- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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 “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” 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 scientist’s part.

“Violence 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. That’s why men have difficulty with women,” Ms. McElvoy said during the hourlong interview.

“That’s why men have difficulty with women who are completely out of control,” 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.

“Who controls women? … You described yourself as a liberal and I think that a liberal doesn’t think that society controls women or men. … What is an out-of-control woman? What is this creature? How would we know when we’ve met one?” Ms. McElvoy shot back during a series of exchanges. 

“I’m sure you met one in your life that acted towards you in a bullying in detestable manner,” Mr. Peterson replied. “It’s very difficult for women to cope with that because that don’t have any real recourse. And female bullying can be unbelievably vicious. It usually takes the shape of reputation destruction, innuendo and gossip. It’s well documented.”

“Only women? … Where is the data on innuendo and gossip?” Ms. McElvoy countered.

“Well, it’s among antisocial behavior among adolescents,” Mr. Peterson said. “It’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. There’s a whole literature on that. It’s not a surprise to anyone. This has been known for 30 years.

“I’m a psychologist and a scientist and I tend to base my opinions on what I’ve read in the broad relevant literature,” he continued. “I studied antisocial behavior for 15 years. I’m actually quite an expert on it.”

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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