Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Jonathan Gottschall Why Men Fight

May 2, 201518 min
Jonathan Gottschall, pushing forty, out of shape, and disenchanted with his job as an adjunct English professor, joins a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym when one opens across the street from his office. Part of him is terrified and part of him yearns to conquer the fear, to “be a man.” For three years he trains for a cage fight, not only as a personal test but also to answer questions that, as a scholar, have intrigued him for years: Why do men fight, and why do so many seemingly decent people like to watch? In THE PROFESSOR IN THE CAGE, Gottschall dives into the MMA world, enduring extremes of pain and occasional humiliation, to explore the more disturbing aspects of male behavior. What he discovers is not just what attracts us to violence but how we keep our violence in check. Mixed martial arts is a full-contact hybrid sport in which fighters punch, choke, and kick each other into submission. MMA requires intense strength, endurance, and skill; the fights are bloody, brutal, and dange

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