The other night I made time to do a little non-school related reading. I picked up the latest issue of Psychology Today.
I must admit I subscribed to this magazine before I know much about it or about the psychology profession for that matter. I have been neutral about their past publications, not in complete agreement with the point of views presented. However, I pride myself on my ability to listen to and consider other opinions. That is why I have continued to read the magazine…..
Until the April 2011 issue;
I was flipping through and came across a section entitled
I was immediately intrigued. Hoping for a stimulating article referring to research about first impressions or stereotypes. My expectations were far from met. By then end of the one page article I was completely offended.
Below is how the article appears in the publication:
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLAXEN LOCKS
A blonde walks into a bar-and every patron passes a snap judgement of her. Are the stereotypes silly or sound? We examined the facts.
Stereotype: Gentlemen prefer blondes.
Since light hair usually darkens with age, men drift toward blondes as the hue is an indicator of youth (and mating potential). Blondness probably evolved in northern Europe’s chilly climates where men couldn’t see other fertility flags, like breast, under winter layers, says Satoshi Kanazawa, a London School of Economics psychologist and PT blogger.
Verdict: Sorry, raven haired beauties-the cliche seems to be rooted in truth.
Stereotype: Blondes are dumb.
The airhead trope likely stems from the tendency (described above) for blondes to grow darker with age; if true blondes are young, they’re probably also less wise. But Kanazawa suspects towheads are smarter than non-blondes: Because fair-haired females are more desirable, “more intelligent men, with higher status and greater resources, should marry blondes-and their children simultaneously be blonde and intelligent,” he says.
Reliable data on natural hair color are hard to come by, though. One survey, Add Health, which only tracks apparent hair color, found that, amoung white non-Hispanics, blonds had very slightly lower IQs that others. (Blame the bleach?)
Verdict: Like, oh my gosh-the jury’s totally still out.
It is hard for me to deconstruct my anger with this article in order to pin point which part of myself is more offended; the blonde, the women or the scholar.
I am a blonde and have been my entire life. Although I do not bleach my hair, I do dye my hair a lighter shade of blonde. I am also a graduate student, in a program that specifically focuses on statistics and research methods. Both of which this article lacks. There are more imperfections than I have time to critic, so I will address the two basics.
First I ask, where are the facts Kasia Galazka claims to be examining? A more realistic sentence would be, “I will provide one man’s opinion and my ignorant narrative.”
I am mostly offended by the second “stereotype”. It is completely insane to even think much less publish the idea that a child is only intelligent if his/her father is intelligent. The article provides no actual research on how blondes evolved or their intelligent levels in comparison to others. Furthermore, where is the study examining a child’s IQ in relationship to the parent’s? This article simply states one man’s opinion about a topic he may have have researched in the past but obviously has failed to published. Beyond the flawed reasoning of Satoshi Kanazawa. Kasia Galazka took the article to another level of stupidity. Her statement, “Blame the bleach?” enrages me. Women are fighting enough battles to be taken seriously in professional environment. Why make women feel insecure about their choice of hair color? I expect more from professional women, especially “journalist” in psychological magazines.
After reading this article I firmly believe the stereotype that blondes are dumb is not perpetuated by youth or even men but in fact by ignorant women.
I am no longer just offended. I am ashamed I have ever paid for an issue of this magazine and concerned about the information they are pushing upon others.