Fire Racist, Sexist Satoshi Kanazawa
I know this is an unusual topic for me. Normally I couldn't care less about any pundit or alleged "expert" unless s/he is also in Congress or in the White House, affecting national policy. But yesterday's alert from our friend Julia Williams (Green Congressional Candidate in 2012!) galvanized me into action.
It is hard to believe that a so-called "psychologist" could possibly be publishing the types of pseudoscientific, sexist articles Satoshi Kanazawa is writing in Psychology Today. Apparently, he has been doing so since at least 2006, but Psychology Today's readers drew the line when he included racist tropes in the title of his latest "masterpiece" . Hey, at least they finally protested, although the article received 13,000 Facebook Likes before it was brought down.
Here is what another PT writer, Daniel R. Hawes, thinks of Kanazawa's methods.
At the University of Minnesota, I have seen reference to Satoshi Kanazawa - who writes the Scientific Fundamentalist blog here on Psychology Today - used in graduate seminars as an example of poor and flawed quantitative methods research.
Scientific Fundamentalist blog posts also appear in undergraduate classroom sessions. Typically when trying to teach soon-to-be-college graduates how to distinguish pseudoscientific conjectures from scientifically reasoned argument in the quantitative social sciences.
I couldn't agree more.
I don't think Kanazawa should have a job at PT anymore, so I have created a petition on Change.org, which is an organization that has had some very successful campaigns for women's rights. The petition will be sent to the Editor-In-Chief of Psychology Today.com, whose name is Kaja Perina. Here is the form letter I'm including with the petition.
Dear Ms. Perina,
I am writing to request that Satoshi Kanazawa be fired from the writing staff of Psychology Today, and that all his writings be removed from the magazine's website.
Mr. Kanazawa's article of May 17, 2011, entitled "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?", was quickly removed from the site after readers complained that it was racist and sexist. I applaud you for this action; however, this type of misogyny and appalling ignorance is a common thread throughout Mr. Kanazawa's work. One need look no further than his previous Psychology Today article, "Why Men Lie Up and Women Lie Down," to demonstrate as much. Here is a key paragraph from that article.
"As I explain in an earlier post, modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil. Modern feminists are wrong about everything. The females of all mammalian species, including humans, always have more power than the males, and, in every human society, women are slightly better off than men are. "
I suppose it is possible that Mr. Kanazawa is so ignorant that he has never heard of female income and wealth inequality, and that he is unaware of the fact that one in three women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime "in every human society" (and in some countries like the Congo, that statistic is closer to 100%.) If this is true, however, does he deserve to be published as an "expert" by your magazine?
On Psychology Today's "About" page, the following text is written:
"Here at PsychologyToday.com we have invited the leading academics, clinicians and authors in our field to contribute their thoughts and ideas in the form of blogs -- there are currently over 600 of them. The accumulated knowledge bank represents the largest archive of its kind in the world."
My hope is that you take these words seriously, and that you will recognize that Mr. Kanazawa's sexist, racist manifestos are not worthy of inclusion in Psychology Today's knowledge bank. I respectfully request that you fire him, and remove his work from your site.
I hope that you will sign this petition, and pass it along as you deem appropriate.