Macho Guys Can Be Surprisingly Cooperative

Macho guys are usually portrayed as go-it-alone heroes in the movies, but Hollywood may have gotten it wrong.

New study suggests that men with macho faces may actually be surprisingly cooperative, if needed by their home teams:

"Men with wider faces have typically been portrayed as 'bad to the bone,'" study researcher Michael Stirrat of the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom said in a statement. [...]

The wider a man's face, the less likely he was to cooperate with his group when told that he'd be compared with other men from his school. But when given an outside rival, these broad-faced macho guys got competitive. Suddenly, they became more likely than average to gamble their own money for the good of their group.

The findings reveal that masculine traits can come out in both pro-social and anti-social ways. In other words, masculine guys may be more aggressive in general, but their manly characteristics are downright warm-and-fuzzy in some circumstances, such as when they need to support the home team.

Link (Image: Macho Tissues from the NeatoShop)


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How is that "warm and fuzzy"?

They are still being aggressive and hostile it's just directed toward out-group members.

This is entirely consistent with what we already know about differences in in-group and out-group behavior of dominant and aggressive males.

Male chimps will smack subordinate in-group chimps around a bit, but they will violently tear the testicles off of an out-group chimp and beat him with his own nads until he's dead.

"warm and fuzzy" yea, right.
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Maybe what makes this "warm and fuzzy" is the fact that just about every human being is victim of this warmness and fuzzyness associated with being a member of a group. Having people go to bat for your group can make you feel good, but ultimately by allying yourself with one group and thereby opposing other groups, you're just as much the hostile prick the macho man is, but you cover over this prejudice with a "warm and fuzzy" sense of belonging. It's really your own sense of inner security, approval and worth that is being promoted by the in-group and threatened by the out-group, so stuff that boosts the in-group identity also bolsters the "warm and fuzzies" that come with a sense of "togetherness", but still there is that out-group which you dislike, hate, plot against, possibly even maim and kill. And you can't have an "in-group" without having an "out-group", by definition an "in-group" is exclusive and in opposition of the associated "out-group".
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Actually, taking care of guys that look like this in a post-operative context, they can be real sweethearts, gentle and cooperative and very polite. My experience changed my stereotype assumptions. Not a guarantee, but this is what I have come to expect from these guys as a nurse taking care of them.
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