Friday, May 27, 2011

"Race" Researchers Offer Unflattering Portrayal of Asian Males

In a recent interview, Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, asserted that  black women are less attractive than women of other races.  His claims were based on unfounded beliefs that  women of African ancestry possess higher testosterone levels than females of other so-called races.   In making such claims, I fear that Dr. Kanazawa may misunderstand the true nature of the cult of pseudo-science into which his remarks has now gained him entry.  

Professors Arthur Jensen, J. Philippe Rushton, and the authors of the 1994 bestseller, the Bell Curve, (Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray)  are the latest in a long line of scholars who have attempted to prove racial differences in intelligence, beauty, hormonal levels, athleticism or the size of a particular group’s sexual organs.  However, the 19th century belief in dividing the world into three distinct races, that of Caucasoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid, and then creating hierarchies in which the one in which the researcher identifies most closely, sits at the top, does not stand up to modern genomic research findings.    Despite outward appearances of skin color or hair texture, the human family is too intermixed on a genetic level, to differentiate population groups by such broad, socially-constructed categories as “race.”

It is as a consequence regrettable that Dr. Kanazawa, being of Japanese ancestry, would buy into such racial hierarchies given the unflattering portrayal of Asian males upon which these theories are built.  It is true that scholars engaged in such  pseudo-scientific research have placed Asians or “Mongoloids,” at the top of the hierarchy, even above Europeans.  However, Asians are placed at the top of the cognitive hierarchy because the work of scholars like Rushton reflect the masculine insecurities of those who endorse their theories.  In short, the elements in society that embrace such theories do not fear sexual competition with Asian men, as they do with black males. In recent years, for instance, social scientists have documented the pernicious stereotypes Asian men face in American society.  Often perceived as undersexed, they are thus perceived as minimal rivals to white men in the sexual competition for women.   It has, therefore, become useful to tout the Asian cognitive superiority, to deflect charges of racism.  But this is just so long as Caucasoids remain above Negroids in the cognitive hierarchy.  Professor Fatimah Jackson of the University of Maryland speaks to this issue with remarkable forthrightness.  She states:

            “It is deemed acceptable for ‘Mongoloids’ to have larger brains and better performance on intelligence tests than ‘Caucasoids,’ since they are (presumably) sexually and reproductively compromised with small genitalia, low fertility, and delayed maturity.”  

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What's Really Behind Claims that Black Women are Less Attractive?