Yale Psychiatrist Calls Verbal Assault 'Just as Detrimental as Physical Violence'

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Hopefully, your life hasn’t been filled with violence. That would be, words aimed against you.

According to a Yale psychologist, those are one and the same.


MedPage Today published an article this month by Dr. Amanda Calhoun, who equates the damage of each:

If you claim to be sensitive to the potential effects of physical acts, you should also be sensitive to the potential effects of verbal acts. Sometimes, jokes are not entertaining to those targeted by them, and can be just as detrimental as physical violence.

Of course, viciously berating a child may well be more hurtful than a thump on the knuckle. But I’d assume that’s not what the doctor means. Presumably, she believes language and violence of the same degree are similarly destructive.

The mental health expert’s piece was prompted by the recent “slap heard around the world” — it’s titled “Should Will Smith’s Slap Be Condemned More Harshly Than Chris Rock’s Words?”

Comedian Chris, as you likely know, lobbed a mild joke during the Oscars referencing actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s closely-cropped hair. In return, husband Will took to the stage with a smack of the host’s face — followed by shouted vulgarity that was broadcast around the world.

So were Will’s actions worse than joke-man Chris’s comedic comment? According to Amanda, it’s uncertain:

Instead of siding with Smith or Rock, I believe the situation is far more nuanced. And it begs a broader question: Should a physical assault always be judged more harshly than a verbal assault, no matter the context? I don’t think so.

The psychiatrist points out that words may comprise “a form of abuse, and can lead to depressive symptoms and even suicide.”


That’s undoubtedly true, but it’s a far cry from comparing Chris and Will at the Academy Awards.

Yet, this is the world in which we live — one that has thoroughly thrown out the old adage about only sticks and stones breaking bones. These days, as we’re increasingly advised, mere mouth-sounds amount to violence.

Whatever the impetus for such an idea, it appears to serve as a guaranteed path to restriction of speech.


Student Paper Will Promote Diversity by Preventing It as Free Speech Is Swapped for ‘Safety’

Booksellers Association CEO Apologizes for the ‘Violence’ of Accidentally Promoting a Conservative Book

University Schools Students on the Importance of Free Speech — and Reporting People Who Use It

At least the woke aren’t speciesists:

Legal Journal Publishes Plea for Hate Speech Laws Protecting Animals

Woke in the Water: Shark Advocates Call for an End to the Word ‘Attacks’ in Favor of ‘Interactions’

Still, it seems to me much of America has lost a sense of the high stakes. As I’ve previously posed:

I believe we’ve lost our sense of scale. …

We’re so zoomed in, the bigger picture eludes us.

And we’re so weak that all perception of all difficulty has become all the same.

The country’s conception of struggle has radically transformed.

And it hasn’t come from the bottom up; we’ve been leveled by our leadership.

We’re told that disagreement is “hate” and words are “violence.”

We’re informed we must be bolstered by our environment — and we must not only be seen but “feel” so.

Any who wish not to affirm us must be forced by rule of law.

Any incident unsupportive of our ideas, we’re assured, causes us “harm.”

In such an instance, we’re advised, we’ve been robbed of our dignity. We’ve been aggressed. We’ve been erased.

Erased — our mere existence is only made possible by all the world telling us we are right.

Hence, disagreement is not only hate, but death.

How could we be any less strong?


How, indeed.

Are words violence? No, because violence has a definition; and if taken to its greatest extreme, the victim has no hope of being brought back to life. With words, there’s always a chance of healing. Hopefully, the injured recipient can be made strong again.

Hopefully, so can America.



See more content from me:

Public Library Hosts a Dance Class for the Elderly — No Whites Allowed

Ohio State Student Government Rep Says Whites Are Taught They’re Superior, but Black People Actually Are

Harvard Offers Students Sex Surgeries and ‘Chemical Transgender Conversion Therapy’

Find all my RedState work here.

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