanazawa just not express himself in English properly? His use of “even though” implies that the black women respondents are somehow aware that they are “objectively” less attractive. And black respondents do not consider themselves more attractive “than others”, because they are not being asked to compare themselves with others. They don’t know how others rate themselves. And surely many factors affect how attractive someone rates themselves, including self-esteem, perceptions of what the scale means, cultural factors like being modest or not about one’s body image.

    OK, it’s link bait. But who are they trying to attract to the site? Potential new readers who might stick around for other articles, or angry bloggers/ feminists etc?

  4. CubaLibre says:

    I agree that media “whiten” black women to render them attractive and that normal black women are rendered unattractive as a result. I disagree though that this effect is only measurable in Add Health respondents; I think (perhaps by chance) that this study echoes the population at large. If you haven’t, check out this statistical analysis by OKCupid’s creators of message response rates based on race. You can’t argue with OKCupid’s sample size or bias.

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/

    • JohnJ says:

      Isn’t it reasonable to argue that OKCupid’s sample bias results from self-selection? I.e., their sample includes only the kind of people that use OKCupid?

      • Pastabagel says:

        I think this is exactly right.

      • CubaLibre says:

        Isn’t a survey sample of people called randomly by the surveyor self-selected for the kind of people that are willing to answer random questions from a telephone surveyor?

        Or, have it your way: the conclusion only holds for a vast swath of American 18-35 year olds (i.e. the people that use OKCupid). That’s still a pretty important thing to know.

  5. sdenheyer says:

    I’m generally a fan of you work here, Pastabagel, but I’m not sure about this one.

    Can you cite evidence that shows to what extent the perception of attractiveness is driven by media exposure? Frankly, your assertions sound like unsupported assumptions, and the answer to Kanazawa’s “numerology” shouldn’t be more conjecture without numbers at all. I don’t doubt the media has *something* to do with how we see attractiveness, but I don’t see why the people we see around us in real life shouldn’t have as much or more to do with it.

    Kanazawa did try to answer “Why?” and came up with “testosterone.” This seems as strange a response to the data, I think, as “because of the way male black comedians look in drag.”

  6. There are a number of subtleties that are both instructive and horrific. Let’s get scared together:

    1. The study controlled for BMI, so the unattractiveness wasn’t related to weight.
    2. Yes, black women were rated unattractive, but why were Asian women more attractive than whites in Wave III? Wave III happpened 6 years after Wave II and 7 after I, which means these kids were in their twenties and exposed to more media. So? So in the past 20 years, when did Asian women experience a “sexy bias?” I googled sexy asian women and found four recurring “themes: “Devon Aoki (2 Fast 2 Furious: (2003); Grace Park (Boomer in BSG: 2003); Tia Carrere (Wayne’s world– ok, Hawaiian); Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal, Chalrie’s Angels (2000). Etc. It did feel like the turn of the century was a good time to be Asian and pretty, but that may be my own bias.

    3. As observed by cat: people self-rated, and blacks consistently rated themselves more attractive than other people rated them, though we don’t know how other black people would have rated them; in other words, do blacks who think they’re attractive think they’re attractive also to whites? And do whites who think they’re attractive also think they’re attractive to blacks? Of course not. They don’t even think about it.

    4. The whole purpose of the study for Dr. Kanazawa, however, is his ongoing theme that intelligence and attractiveness are related. Think about the hottest person you know in the universe: dumb as a rock or genius?

    He shows data that intelligent people are consistently thought to be more attractive. But he consistently reverses his thesis: the data show attractive people have higher IQs, yet he insists on reading that as “intelligent people are more attractive.” Feel free to see a bias.

    Also, note that his IQ cutoff is really between average and below average, not anything remotely resembling intelligence. Quite likely, the association fails at the extremes of either; and somehow grooming has to pass an inflection point at IQ 100.

    • philtrum says:

      Yes, and I have to wonder how thoroughly they controlled for grooming, lifestyle, and general health. All of those things have an enormous impact on overall attractiveness.

  7. AnonymousAtLarge says:

    This blog entry is actually quite very much related to the Arnold one.

    Men (particularly white men) have this paranoia that they are considered less attractive to women than black men. I don’t know where they get the evidence for this argument considering male actors and sex symbols are almost invariably not black (and those who are black, are present at a rate roughly equal to their percentage of the population).

    I can only assume this male anxiety that they are inferior to black men in the eyes of women is an extension of hteir feeling of powerlessness and inability to be masculine, which in extension is culturally nurtured by media (which has systematically emasculated caucasian men in television and movies over the past few decades). While caucasian males have been systematically emasculated, black males have had their masculinity exaggerated to cartoonish proportions in that same time frame.

    A black man can be a pig and a brute and it is considered admirable or just the way they are… a white man needs to wax his chest censor himself and be completely unoffensive, if MTV and media are accurate portrayals of reality, and most teenagers (who grow to be adults) do think they are accurate portrayals of reality.

  8. MattK says:

    Oh him? I already heard of him. Satoshi Kanazawa cannot think.
    http://www.morelightmorelight.com/2009/09/30/satoshi-kanazawa-cannot-think/

  9. AnonymousAtLarge says:

    Regarding white women being more attractive… well it is scientifically shown that maleness does result in darker skin tones. Testosterone increases the synthesis of hemoglobin which darkens the skin. Conversely, estrogen lightens the skin by filling it out with fluid and creating a fair, pale look.If you compare yourself to your female family members you will observe they are paler, this is true in every family, in every race. Males of any family or ethnicity are darker than the females. Paleness IS feminine, just as a high pitched voice, full breast, butt and a small waist is feminine. That men are attracted to fairness is entirely rational as skin complexion is a major sexually dimorphic trait and an indicator of female fertility.

    Female skin color changes with the menstrual cycle and with pregnancy status, just as the thickness of the waist does. Females are palest just before ovulation, and skin color darkens with the luteal phase. Skin color darkens quite a lot during pregnancy, to the point where there can be hyperpigmentation, the “mask of pregnancy”. Women have bloating and an increase in waist size during the luteal phase (infertile) and obviously this occurs during pregnancy.

    It may not be very nice or polite to say that fair skinned women are more feminine, but there is an evolutionary and biologically real basis for it. Women are pale because men are not pale, and so female reproductive system has resulted in female paleness being exaggerated during fertility (and hidden during infertility), and men have evolved to sexually detect this and seek it out.

    Some argue that the pale skinned ethnicities evolved recently due to sexual selection of women over a short period of time; resource allocation changed (agriculture) and men could choose their partners and the end result is almost depigmented skinned people in certain european and asian groups.

    But this does not necessarily mean that whitest women are beautiful whereas black women are not, any more than it means that the darkest black guy is the hottest to women (which is clearly false if you talk to women, most would disagree that they favor and prefer very dark men). All it means is that skin complexion is one cue of your fertility and your gender/sex, and if you are a man with a slightly darker complexion, or a female with a slightly paler complexion, you have this in your favor. Men are not driven to be attracted to white women any more than women are attracted to black men. Men like all kinds of women, just as women like all kinds of men

    Also, and this is an important point, ABSOLUTE luminance of the skin is not as important as CONTRAST between skin, eyes, and lips. Females are more beautiful when their skin is pale relative to their lips and their eyes, because that is a more important indicator of high estrogen and fertility than the absolute color of the skin. Estrogen causes the skin to pale out relative to absolute pigmentation (darkness of hair and lips) by artificially lightening the skin with fluid and fullness of subcutaneous fat. The lips, conversely, become fuller and darker relative to skin tone, on a female face.

    So, when speaking of female beauty, someone who is absolutely depigmented like a swede is not the most feminine/beautiful… it would be someone who has a high degree of relative skin depigmentation when compared to their eyes and lips. This can be seen regardless of whether black, hispanic, or caucasian, women have darker eyes and lips when compared to their skin, and this is a sign of youth and fertility.
    Women wear makeup to darken their eyelashes and exaggerate their lips, while lightening and evening their skin tone. This is all done to enhance natural signs of high estrogen, youth, female beauty.

    A character like snow white who is described as having dark hair, very pale skin, red lips, would be considered a good example of an appearance that is an exaggerated representation of high estrogen and female fertility. When determining the sexual dimorphic effects of high estrogen, “Whiteness” is not as important as contrast between skin and lips. A high degree of contrast is feminine and beautiful and so all over the world women use makeup to exaggerate this and take web cam pics with the contrast on blast.

    Similarly, in male attractiveness from a female perspective, it is not the blackest skin that she seeks, but a relative increase in skin tone (and a low contrast between eyes and mouth), in addition to male facial sexual dimorphism. And, of course, a TON of other factors.

    I can’t help but think all this “research” about ethnicity and attraction comes from two sources:
    1) Men who want to justify their fetishism of women (“I like blondes with black eyemakeup and tanned skin and little noses and chins and big eyes because ITS SCIIIIENCE so its okay if I view women as objects who are there to please me”).

    2) Men who feel emasculated as white men and are paranoid that blacks are more masculine and want to have some kind of scientific basis to justify this feeling (“well, if dudes who are dark skinned are manlier, it’ s okay if I continue to live like a weak apathetic slob and women pass me over because I’m a white guy so I can’t compete anyway and it’s not my fault and now I”m going to bomb a government building”)

    • sunshinefiasco says:

      I’ll let other people handle your comments on hormones and femininity, but a few things:

      “If you compare yourself to your female family members you will observe they are paler, this is true in every family, in every race. Males of any family or ethnicity are darker than the females.”

      While you may believe this to be chemically true, I guarantee you that it’s not. In fact, the way you’ve phrased your conclusion makes it basically impossible for it to be true. How do I make this guarantee? I’m from a family where that idea doesn’t hold true, (the darker skinned people in my family are myself, my mother, and my brother as opposed to my father and my sister being paler), and I know of other families where it isn’t true.

      “(which is clearly false if you talk to women, most would disagree that they favor and prefer very dark men”

      I have some questions about what this sentence means (what does “very dark” mean? darker then the woman in question? darker then some standard?), but essentially, I’m just gonna ask you to stop speaking for all women. Or even most women. Not because I don’t think people can speak in some generalizations about gender without being correct, but because in multiple threads, I’ve seen you claim (anyway, what I percieve to be) a minority position as God’s gospel truth about women or their opinions. I imagine it may have been fun to be one of the only women on this board when it was super-new and you could have male posters jump to agree with insider analysis, but there are a few more of us around now, so please entertain the idea that we might disagree with you sometimes.

      I have some issues with other areas of your post, but that’ll have to be for next time.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:

        Sunshinefiasco,

        If you are a multiethnic person, my statement will not apply to you or anyone else who is multiethnic. However, multiracial families are irrelevant to the discussion as they are a modern phenomena. It would be like someone who is homosexual trying to argue against any statement about what men seek in women or women seek in men; yes, homosexuality exists, but this is a condition of atypical prenatal/postnatal development and it is not relevant to what is otherwise intended (since, you know, sex exists for reproduction, exclusive or a significant degree of homosexuality would be an anomoly and atypical development, clearly so).
        Multiethnic people can only exist in modern society, where people from all over the world can meet together. In the environments we evolved in, where we selected our genes, most people were ethnically similar enough that there were not WIDE variations in appearance and skin color.

        ” I have some questions about what this sentence means (what does “very dark” mean? darker then the woman in question? darker then some standard?)”

        Are we pulling a bill clinton? “What is sex?”
        Are we pretending like we don’t know what “very dark” means in relation to ethnicity?
        Here, let me break it down for you. “Very” means extreme. Highly concentrated sugar is “very” sweet.
        “Dark” means not light. The background my words are written on is light. The words themselves are dark.
        Now that I have given you the abstract representation these english language words stand for, I hope your mental machinery can combine these together so that you can figure out what I mean by “very dark” in relation to ethnicity.

        “… but essentially, I’m just gonna ask you to stop speaking for all women. Or even most women. Not because I don’t think people can speak in some generalizations about gender without being correct, but because in multiple threads, I’ve seen you claim (anyway, what I percieve to be) a minority position as God’s gospel truth about women or their opinions. I imagine it may have been fun to be one of the only women on this board when it was super-new and you could have male posters jump to agree with insider analysis, but there are a few more of us around now, so please entertain the idea that we might disagree with you sometimes.”
        This makes you sound like a PSYCHO, fyi.
        It is completely irrational, because I never claimed to speak for women or from the position of a woman in this discussion. However in the past I have disclosed I am a woman so for some reason you seem to assume that because I am a woman, I am posing as a representative of all women everywhere whenever I say anything related to sex or gender? Or even that my statements have anything to DO with the gender/sex of the person saying them? Curious why you think that. Why can a man hold a discussion and his views be attributed to his thoughts, as opposed to being some emotional whim based on his subjective experiences of having male genitals?

        It’s doubly irrational and insane because in the past I have made it clear multiple times that I do not consider my personal opinions/feelings/views to be representative of the majority of women. The last thing I would ever say is that my personal thoughts or feelings are common to women, because they are not, and I know they are not. I am bisexual, I hate children a lot, I never want to get married, consider myself less sentimental than most people particularly most women, and generally do not get along with women because they are emotional and irrational and have a lot of difficulty having discussions or arguments. Yes this makes me sound sexist, but I truly don’t care. Talking to women is always annoying because everything is misconstrued and some emotional significance is attributed to statements which were intended to be emotionally neutral. Such as you are doing right now.

        • AnonymousAtLarge says:

          OH and I was never the only woman on this board, and I am confused as to where all these other women came from you are talking about.

          Philtrum, yourself, et al have always been around. I don’t see anyone new here.

        • sunshinefiasco says:

          1. I am white, and so is my family. The other families I was referring to are not, to my knowledge, multiethnic.

          2. For example, does very dark cover all black people (probably not, I’m guessing)? If it doesn’t, which skin tones meet the definition of “very dark” and which ones don’t? Is Obama’s skin tone very dark? I’ll assume you think that Samuel L. Jackson’s is. Then again, is his skin tone “dark” or “very dark”? What about Lena Horne? George Lopez? Kal Penn? M.I.A.? What about the myriad of skin tones common to Hispanics, or to Southeast Asians?

          Do you just mean races with more pigment then the white race? Or do you mean darker complected people within the same race or ethnicity? Is there a line somewhere in between? If it’s the last one, can I have pictures of people who are just barely on each side of that line?

          3. It is completely irrational, because I never claimed to speak for women or from the position of a woman in this discussion.

          When you use statements like “clearly false if you talk to most women” in a male dominated discussion, exactly who do you think is going to challenge you? You don’t even listen when female posters challenge you.

          You’ve made it well known that you’re female on this board, not to mention that your writing occasionally gives away your gender anyway (as it does in the last 2 paragraphs of your 1st comment, and as is common for almost all people). You’re a bright person, you should be able to see how writing that way (particularly at the end of a long comment about science) implies authority.

          4. I wouldn’t have an issue with that if your comments (in various threads) took more care to represent a range of female opinion. You often speak for our gender as a whole, occasionally couching it in evolutionary crap to cover for the fact that it’s based on your opinion (some of your evolutionary crap makes some good points, just not all of it). I’m referring to these threads specifically, though there may be others: Promiscuous Boy, Get to the Point, WSJ to Women: Only Have Sex With Winners, and Mad Dolls.

          I have no issue with you disagreeing with me, or advocating for your position, just quit bringing our entire gender in on it with you. If you referred to your opinions on female sexuality/body image/sexual attraction as representing a segment of the female population, rather than everyone, I would take what you write much more seriously as a viewpoint on the issue, as opposed to getting so annoyed that it reads like an amalgamation of crazy shit.

          5. I do not consider my personal opinions/feelings/views to be representative of the majority of women.

          The problem isn’t that you present your opinions as representative of all women. It’s that you present many of your opinions as fact.

          I don’t get along with most women either. The majority of my friends are male. This has only served to remind me of the fact that speaking for all women is really friggin’ hard.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:

        I’m also curious how you intend to reconcile your disagreement (my statement: ” women do not prefer dark men”) with political correctness (social meme: ” it is wrong to prefer any one ethnicity over another”).

        Are you saying, then, that women DO prefer very dark men?
        If so, this is paramount to disagreeing with my statement that no such preference exists.

        If you DO believe this, you are being politically incorrect, which as a non-thinking type of person I am sure makes you very uncomfortable.

        I have to assume you DO NOT believe this, because someone like yourself is certainly going to avoid making any statements that groups of people may hold valid ethnic preferences (when such preferences are found they are to be described as narrow minded, closed minded, and/or racist depending on the degree of maliciousness).

        Most likely I am assuming that you incorrectly read my statement as saying “women prefer light men, not dark men” which is logically incorrect as I never made such a statement. My statement argued against a female preference for black skinned men, but made no statements about a preference for lighter men.

        • sunshinefiasco says:

          “(which is clearly false if you talk to women, most would disagree that they favor and prefer very dark men”

          My statement argued against a female preference for black skinned men.

          Men like all kinds of women, just as women like all kinds of men.

          These three statements seem inconsistent with one another. I’m digging that third one though.

          I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’m crazy enough to think that a range of women prefer a range of things. Some might like light-skinned men, others, dark-skinned men, and others, in-between skinned men. (I still want to know if light skinned men, in this equation = white men or if you mean light in comparison to the mean skin tone of a population, but either way I think my point stands).

          I’m well aware that (probably/almost) all people have racial preferences when it comes to sexual attractiveness, and so long as everyone involved is still looking at one another as people (or as generic sexual objects if they’re just in for a good time) rather than racially-fetishized sexual objects, I believe that it’s entirely healthy.

          As for political correctness? I think it has almost nothing to do with what turns your crank sexually and what doesn’t. (Provided you don’t have one of those racially-fetishizing things going on).

  10. BluegrassJack says:

    Why would the London School of Economics have a psychologist on its staff/faculty?

  11. boeotarch says:

    As a man, all I can say is that my tastes in women have tended to drift a lot, depending mostly on what type of women I’m involved with or exposed to the most. Which is to say, if I’m gonna be honest with myself my preferences are mostly cultural, social and aesthetic, and I suspect a lot of the evolutionary bio arguments are just efforts by other guys to deny that their preferences are basically arbitrary.

    • cat says:

      I have encountered men who attempt to use “studies” or “research” to convince themselves that their sexual preferences are OK or acceptable. There was a evolutionary biology “study” a while ago that “proved” that men prefer large-breasted women and the rationale was that large-breasted women give signals that they are more fertile, making men want to mate with them. (Assuming things were that simple, then the phenotype of smaller breasts ought to have become rarer over the millennia.)

      I think some people just feel more comfortable with having some scientific authority saying their sexual preferences are normal.

      Figuring out why that is is more interesting than the content of these “studies”, if you ask me.

      • philtrum says:

        Perhaps it is a reaction to the real people and/or the phantoms in their heads that call them shallow. There are many pieties about “it’s what’s inside that counts” and the like. But interestingly enough, I don’t see women using this “I evolved this way” tactic so much to defend their attractions, even though there are no end of stories about women who choose sexually appealing bad boys over safe, good men. The evo-psych stuff seems to come up specifically as a reaction to feminist arguments or complaints.

  12. JohnJ says:

    I prefer my women to be female because I’m a sexist like that. White women are way more experimental than black women. Redheads are best. ¡Pelirrojas es caliente!

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