I’m setting myself up for hate mail here.
Recently a researcher at the LSE ( Dr Satoshi Kanazawa) published study based on on-line data that came to the conclusion men found black African women less attractive, and then had the sheer bad taste to put the result out for public use. Of course, the masses are now howling for his head on a plate. But this result has been found over and over in other studies of dating and mating behaviour, and it ties well with the known male preference for facial features in females.
Last year OK cupid released data that supported the same thing, and another from the dim and distant past (2006) shows the same conclusion, (you also see from the data that women find East Asian men unappealing).
FRom OKCupid… “Men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.
It would probably be a good time to discuss what men do find attractive in women, in a non-race related setting from non-race related research into what humans find attractive. Generally, the less male looking a female face is, the more attractive it is to heterosexual males. This means a small jaw and chin, a narrow nose, high cheekbones, no dark circles under the eyes, thin arched brows, full lips, slightly paler skin than male, strong contrast between lip and eye colour (lips and eyes being darker) long dark lashes and a childlike flatness to the brow area, as well as the ubiquitous facial symmetry, and coming close to the ‘average’ face paradigm. Also no signs of overweight, no facial hair, perfect skin. Also important is glossy, long, straight hair. The preferred body shape has a BMI of 20.5, a hip to waist ratio of 0.7 (varies from culture to culture) and legs slightly longer than average, with little body hair, and not much more than average female height. Breast preference varies wildly across cultures.
It would be easy to assume (and a lot of people do) that the preference for lighter skin in women is due to the influence of European racism, but it’s a trait common to most human cultures, even those that pre-dated contact with European cultures and imperialism, and modern cultures that have little contact with Europeans. There’s very little preference for light skin in males; most cultures don’t care, or prefer men to be slightly darker (tall, dark and handsome). This is probably due to the fact female skin looks very slightly lighter than mens due to the extra fat beneath it. This gives a greater contrast between the lip colour and skin, the effect lipstick exaggerates. Skin bleaching is a common practise in women from darker skinned populations the world over.
This puts African women in conflict with the preferred feminine face paradigm on many fronts; darker skin with very little contrast with eyes and lips, wider noses, particularly heavy brow ridges in some West Africans and a strong tendency to short hair. About the only area they do better in is fuller lips . So.. the reasons men find the average black women less attractive have nothing to do with racism, or iffy research.
So, can we all stop shrieking at Dr Kanazawa for simply saying what was already fairly well known?