dr. Robert Epstein is very interesting as a character.
I was very surprised when he suddenly showed up as a figure in conservative political pundit circles and called to testify even.
He’s been a controversial character as long as I’ve known of him
He contributed heavily to the ideas of gender being on a spectrum and sexuality being on a spectrum.
He conducted large scale internet studies to confirm Freud and other early psychoanalysts idea that everybody is bisexual and that people who claim to be straight are lying
He confirmed the number of Alfred Kinsey’s ideas as well which are always controversial of course
But I primarily knew him for the “myth of the Teen brain”
He’s one of the few if perhaps the ONLY figure from psychology I know of that has spoken out against the idea that teenagers have “different brains” than anybody else.
I’ve quoted his work a number of times in discussions years ago:
He basically showed how the criminality that is attributed to teenagers is a local cultural phenomenon that seems to be restricted to America and certain parts of Europe but when you end up going into other cultures you find that the criminality does not extend into the Adolescent years but sometimes shows up much later in the 30s, and In some cultures not at all.
And so this idea that teenagers needed to be tamed somehow was ridiculous.
He was strong advocate about the notion that children are rational human beings that are capable of reasoning at a certain level and that it’s ridiculous to blame adolescents or hormones or brain structure as been anything different
He was directly opposing the growing notion at that time that “people do not mature until the age of 25”
And it really is ridiculous.
But a lot of people believe that because of one part of the brain that maturity doesn’t happen until 25, that people shouldn’t be criminally culpable until then which is silly anyway.
So I was surprised when he showed up as a strong anti Google figure in the late 2010s, although being on the outskirts of research topics, it also kind of fits