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Psychologist Thinks That Calling Someone A Nerd Should Be A Hate Crime

Psychologist Thinks That Calling Someone A Nerd Should Be A Hate Crime

A psychology professor has argued that calling someone a nerd should be classed as a hate crime.

Despite the fact that the geeks have clearly inherited the earth in recent years - if the popularity of Marvel films is anything to go by - University of East London lecturer Dr Sonja Falck appeared on Good Morning Britain on December 19 to say that 'anti IQ insults' can have detrimental effects on people that could last a lifetime.

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She explained: "I think people find it startling because very high IQ people are a minority group in society who are very much ignored, they're not understood and largely neglected...It is the case that very high IQ people very often are bullied at school, for example. They're a target for being bullied quite viciously."

Whilst that is true, it is something of a reach to say that it should be treated the same as - let's say - racism or homophobia.

Dr Sonja Falck argued her point on Good Morning Britain. Credit: ITV
Dr Sonja Falck argued her point on Good Morning Britain. Credit: ITV

Despite the fact that the geeks have clearly inherited the earth in recent years - if the popularity of Marvel films is anything to go by - University of East London lecturer Dr Sonja Falck appeared on the daytime TV show on December 19 to say that "anti IQ insults" can have detrimental effects on people that could last a lifetime.

She explained: "I think people find it startling because very high IQ people are a minority group in society who are very much ignored, they're not understood and largely neglected...It is the case that very high IQ people very often are bullied at school, for example. They're a target for being bullied quite viciously."

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While that is true, it is something of a reach to say that it should be treated the same as - let's say - racism or homophobia.

However, she continued: "If you look at those legislations that relate to hate crimes, hate crime is simply about somebody being targeted in a negative way for who they are. And a person with a very high IQ who comes across in a different way often is targeted in that way.

"So I just think [it's] an individual difference that should be respected."

One person who seems perfectly placed to comment on this is University Challenge contestant Bobby Seagull.

As well as being ridiculously intelligent, he's also a person of colour. That means that he's on either side of the argument here.

Seagull doesn't agree with Falck on this one. He argued that to class such incidents as hate crimes with trivialise hate crimes based on gender, race, or ability.

Bobby Seagull isn't so sure. Credit: ITV
Bobby Seagull isn't so sure. Credit: ITV

There are some people in fairly high places who agree with the good doctor.

In fact, the chief of Mensa - the international society for those with high IQs - said: "Very high-IQ individuals often experience isolation or bullying from people around them because they are perceived as being different from the majority.

"Mensa as an organisation gives people with very high IQ a community which is non-judgemental and inclusive of difference. Put simply, everybody is different, so no-one is."

Perhaps an unsurprising take, but there we go.

At the launch of her book, Extreme Intelligence, Falck said: "The N-word was common parlance in the UK until at least the 1960s.

"Other insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently. Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter.

"It is only with the benefit of hindsight and academic research that we realise how wrong we were.

"The same can be said about anti-IQ words like 'nerd', 'brainbox', 'geek', 'egg-head', 'dweeb' and 'smarty-pants'.

"Slurs such as these will continue to be used unabated at the expense of the brightest members of society unless and until legislative action is taken."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Science, Interesting, Weird

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother.” Contact Tom on [email protected]

 

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