Men can manage their emotional manhood

Some men are able to manage their emotional manhood, which helps them covey a social identity to others, new research has suggested. Published in the American Sociological Association's Social Psychology Quarterly, the study found mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors have developed ways to manage fear that enable them to exude confidence.

Investigators from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania demonstrated this ability can serve as an interactional strategy for managing emotion, while the control of fear by those in contact sports such as MMA can "create an emotional orientation that primes men to subordinate and harm others".

Dr Christian Vaccaro said: "Putting on a convincing manhood act requires more than using language and the body - it also requires emotion work."

He noted males can signify their possession of masculine selves by being able to keep pain, fear, shame and empathy suppressed, while also evoking pride and confidence.

Chartered Psychologist Professor Cary Cooper CBE, an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society, said: "Overall we tend to find that if men are too worried about competition – and that could be in sport, at work or out clubbing – they actually bury their emotions as they believe they look stronger."