The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) has joined those who are denouncing a study that alleges that coloured women in the country have an increased risk of low cognitive functioning due to low education and an unhealthy lifestyle.

A group of scholars from the University of Stellenbosch published the study, which was widely circulated during the Easter weekend.

Many people have criticised it on social media, with some labelling it as offensive. The society’s president-elect, Professor Garth Stevens, says the study must be retracted because the scholars have used academic freedom to violate the rights of others.

“I would have to concur with colleagues who have indicated that the retraction of the study is probably the best option at this point. Black people are always put on the back foot just to account for the stereotypes that are directed at them. It seems to me that actually what we really have to consider not entertaining them any longer and we should confine studies that link race to intelligence to the dust bin of history,” says Prof Stevens.