Aggression: 'The preferred way for men to cling onto manhood'

Not all may agree, but a new study says that aggression is the most preferred way for men to cling onto manhood.

A team at the University of South Florida has based its findings on a series of experiments which also suggest that manhood is difficult to earn and easy to lose, 'Current Directions in Psychological Science' journal reported.

"Gender is social. Men know this. They are powerfully concerned about how they appear in other people's eyes. And the more concerned they are, the more they will suffer psychologically when their manhood feels violated.

"Gender role violation can be a big thing, like losing a job, or a little thing, like being asked to braid hair in a laboratory," said Jennifer K Bosson, who led the team.

In the experiments, researchers used the hair-braiding task to force men to behave in a "feminine" manner and then they recorded what happened.

In one experiment, some men braided hair, others did the more masculine or gender-neutral task of braiding rope.

But given the options afterwards of punching a bag or doing a puzzle, the hair-braiders overwhelmingly chose the former.

When one group of men braided hair and others did not, and all punched the bag, the hair-braiders punched harder. When they all braided hair and only some got to punch, the non-punchers evinced more anxiety on a subsequent test.

"Aggression is a manhood-restoring tactic", concludes the researchers.

Moreover, the researchers found that people tendency to feel manhood is defined by achievements -- not biology --whereas womanhood is seen primarily as a biological state.

So, manhood can be 'lost' through social transgressions, whereas womanhood is 'lost' only by physical changes, such as menopause, say the researchers.

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