alt-lite jordan "slappy" peterson not a cult reddit

“Jordan Peterson is the voice in my head telling me what to do” (NOT A CULT)

He DOES love to talk

By David Futrelle

Just a reminder that Jordan “Slappy” Peterson’s fanboys are totally not cult members in a cult or anything, why would you even think that?

Is Prof. Peterson the "voice in the head telling you what you should and shouldn't do" for anyone else? (self.JordanPeterson)  submitted 14 hours ago by boatsthatfly  I've found on many occasions that when I'm doing something I know I shouldn't or vice versa, the voice telling me so is Peterson's. "Just what the hell gave you the idea that this is a good thing to do? Get ahold of yourself! How do you expect to be a force for good if you cant even fold your damn laundry?" so on and so forth.


Ok, ok, he doesn’t mean a LITERAL voice in his head telling him what to do and not to do., that would be weird, just that “‘the little voice’ telling [me] not to do stuff often takes on Peterson’s tone and speech pattern.” Which is TOTALLY NORMAL.

I mean, seriously, who doesn’t have some strange Canadian dude in their head — FIGURATIVELY — telling them what to do? In my case, it’s the late Doug Henning, the fuzzy-mustached magician dude who was born in Winnipeg.

In case you’d like to know what it would be like if Jordan B. Peterson were a voice in your head, this brief video should help.

147 replies on ““Jordan Peterson is the voice in my head telling me what to do” (NOT A CULT)”

That women don’t have the *capacity* to do such things is not something I’m claiming. I’m claiming that on average they have tended not to as much as men have, and I’m aware of no sociological reason that sufficiently explains that of itself.

Er. Sexism and patriarchy are ample sociological reasons to explain that. Introductory gender studies will help you out there.

What’s more, you’re doin’ it wrong. Even if there were no sociological reason that you could see, that doesn’t mean that

a) there is no sociological reason (appeal from ignorance), or that
b) the reason therefore must be biological (false dilemma),

If it were true that we could not see a sociological reason, the correct response is to say we don’t know instead of saying therefore, biological mechanisms account for this.

It’s only been around half a century since 2nd wave feminism – the wave that dealt with women having the right and the ability to be leaders, scientists, etc – really got going. That’s a pretty short timespan compared to the millenia of hardcore patriarchy we had to turn things around. It always seems ridiculous to me when people say “well, even today women are still under represented in traditionally male dominated fields, therefore it must just be down to hardwired biological differences in the male and female brains.” These biases have been baked into our culture for a long ass time. It’s not easy and simple to change them.


I intentionally avoided talking about scientists and whatnot because of that and also because our conception of professions don’t really even directly compare to those of antiquity. There were no “scientists” per se as we understand them anyway. That’s one reason I was intentionally broad when I said “aggressive authority figures.”

@ general sociology stuff

Why then do disparate human cultures, again separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years, default over and over and over to patriarchy with some exceptions but not enough to upset the overall trend.

“I’m of the opinion that no good book on behavioural biology can be written about humans right now, because we don’t know enough, and what we do know is contradictory and tainted with harmful biases. I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for, but I can’t answer otherwise.”

This is more or less my opinion too though I haven’t worded it so well. This is not to say I don’t think that anything has been found out, but that anything at the moment that postulates about this will be inundated with people looking to mine it for various political agendas. This is one reason I am really cautious about as I said before leaping on either the deification or vilification bandwagon. The answer appears to be that biology and sociology both matter and it’s really hard to separate precisely what controls what.

Okay, so how are you defining leader and how are you defining aggressive? Given that there have been so many institutional barriers to women getting into leadership positions in the first place, how do you compare male and female leaders?

Are you saying women are less biologically inclined towards being a leader at all? Or are you saying women are less biologically inclined to lead in an aggressive way? Because it’s kind of hard to address your claim when it’s not too clear what your claim actually is.

If you’re saying women are less inclined to take leadership roles, you need to control for institutional barriers when you evaluate that. You can’t just count male vs female heads of state or CEOs and call it a biotruth.

If you’re saying women lead less aggressively than men, you still need to account for cultural factors. For example, if employees respond differently to an authoritative management style when the manager is female than they do if they’re male, then how do you know female managers aren’t just adjusting their behavior to fit their environment rather than acting naturally. But really, first things first, you need a scale to measure how aggressive an authority figure is. Without some way to quantify that, we can’t really discuss it very well. Just saying it seems like men are more aggressive authorities isn’t really going to cut it.

I am saying historically there are fewer women in authority positions where a major component of the authority vested in that position is directly attributable to violence, literal violence of the “clubbing someone over the head” variety.

Also, a biological answer doesn’t have to be a neurobiological answer. Perhaps patriarchy developed in the first place because men are (generally) bigger than women and used brute force to do it. Perhaps it developed because before modern medicine, pregnancy and labor were so dangerous and simply reproducing was enough. Nowadays neither size or reproduction need keep cis women from doing everything men do, but that wasn’t always necessarily the case. Cis men being larger and not having to deal with giving birth does not mean that cis men are smarter or more aggressive.

Plus the existence in the first place of non-patriarchal societies, even if they were smaller in number than patriarchal societies, actually is an argument against patriarchy being hardwired into our brains. The existence of feminism is an argument against it too. If gender roles were natural, women wouldn’t have to be encouraged, coerced and physically threatened into staying in those roles.

I am saying historically there are fewer women in authority positions where a major component of the authority placed in that position is because of violence.

That didn’t answer the question. Are you saying fewer total or few proportionately? And again, how are you defining whether or not the authority placed in that position is because of violence? How are you defining aggressive?

I mean really you seem to be engaging in some circular logic here. You’re essentially saying women aren’t aggressive because women aren’t aggressive.

Sorry I edited the post as you were quoting it to try to clarify myself a bit more.

Here is what I’m saying:

Some positions of authority, or perhaps even prestige or high regard might be a better way to put it, are granted in no small part because the person in them is good at orchestrating violence, literally killing, fighting, wounding, etc.

These are overwhelmingly occupied by men in most cultures.

Is there any other “profession” if you want to call it that, which has such a radical gender dichotomy across so many cultures and times? There certainly isn’t with priests or craft people or artists and lots of others I can think of. In fact, the variance in those later professions seems perfectly attributable to patriarchy in as much as patriarchy itself values violence and thus will consider those more likelyto perpetrate violence to be superior in any number of ways.

Sorry I’m on mobile so my ability to be nuanced is limited at the moment and I’m fixing to drive home. I will try to check back in a bit but it will probably be a while.

Again, we need a way to quantify aggressive authority/orchestrating violence/whatever you want to call it. We need a scale. Then if the hypothesis is that the cause is male and female brain differences, we need a way to control for cultural factors.

Again, you’re using circular logic.

This seems semi pertinent. I had occasion to pester my osteo-archelogist friend the other night with one of my daft queries. But then she mentioned this.

And that’s by no means the only example. It now looks like 50% of high status Viking ‘warrior’ graves might end up being reclassified as female. I’m no statistician, but that number rings a bell from somewhere.


If you give me some time, I can give you lots of citations from historians and archaeologists about the overwhelmingly masculine association with violent professions in various cultures, yes. Or rather I can provide you and inordinately long list of civilizations that had such associations and I can provide many more examples of civilizations where non violent professions do not have as overwhelmingly a masculine association.

I am trained as an archivist so in as much as I am an expert in any particular academic field it’s history, though I’m not claiming to be a doctorate level expert. It’s just the area I have the most formal education in and that I’ve read the most in.

And now for real I’m actually going to drive home. I’m currently sitting in a parking lot doing this which doesn’t provide much evidence for my overall sanity or mental balance I suppose.

How are we defining “most cultures” here, as well? Can you even name, say, 50 different cultures?

I’m bored now.

You have advanced some hypotheses which explain the observed data. As Pirsig pointed out, it’s possible to come up with an infinite number of hypotheses that explain the observed data, for the same reason that it’s possible to draw an infinite number of lines to fit a given set of points. Coming up with hypotheses doesn’t make you knowledgeable, or clever. Children can do it.

This is science. Experimentally-tested, peer-reviewed research or STFU.

More to the point, if you cannot tell the difference between a hypothesis and an experimentally-tested theory, you have no place in a learned discussion.

I’m currently sitting in a parking lot doing this which doesn’t provide much evidence for my overall sanity or mental balance I suppose.

It actually says a lot less than that sentence does.

I’ll be brief, my duck, I’m in a rush.

All of the biological correlations with behaviour that we know of are weak. They aren’t strictly dominated by other things, but they are far from the most important influence. So the correct answer to “Does biological gender influence behaviour?” is yes, but not as much as a lot of other things. And that makes the answer to the question of “how much” out to be we don’t know.

You’re running on this (common) idea that there was some mythic before-human time where we were driven purely by biology and then society started layering on stuff like icing on a cake. That biology operates beneath societal influences. This is wrong. We’ve been social creatures for longer than we’ve been Homo sapiens, and those social structures – including learned roles, stigmas, and eu/anti-social behaviours – evolved alongside the way our hormones influence them. You can’t separate them.

That’s why it’s so hard to determine whether something is biological or environmental in nature. Because there is no clear boundary between those classes, and we can’t apply the traditional techniques of reduction and synthesis to the problem.

Also, if you’re finding it hard to quantify aggression, authority, etc, you should be happy – the only people who find that easy are those who haven’t thought very deep about it. So, have a think on why your classification system of “men have leadership roles require violence” might have some flaws in it.

Then have a think on how your historical system of gender roles might be distorted.

Then have a think about how you might be able to reduce those issues in a meaningful way.

Looking forward to hearing what you come up with.

@ lesley

I can provide many more examples of civilizations where non violent professions do not have as overwhelmingly a masculine association

I’d be genuinely interested in seeing that. You see I can think of more examples of female ‘aggresive authority figures’ than I can of any other male associated profession. That could well be selection bias; it’s an interest of mine. But there seems to be a fair few (although still under represented) number of warrior women, whereas for most other professions it’s like women are allowed one example.

So you get like Madame Curie, Hypatia, Deborah etc.

So it seems to me, and I accept this is a layperson’s perspective, that it’s not just professions where violence is a ‘genuine occupational requirement’ in which women are being held back in some way.


Off the top of my head:

the Minoans have a kind of generalized regard for women that a lot of ancient cultures don’t that extended to giving them various positions of authority

the ancient Maya have admittedly only one known depiction of a woman engaging in “bloodletting” which was a super important ceremony for them, but the fact she is doing it (and at her husband’s coronation ceremony at that) demonstrates that women could be vested with considerable spiritual power and moreover in that particular case, she is there because she has a more prestigious bloodline than he does so he is basically making appeals to his authority *through* her which means women could be vested with authority in themselves

assorted matrileneal American Indian tribes where women had spiritual authority, authority over various kinds of regarded craftsmanship, and generally over tribal affairs (along with men) or really to be fair you could just say “various matrileneal tribes of tribal people the world over” as there are also ones in Africa and Asia

there tons of societies where women could be priests or shamans or something roughly equivalent, in fact I’d say that *most* societies seem to have some kind of female spiritual authority figure

As to the rest of all this, it’s Friday, I am getting exhausted, and it seems more productive to just reiterate what it is I am saying and what I’m not saying because there seems to be a lot of people putting words in my mouth and assuming I’m making some sweeping declaration about the way the world ought to be or about how we are on rails because biology or something, which I’ve never been claiming.

The extent of what I’m claiming: science has demonstrated that (on average) there are noteworthy differences between biologically typical men and women. *Some* of these differences, such as hormone levels, have been shown to have an impact on behavior. I have at no point tried to quantify precisely at what level because a) I’m not qualified to do that and b) as has been pointed out various times, we don’t actually know the answer to this yet, if an answer can be found. The extent of the extrapolation I’m building on that is “If we want to come up with a good/fair understanding of gendered behavior that already exists and a good/fair refinement of what gendered behavior *should* exist, those differences probably matter.”

Nebulous and sort of useless as a guideline for actually building rules of conduct for society? Yea, probably. Useful for making sure that lines of academic/policy/ethical/whatever inquiry stay sufficiently open as to not develop tunnel vision? Also yes, probably.


“You’re running on this (common) idea that there was some mythic before-human time where we were driven purely by biology and then society started layering on stuff like icing on a cake. That biology operates beneath societal influences. This is wrong. We’ve been social creatures for longer than we’ve been Homo sapiens, and those social structures – including learned roles, stigmas, and eu/anti-social behaviours – evolved alongside the way our hormones influence them. You can’t separate them.”

This is the only specific criticism I felt compelled to respond to because it’s basically the complete opposite of what I’m saying. We are the way we are largely *because* we are social, which is to say that a lot of evidence suggests that sociability drives aspects of mental evolution. That is demonstrated by studies that have been done on corvids, primates, dogs, parrots, & cetaceans that show that a lot of “higher order” cognitive features that we previously assumed were purely human are also present in those species. The common element? These are all highly social species.

However, when you come at it like that, it reinforces what I am saying that when you see the same sociological phenomenon over and over and over again it is almost certainly not there for reasons that have 0 to do with evolution or biology.

I am done for now I think. I may come back later to respond to some more of these posts in debth, but for the moment I need a break.

So y’all are batting another troll around? Another dudebro-dude who thinks he’s so fucking smart because he’s discovered the wonderful world of evo-psych bullshit, where you can convince yourself of literally anything as long as you pretend you’re smarter than facts, and therefore other people should agree with you?

Well done on all of you <3 Fragile dudes flouncing and desperately trying to get the last word is the same thing as a fragile dude who knows he's been defeated.


The differences in aggression between people with high and low testosterone are small (Archer, Birring & Wu 1998; Archer, Graham-Kevan & Davies 2005), though they do exist.

Even smaller than Archer et al first determined.

The army has a fairly obvious interest in aggression research, and a large pool of experimental subjects (who really can’t say no to an additional blood draw or pointless seeming physical and mental exercises 😛 ). As far as recruitment, retention and training are concerned, the difference in aggression levels between high and low testosterone levels is so insignificant as to be not worth bothering with.

In terms of men and women, to go more broadly, and purely from a practical standpoint – there is zero difference in aggressive ability. Not minimal – ZERO.
I emphasised the ability bit because ability isn’t action and there are significant socially imposed barriers to aggressive action in both biological sexes. Those barriers have to be considered in any training, and they do differ significantly between soldiers raised as men and those raised as women. It turns out to be rather difficult to get either sex to deliberately kill, fortunately for society as a whole.

Oddly, one of the biggest considerations in training women soldiers is they do tend to have a period of enhanced aggression, usually but not always 2/3 of the way through training. We call it the revenge period. It passes.

Has there ever been a testosterone and aggression study done with cis women? People do tend to forget that women have testosterone. It goes up and down throughout the menstrual cycle. People tend to associate PMS with aggression and anger in women but PMS is not the point in the cycle in which testosterone is at the highest levels. Iirc, testosterone peaks around week two and then starts dipping after ovulation.

I’ve heard of a murder case in which a teenage girl murderer had a condition in which she had really high testosterone for a girl and that was part of the defense. But that really doesn’t mean anything.


That’s absolutely fascinating (particularly the PMS/testosterone detail). This is the sort of thing I don’t know much about – does men’s testosterone also fluctuate?

And I’d love to know more about that case, if you remember the details.

Has there ever been a testosterone and aggression study done with cis women

Solely cis women? I don’t know. Solely women – yes. USAF did one in the late 80’s. RAF’s most recent is from 2007. Don’t know if either is available for general review though – the USAF one should be.

(Air force has been keen because on the whole women make better pilots. That’s been shown in practice over and over again. I’d love to claim noble motives, but they want to know if they can teach men whatever women have. Flyboys make fratbros look like the writers room at Ms. )

Why then do disparate human cultures, again separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years, default over and over and over to patriarchy

Like WWTH said, cis men are generally bigger than women and do not have to deal with the dehabilitating effects of pregnancy and childbirth. They also tend to have more upper body strength. These are traits that would likely be useful when bringing violence to bear.

None of this has anything which suggests that men would be naturally more aggressive than women, just that men were historically and on average given an advantage when it comes to acting on that aggression. If we consider the null hypothesis that all other traits are more or less equal (i.e. aggression, leadership capabilities, etc.), you’d still expect the results to be skewed in favor of patriarchal societies, especially those societies which were founded on violence.

Fair enough. Was mildly curious as to why you’d specify, but I do know you well enough to know you always have a reason.

Can give you some anecdata on it (and please note, it’s solely my observations and observations shared with me by others. It’s no study!):

I’ve worked with women soldiers in the field fairly extensively especially in the past 5 years (maybe 500 or so? Can’t be more specific). Keeping track of periods is actually part of the paperwork. The army has zero shame and zero sense of privacy.

I’ve not noticed a difference that one could call a trend. Individual differences – hell yes, of course there are! But trends, apart from one not related to aggression, no.

The unrelated trend – female soldiers, while on their period, tend to try harder at tasks. We do confidence courses as a matter of course if there isn’t something infinitely more pressing to do (like patrols, cleaning, localisation work), and we certainly noticed that most of the women’s personal bests were achieved during their periods. Remember that because to a none period haver it seems pretty counterintuitive.

Edit for one point of clarity:

Cleaning is a euphemism we use. It doesn’t mean dusting and sweeping.


Part of the problem is that Lesley hasn’t told us whether this aggressiveness has to be carried out directly by the women in question or not. For instance, Mary I of England, in attempting to assert her authority and restore the Catholic church, had numerous people burned at the stake. There’s even a fair bit of evidence that her husband, Philip of Spain, who enjoyed a good auto-da-fe, suggested that she tone it down. (To be fair, in his own country all he had to do was try to stop heresy growing, not overturn a generation of Protestantism, so he may not quite have grasped the seriousness of the situation.) Her successor, Elizabeth, might have your hand chopped off for writing against her choice of suitor, or handged, drawn, and quartered for bein an active Catholic and thus challenging her position. Now, the person who burned the heretics for Mary was the executioner, not her; and it was the courts who condemned them, not her. Likewise the man who chopped off the hands for Elizabeth; the Catholics were most often trapped by Walsingham, condemned by the courts, and executed without her direct say-so. In some cases, she just wasn’t involved, in others, she could have stopped things but didn’t, but the whole state machinery was devoted to keeping her in place, by violence.

So in a case like this, where aggressive violence is carried out for a woman, but by men, is this at all suggesting that women are less aggressive, or just that societal standards mean it’s less evident when they are?

I’m not sure I’m being entirely clear how this example works, but it’s late here. And of course it’s complicated by the fact that in her last two years, after the Essex rebellion, Elizabeth made a habit of carrying a sword and occasionally randomly stabbing the tapestries in case anyone was hiding behind them, and the fact that she was pretty sexist and only made exceptions for herself. And the fact she was in a stereotypically male role, so maybe all of her aggressivity would be coded male as well. But I do think she stands as a decent example of how things are a bit more complicated than they can seem.

@Rabid Rabbit

Elizabeth I gets all the good copy – she’s one of the greats, for sure.

But, why not try our (probably) wisest monarch, Victoria, and see how she fits the hypothesis? She were certainly ruthless enough on a personal level, not exactly shy on spilling blood either.

what assorted crazy MRAs are saying


you say you lurked for many years – then you should know the comments policy. ☺

Part of the problem is that Lesley hasn’t told us whether this aggressiveness has to be carried out directly by the women in question or not.

Well, of course it’s the one who actually carried out the aggression who counts!

But also the fact that patriarchal societies are more common means that men are just naturally more aggressive, even though the male leaders of those societies were mostly the ones giving orders to attack others, not the ones doing the attacking. /sarcasm

Well, actually, I’m pretty sure that aggressive women in history would just be written off as ‘outliers’ for the purposes of an evo-psych argument.

Against my better judgement, I’ll respond to a few of these again.

For the purpose of simplicity and clarity, we can limit violence to direct physical interpersonal violence orchestrated by one human on another. Direct “I punch you” and “you stabbed me” violence. If you want we can even narrow it further to include nothing but violence that is intended to inflict harm to weed out say athletes.

Inasmuch as models of kingship very frequently legitimate themselves directly from battle or at least from imagery or pageantry which implies the monarch is good at battle, I think it’s very easy to scale this up to the level of monarch though. It gets muddier frequently because of dynastic successional problems in which no male heir is available. This is how female monarchs typically came to power and they legitamate themselves in the same way as male monarchs by war or by pageantry or imagery depicting war and battle. To be clear that’s not the only way that monarchs legitimate themselves. They also legitimate themselves in various spiritual ways showing that they have the blessing of the gods or spirits or whatever. And they use pageantry and art patronage to dazzle with splendor and wealth and beauty as well.

All that really seems deducible from that is that war or images of violence are used as one way to legitimate kingship. It doesn’t really tell you much about the intrinsic characteristics of violence, if violence has any. But if violence does have an intrinsic nature, it seems probable it would scale.

I started reading Delusions of Gender last night as well so we’ll see where that goes. Nothing earth-shattering so far but I’m only about 20 pages in.

How is me refining my definition because you keep insisting my first definition wasn’t refined enough “shifting the goalposts?”

Isn’t that just how meaningful conversations happen by making sure that the participants are both talking about the same thing and understand what it is they’re talking about?

I’m perfectly willing to talk about aggression at a higher level but people keep insisting that it’s borderline meaningless to do that because aggression can have such a nebulous meaning. So I assented to discussing it at a refined specific level because a specific example will probably work just as well with less confusion.

Why would you assume that aggression as a trait can be accurately gauged by how much each gender uses individual interpersonal violence? That is only one of the ways in which aggression can manifest itself, and you have provided no support for why it should be considered the defining one.

Yep. What Catalpa said. There’s a difference between refining a position and changing what words mean. Aggression and violence are two different things. Orchestrating and committing are two different things. And state violence or the threat of it has never meant the head of the state will be assumed to be the one committing violence.

Anyway, when I said “define aggression” I meant what is the scale? How do you quantify it. I didn’t mean keep refining what you personally think aggression is. Social science doesn’t work that way.

Here’s a commonly used scale called the Buss Perry questionnaire.

Now this particular one couldn’t be used on historical leaders because it’s self reporting. It probably couldn’t be used on current ones either because it would be hard to get them all to agree to take it and answer honestly. But it could be used as inspiration to make a scale based on academic writings and news sources describing various world leaders past and present. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Lesley, please drop it. You’re failing to convince anyone, you’re obviously not learning from anyone, and you’re not exactly exhibiting the timeless Christian values which your hero Dr Peterson urges you to hold. Please consider what else you could be doing with your time.

How is me refining my definition because you keep insisting my first definition wasn’t refined enough “shifting the goalposts?”

A few days ago, I learned what a motte and bailey defence was. This is a fantastic example of one: as you’ve come under pressure, your position has shifted from “pretty much undisputed conclusions of science” to “one narrow observation which is chosen because there’s no metric to measure it by and no controlled data set to study.” You’ve conceded almost everything that you originally advanced, and it might be a good idea to acknowledge that.

Ironically, despite your stated hypothesis that women are less aggressive than men, a group of women are probably feeling quite aggressive as a result of the way you’ve behaved. I (a man) by contrast had checked out the moment it became evident that you were just wasting everyone’s time, and so am not feeling very aggressive.

This may be a historic moment in the annals of science: we’ve finally found a hypothesis which creates its own counterexample when it is stated.


Actually if you want to get really technical, the original thing I was putting forward was that the behavior called cult-like in this post doesn’t qualify as cult-like behavior.

I mentioned what I think about Peterson (which by the way is limited only to thinking that he isn’t virulently toxic on all issues and inherently dangerous because of that. I am not his disciple. The only reason I even became aware of him and looked into what he thinks at all was because of this article I saw in the Atlantic: which is hardly some kind of Breitbart alt right rag) because obviously when you are talking about authority, leadership, role models, and so on, it’s relevant if the leader or authority in question has good or bad information, or good or bad intent.

I was admitting where I stood on him outright to avoid accusations that I was trying to hide it. It immediately empowered a fraught digression because that admission is regarded here to use the term applied to it as “a shibboleth” which people apparently consider to be a prescriptive and accurate measure of precisely what a person’s intentions are and exactly what they think.

And I don’t really care if anybody feels like what I’m saying is producing any kind of valuable food for thought for them, but your assertions that I’m learning nothing by the exchange is entertaining an illusion of presience about me and my intentions that you don’t have.


I’m getting mrex flashbacks yet again.


“Why would you assume that aggression as a trait can be accurately gauged by how much each gender uses individual interpersonal violence? That is only one of the ways in which aggression can manifest itself, and you have provided no support for why it should be considered the defining one.”

Can it not be pursued of itself because it is one of the most divergent behavior sets we have available to look at for whatever reason, and therefore *if* there is such a thing as any behavior with a biological sex skew, this is probably one of the ones most likely to demonstrate it? It’s probably more likely to demonstrate it than some behavior that demonstrates little or no skew. Likewise, if that association is demonstrated as mostly sociological here it’s particularly strong evidence.

It’s also useful because it’s definable. “Did subject A punch subject B in the gut” is a much more objective metric than “did subject A negotiate a raise with subject B aggressively?” In fact, those kinds of measures have been demonstrated to be filled with all kinds of biases in that when a woman negotiates *at all* and doesn’t quietly acquiesce she is frequently regarded as being more aggressive than she is really being.

However, there’s no particular reason you *have* to focus on this particular example. Any definable, heavily skewed behavior would probably work.

My point with violence scaling is that if there’s a significant gendered violence skew at the interpersonal level, especially one observed in a person’s closest circle of relationships (which from what I’ve read hangs somewhere around 30-200ish), and that can be demonstrated again and again in populations as disparate as tribal people in Africa, urban dwellers in modern China, or rural people in Iowa, it would suggest that *something* is driving people to create that dichotomy and whatever that something is, why would it not scale up to the level of abstracted relationships found in people conceiving of themselves as all collectively belonging to the same nation or ethnicity or religion or whatever. So *if* the skew exists and *if* it is in any way biologically influenced, I would expect it to scale to the level of abstracted relationships.

The use of violence is though of itself a really dubious measure. I won’t ramble on here about what is a huge subject; but you need to consider things like the inhibition on the use of inter personal violence, the need for (psychological) ‘distance’ as a facilitator of violence (eg, press this button and someone on a video screen gets a hellfire missile, versus stab this person in front of you), and the goal of the violence itself.

This is an area where social factors play a huge role. For example, most male on male violence is highly performative. It’s sometimes referred to in the literature as ‘the monkey dance’. That is to say it’s highly ritualistic. It’s a status display and is as much about ‘posture and submission’ as trying to inflict actual damage.

So to tie things in with current events, both Trump and Theresa May have just ordered the use of missile strikes. Does that tell is anything about innate gender differences; or might it just be about politics and optics?

Or to bring it onto the personal level you suggest, Trump has often bragged about shooting people on Fifth Avenue, or single handedly stopping a school shooter. Now is that evidence of innate ‘maleness’ or is he just a braggart and arsehole? I mean, can you really imagine him actually standing up to someone in a fist fight?

Unless you look at the reasons for throwing a punch, I don’t think that’s as objective an indicator as you might imagine.

ETA: Well that promise not to ramble turned out to be a bit optimistic.

Plus, as has been stated over and over again, just because a behavior is skewed towards one gender, doesn’t mean the cause is biological. Correlation is not causation. That is still true even if the correlation is large.

Given that babies are treated differently beginning the second they are born based on the genitals they popped out of the womb with, it’s just not possible to as Scild said, celebrate biology and culture. Maybe someday we’ll have the brain and how to image it figured out enough to do so. But that’s not happening anytime soon.

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