Clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson has yet another viral video on his hands, thanks to Anne McElvoy, senior editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio.
Mr. Peterson, the author of â€ś12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,â€ť made global headlines in January for his handling of widely panned questioning by British journalist Cathy Newman. A recent interview with the U.K.-based Intelligence Squared debate forum is drawing comparisons for her attempts to twist data on female aggression into a personal bias on the scientistâ€™s part.
â€śViolence often pops up in your work as something that you think that drives things. I think you said relations between men are more regulated by a background threat of force in a sense. Thatâ€™s why men have difficulty with women,â€ť Ms. McElvoy said during the hourlong interview.
â€śThatâ€™s why men have difficulty with women who are completely out of control,â€ť Mr. Peterson said.
The University of Toronto professor then attempted to explain how decades of scientific research shows men and women generally opt for different methods of displaying aggressive behavior.
Studies on anti-social behavior show that men often resort to outright violence while women prefer reputation destruction, innuendo and gossip.
â€śWho controls women? â€¦ You described yourself as a liberal and I think that a liberal doesnâ€™t think that society controls women or men. â€¦ What is an out-of-control woman? What is this creature? How would we know when weâ€™ve met one?â€ť Ms. McElvoy shot back during a series of exchanges.Â
â€śIâ€™m sure you met one in your life that acted towards you in a bullying in detestable manner,â€ť Mr. Petersonreplied. â€śItâ€™s very difficult for women to cope with that because that donâ€™t have any real recourse. And female bullying can be unbelievably vicious. It usually takes the shape of reputation destruction, innuendo and gossip. Itâ€™s well documented.â€ť
â€śOnly women? â€¦ Where is the data on innuendo and gossip?â€ť Ms. McElvoy countered.
â€śWell, itâ€™s among antisocial behavior among adolescents,â€ť Mr. Peterson said. â€śItâ€™s a well-documented field. People look at aggressive and anti-social behavior in women and in men, and in women it tends to take the expression of innuendo, gossip and reputation destruction. In men, it tends to take the form of outright physical aggression. Thereâ€™s a whole literature on that. Itâ€™s not a surprise to anyone. This has been known for 30 years.
â€śIâ€™m a psychologist and a scientist and I tend to base my opinions on what Iâ€™ve read in the broad relevant literature,â€ť he continued. â€śI studied antisocial behavior for 15 years. Iâ€™m actually quite an expert on it.â€ť
The Intelligence Squared YouTube channel attracted over 430,000 views since May 24 and prompted numerous others to post excerpts on their own channels.
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