Four months after Satoshi Kanazawa made inflammatory and poorly supported statements that black women are less physically attractive than other women, he has issued a mea culpa. According to the Times Higher Education, Kanazawa admits that he made serious mistakes in his data analysis and regrets publishing his infamous blog (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=417449&c=1).
When Kanazawa's blog was first published on Psychology Today's website back in May of this year, I blogged about it for several days (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/psychology-today-apologizes.html). It was and still is amazing to me how "academic" research can be used to support harmful, oppressive personal beliefs that some individuals may hold.
This morning, I'm feeling quite ambivalent about the recent recant. On one hand I'm thrilled that the flawed research has been brought to light. On the other hand, I'm saddened that freedom of expression is the argument used to veil flawed research that denigrates an entire demographic category, especially since that demographic category has been historically (and is currently) devalued in society.
Kudos to the group of scholars who took issue with the shoddy research and did not stand down until the London School of Economics sanctioned Kanazawa. He still has a job but I bet he'll think twice before he uses data to support his faulty logic.
Thanks to JS for sending me the article early this morning! :)