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12/15/11 9:22 AM
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Underground News
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There was a fascinating paper that ran in Social Psychology Quarterly titled "Managing Emotional Manhood: Fighting and Fostering Fear in Mixed Martial Arts." The paper focused on how deep fear runs in even such supposedly "manly" men as mixed martial artists and the social mandate that such emotional reactions be hidden.

credit to BloodyElbow.com...

A small sample of excerpts from the paper:

 While fighters in the locker room prepared for combat in the cage, two men from the previous fight staggered in. Juan1-the victor-had shiny contusions under both eyes and made it to a folding chair where he sat staring into space. As two paramedics tried to keep him conscious, he cracked a smile with swollen lips and tried unsuccessfully to communicate meaningfully. As the paramedics carried Juan off on a stretcher, Mike-his opponent-leaned against a wall and talked with his trainer. As blood flowed from his nose and mouth, Mike began to sob. His trainer handed him a towel, which he brought to his face with shaking hands. When asked if he was upset about Juan, he pulled away the bloodied towel and said, "I don't like losing."

Although MMA fighters' emotion management may appear unique, it reflects a long-lived cultural mandate that "real men" control their fear and other emotions (Kimmel 1996). Peers (Fine 1987), parents (McGuffey 2008), and coaches (Messner 1992) often ostracize boys who express fear, pain, empathy, and sadness. Boys learn that they are supposed to exhibit emotional restraint and "quiet control" (Messner 2009:96). As adults, men often face fear, whether at work (Haas 1977), on the street (Anderson 1999), or in leisure activities (Holyfield and Fine 1997). And not letting fear get the best of you-exhibiting bravery-is a culturally revered quality of manhood (see e.g., Connell 1995). But how do men control their emotions, and what does this have to with gender identity?

MMA fighters most commonly talked about fearing injury and losing. Fighters understood how painful injuries were and that serious ones could end their fighting careers, or worse. There have been two well-publicized deaths of fighters resulting from brain injuries sustained in North American MMA fights since 2007. Although interviewees agreed that, as Rocky put it, "in most cases you're going to come out of it [and] you're going to live," death lurked in the shadows of the cage. When asked what he worried about before his fights, for example, Kenneth said, "You are wondering if they are thinking of this incredible move that is really going to kill you." Dominic said, "This sport is not golf; you can't get hurt or killed playing golf." The possibility of death elevated MMA's manhood quotient.

In addition to fearing injury, cage fighters also feared losing. Casey feared looking "like a chump in front of all these people . . . if you get knocked out at your first fight in three seconds, then that's all they will remember." Mike said, "You really don't want to let your family or teammates down," and Kenneth said, "The name of the [MMA] school is kind of riding on you. You have to represent for your school." Minutes after Dean lost a fight, he said, "I feel like shit! I came out in front of my hometown and I got tapped out in like under a minute." Buster said "the feeling of losing is the worst feeling in the world, especially when you sell 100 tickets and you have a lot of your friends and family there." Jimmy said that when a fight starts going bad: "You start getting down on yourself. Like, ‘Oh no, he's going to get the chicken wing-he got the chicken wing and it hurts. Ow! I look stupid out here. I'm losing.'" Echoing others, these men suggested that they feared losing because it made them feel embarrassed and ashamed-emotions that are antithetical to cultural definitions of manhood.

read entire article...


12/15/11 9:29 AM
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BispingStolemySN
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 Don't be scared homey.
12/15/11 9:38 AM
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DethKlok
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Wow thats long, obviously can't get to it all right now but,

"Although MMA fighters’ emotion management may appear unique, it reflects a long-lived cultural mandate that “real men” control their fear and other emotions" . . . . Adults control the fear and emotions in order to cope. Why is this a "masculine" trait?

Are they ultimately saying in order to perform a task or to make themselves feel more "manly" and fit into some cultural paradigm? There are far easier ways to do that. The latter would would be kind of cheap and sweeping. Not understanding the "game-planning" is, I'm honestly feeling they've misinterpreted what a fighters intention in game planning and visualization is. I want to read this all, but damn I have to leave now.
12/15/11 9:55 AM
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Santino DeFranco
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This is a very poorly done research/thesis, where they are clearly leading toward their own conclusion based on a pre-research disposition and bias.

The correlation between "fear" and "masculinity" here is comical. All athletes "fear" losing. Forget about just athletes, but EVERYONE fears losing. And it's not just losing either, but also performing.

Anytime someone is engaging in an activity that they care about, they are going to have a sense of "fear" (nervousness). From the fighter getting ready to compete in front of friends and family or TV; to the mathlete or debate team member in high school; to the pianist for a recital. Everyone has the same fear as anyone else during a competition. The difference between the top 1% of competitors is the manner in which they perform in front of others and control that "fear".

Nervousness is caring about something, and has nothing to do with masculinity. According to this study, if a woman loses a dance competition and says, "I was just so nervous out there. I was scared to lose and couldn't get over it." it is somehow different than an MMA fighter saying the same thing?

I could do a research paper on how getting diabetes has positive outcomes on society because it gives people jobs in the medical industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry. I could get statistics and interview diabetes patients that have been diagnosed for a week to give me quotes, but it doesn't necessarily make my findings "true".
12/15/11 9:58 AM
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FacepunchPOW
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 Real men don't let fear dictate how they live their lives. Thats what cowards do.
12/15/11 9:58 AM
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Hendo Bob
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the article should be titled: Managing Emotional Manhood: Fighting and Fostering Fear in Human Cockfighting.

how is any of this exclusive to just mma? you never see football players cry when they lose in the playoffs/superbowl or baseball players when they lose the world series?
12/15/11 10:00 AM
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OldManMinerva
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what a load of biased crap
as liberal as I am this is a great example of Psychology being junk science.
12/15/11 10:00 AM
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Authority Figure
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"You are wondering if they are thinking of this incredible move that is really going to kill you."
12/15/11 10:17 AM
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DethKlok
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easy peasy Fight club psychology. It's not that some parts are untrue, EVERYTHING was put through the spectrum of how it relates to their sense of manliness.

If I slip and fall in shit while walking on the street, I am very embarrassed. Yes I am sure that would affect my sense of manhood. Being a man, I would project positive qualities on my own sense of identity. One of those senses being that I am male. Falling in shit would of course affect that as it revealed some kind of weakness. However, would we immediately characterize the fact that I am embarrassed I fell in shit primarily as a fear that my front of manliness has been compromised?

I understand the metrics of freakin cage-fighting might be different, but to people who honestly view MMA as competition, it isn't really. And even the beginning of the paper starts off with a dramatic novelization of the violence aspect. It just seems to me as an observer who could not get over the violence. Which is fine and not necessarily wrong.

But where is the psychology of viewing the violence as an outcome of the act and not as the pure objective.
12/15/11 10:34 AM
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Filo_Beto
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OldManMinerva - what a load of biased crap
as liberal as I am this is a great example of Psychology being junk science.



What does being liberal have to do with this?
12/15/11 10:44 AM
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DethKlok
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Edited: 12/15/11 10:44 AM
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At the risk of over-generalizing, I must say this is why people in the hard sciences can sometimes be averse to the studies in some of these fields.

Start: Theorize -> move to hypothosis, then on to observation.
12/15/11 10:50 AM
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DethKlok
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dammit its asking me to sign in now.

But there was a segment there I can't directly quote that resembled.

"(as if manliness was a objective truth rather than purely constructed social concept.)"

It's the "purely" that got me. Yes, culture has a massive effect on gender identity, but they might want to consult a neurobiologist before making that statement.
12/15/11 11:12 AM
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13th Assassin
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A fighter in combat sports should be scared going into competition. If your fighter has the fear it means he will be alert and aware of his environment/ opponent, however it is interesting how people channel and cover this fear, this for a lot of fighters is possibly more important then there skill set. Tyson is the most obvious example Phone Post
12/15/11 11:16 AM
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kryptikal
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*****BREAKING NEWS*****
Study finds oxygen in air.

More at 10.
12/15/11 11:17 AM
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Rival School
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Santino DeFranco - This is a very poorly done research/thesis, where they are clearly leading toward their own conclusion based on a pre-research disposition and bias.

The correlation between "fear" and "masculinity" here is comical. All athletes "fear" losing. Forget about just athletes, but EVERYONE fears losing. And it's not just losing either, but also performing.

Anytime someone is engaging in an activity that they care about, they are going to have a sense of "fear" (nervousness). From the fighter getting ready to compete in front of friends and family or TV; to the mathlete or debate team member in high school; to the pianist for a recital. Everyone has the same fear as anyone else during a competition. The difference between the top 1% of competitors is the manner in which they perform in front of others and control that "fear".

Nervousness is caring about something, and has nothing to do with masculinity. According to this study, if a woman loses a dance competition and says, "I was just so nervous out there. I was scared to lose and couldn't get over it." it is somehow different than an MMA fighter saying the same thing?

I could do a research paper on how getting diabetes has positive outcomes on society because it gives people jobs in the medical industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry. I could get statistics and interview diabetes patients that have been diagnosed for a week to give me quotes, but it doesn't necessarily make my findings "true".
Oh shut it you scared little pussy:) Phone Post
12/15/11 11:23 AM
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MattyECB
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Anyone else here a boxing fan too?

What's the difference between the hero and the coward. The hero projects his fear, focuses it on his opponent while the coward runs.

It's the same thing, fear, but it's what you do with it that matters
12/15/11 11:26 AM
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MattyECB
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DethKlok - dammit its asking me to sign in now.

But there was a segment there I can't directly quote that resembled.

"(as if manliness was a objective truth rather than purely constructed social concept.)"

It's the "purely" that got me. Yes, culture has a massive effect on gender identity, but they might want to consult a neurobiologist before making that statement.


A great case study in psych that proved this was on the Reimers. The son had a botched circumsition, lost his penis and some idiot sexologist at john hopkins convinced them to raise the kid a female, assuming environmental influences were way more important than hereditary/genetic influences

|Castrated his balls, gave him hormone therapy to grow breasts, grew his hair out and dressed him as a women with the kid having no idea he was really a man. He was always teased and bullied for being to aggressive with other girls, never fit in and when he found out he actually was a man by the time he was sixteen, was furious with his parents and tried to undo the damage they caused him...

Eventually became an emotional wrecked and comitted suicide
12/15/11 11:31 AM
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Madaptation
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It's like when a university study states that lower income neighborhoods are more likely to be involved in criminal activity: no shit. It doesn't take a $30,000 grant to figure that out. Of course fighters have high amounts of fear. They just have the guts to do it and manage their fear and compete regardlessly. That's why most of us respect this sport so much. Phone Post
12/15/11 11:33 AM
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MattyECB
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DethKlok - At the risk of over-generalizing, I must say this is why people in the hard sciences can sometimes be averse to the studies in some of these fields.

Start: Theorize -> move to hypothosis, then on to observation.


Omg, I was taking an intro psych course as a bird course my last year in uni, and obvious shit like this is so fucking common. I think my favorite

Ground breaking theory in the 1930s Frustration aggresion model --> OMFG being frustrated makes you aggressive

Then 60 years later in the 90s, badadada we now have the cognitive associonistic model that explains, and heres the crazy part, frustration makes you aggressive because it makes you feel negative emotions, which then make you feel aggressive lol



The only reason I do somewhat respect psych, and I see this with friends going into clinical psychology. Is it's recently moved away from this pseudoscience bullshit with incredible technological revolutions like brain imaging and a focus on empirical basis.
Cool shit like drugg addicts dying if they aren't expecting drugs or are in a novel setting because their mind doesn't prime their tolerance is cool as shit. Or how seeing a reminder of cigarettes or drugs will literally change your body's physiology into withdrawal symptoms. You can find out incredible shit about the mind if you keep it scientific, but this crap is so freud like. Just make up a bunch of shitty hypotheses then reinforce it through a subjective interpretation of your interview with ppl
12/15/11 11:33 AM
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OppressedAtheist
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"Peers, parents, and coaches often ostracize boys who express fear, pain, empathy, and sadness. Boys learn that they are supposed to exhibit emotional restraint and "quiet control". As adults, men often face fear, whether at work, on the street ,or in leisure activities". (from article, I removed the references)

12/15/11 11:51 AM
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ortman166
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FacepunchPOW -  Real men don't let fear dictate how they live their lives. Thats what cowards do.
This, everyone fears. Phone Post
12/15/11 1:21 PM
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Listen to Rush
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BispingStolemySN -  Don't be scared homey.
This Phone Post
12/15/11 1:41 PM
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Proteus The Invincible
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but it sounds to me like the point the article is making is that fighting is often very stressful and emotionally draining, and fighters aren't super males that are immune to those emotional disturbances because they do worry about things like losing and being injured to the extent of never being able to perform quite the same ever again. So in other words, water is wet.
12/15/11 1:50 PM
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MMAxNate
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Many champions have claimed that fear has been one of, if not the key trait, they utilize to keep them sharp and ready for anything that may come.

Fear is a necessity.
12/15/11 1:56 PM
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ShakaFerreira
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If you're scared, go to church! Phone Post

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