We had a giggle, but the laugh, as they say, was on us. For the new science of phrenology insists that all people implicated in the despicable crime of racism have distinctive physiognomies. All racists have white, European, male faces.
Just kidding! That’s how journalists identify racists at a glance. Phrenologists do so with the male facial width-to-height ratio.
Or so says the peer-reviewed paper “Facial Structure Is Indicative of Explicit Support for Prejudicial Beliefs” in the well-respected journal Psychological Science by Eric Hehman and others.
Grab a tape measure before reading further, because you’re sure to want to play along. First lay your tape along your bizygomatic width (“the distance between the left and right zygions, or cheekbones”), then divide that into your upper facial height (“the distance between the upper lip and the midbrow”). Use the picture above as a guideline.
Near as I can figure—it’s difficult to lay a tap width-wise which excludes the prominence which has erupted, and continues to grow, in the middle of my face—my fWHR (giving it an acronym is what makes it science) is 1.5, perhaps a hair larger.
Any white male with a fWHR greater than 1.8 must immediately turn themselves into their company’s human “resource” department for sensitivity (re-)training, for these men are clearly racists who harbor prejudicial attitudes towards blacks.
Not only that, as a service to diversity, that noble goal, I suggest HR departments implement fWHR screening to weed out the biased before hiring. Not doing so indicates a willingness to embrace racism, for how could you not use such a cheap, simple, scientifically valid tool? Lawyers: watch for the non-compliant.
Hehman did not peg an exact fWHRs above which crossed the racism line, but he did say that higher fWHRs were “associated with increased explicit racial prejudice.” Unfortunately, fWHRs were not “associated” with “implicit” racism, which differs from “explicit” racism. Didn’t know there was more than one kind of racism? Brother, there are dozens shades of racism, with academia discovering new ones constantly. But never mind that here.
Hehman gathered 70 white males (college students) and attacked them with two questionnaires, the “Attitudes Toward Blacks Scale” (ATB) and the “External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice Scale” (EMS). (Yours Truly went to the original papers on these scales, as Hehman did not include them.)
Examples of the ATB: “I think that black people look more similar to each other than white people do”, “Some blacks are so touchy about race that it is difficult to get along with them”, “I worry that in a few years I may be denied my application for a job or a promotion because of preferential treatment given to minority group members.”
The EMS was a “computer program”, and therefore authoritative. It showed pictures of blacks, “e.g., Martin Luther King Jr., Tiger Woods”, and whites, “e.g., Al Capone, Timothy McVeigh”, with brief captions “Tiger Woods is a famous golf champion” (these were the only examples given). The amount of time whites gazed at the images was noted.
Those who scored higher on these tests were said to be racists, because as diversity theory suggests, black people do not look more similar to each other than white people do. And obviously, unprejudiced people would look at golfer and Tiger Woods and mass-murder Timothy McVeigh the same length of time. “Explicit” versus “Implicit” (vs. all the other kinds of) racism were teased out using statistical methods too complicated for us to explore. However, they used hierarchical linear modeling, bootstrapping, and of course p-values, so you know these results are solid.
Testosterone, that most politically incorrect of chemicals, probably has something to do with fWHR.
From an evolutionary perspective, it may have been advantageous to identify dominant, high-testosterone males (both in-group and out-group members) because more-dominant males would be more likely to hold leadership positions in one’s own group and to behave aggressively. In previous work, researchers have speculated that men with more masculine facial features may have greater access to important resources because they are perceived as physically dominant…
That’s all the explanation we need, because to suggest anything else smacks of anti-evolutionism. Only deniers would deny this.
Thanks yet again to Al Perrella for alerting us to this topic.