I was watching a British series called "Island at War" a while back. In one episode, the senator punched the German officer, and somehow after the fight, the parties developed a grudging respect for each other. A male friend who watched with me said the fight was just a part of the "male bonding" thing.

I watched "To Serve Them All My Days" yesterday, and in one scene, David Powlett Jones punched another teacher in the study. The same friend said, "Here's the bonding thing again."

I didn't get it the first time, and I still don't. Is that really a way for guys to bond?

Emotion: tongue tied
I know sometimes kids have play fights (much like little puppies) but actually hitting someone doesn't sound like bonding to me. If someone hit me, I wouldn't want anything to do with them since it's a LACK of respect.
Not a gentlemanly thing to do I say (said with an aristocratic accent).Emotion: smile
Thanks Woodward!

PS That male friend took Karate lessons, so maybe that's how Karate students bond? heheehe...
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Just not cricket, what, Woodie?
Not my idea of fun. Watch the footballers. Not even chimps do it so well.

I guess I can understand that. It does seem counter-intuitive, but I think that male relationships are built on respect. I dont understand the psychology, but perhaps from the 'hunting in packs' days, to know another guy could match you in a fight led to bonding? When engaged in taking down a mammoth or sabre toothed tiger, it is perhaps reassuring to have seen physical evidence of your comrade's skill and courage?

Not only that, but a fight is a great release of emotion, testosterone and adrenaline - hugely important and addictive chemicals to a man. For women, and if my mum is anything to go by, I imagine it is analogous to having a good cry or confiding a painful secret to a friend - huge and overwhelming whilst its happening, but a sense of calm after the event. In this sense of calm, and once hierarchy or equality has been established, its easy to see how two men could respect one another. Do we not always see boxers hug after a fair and closely fought match? Football players exchange shirts after an intense 90 minutes?

Most people like to see a person with 'backbone' who can't be walked all over - and hence it is again easy to respect someone who stands up for themselves and their values. Men tend to revere aggression much more than women. Studies have shown that this is due to the response of the male body to testosterone and its effect on competition. We love adrenaline. We also understand that, if we get our as*es kicked by someone, its generally healthier if you can make friends with that person sometime soon. During the 2nd world war, most countries occupied by Hitler took great steps to acquiesce to his wishes, taking such abhorrent steps as giving up their native jews to save other nationals. They'd had their as*es kicked once. They didn't fancy it again.

As a counter point, and somewhat relevantly to my last sentence, we hate cheats. Someone who wins a fight in a dirty way will always lose respect. They may gain notoriety and fear, but they are not respected. The archetypal bully. You will not see a boxer hug the opponent who knocked him out with a sneaky elbow. Im fairly sure no one took Maradonna's shirt after 'that' handball. (I expect someone will correct me - but you get my drift). Some of the most emotional male bonding I've ever seen occurs after the "Ultimate Fighting Championship" fights. 2 guys use any method they like - elbows, knees, headbutts, strangling, choking, wrestling, arm-breaking, you name it, to beat each other. Then, bloodied and dazed, they embrace like brothers. Perhaps its our bodies' way of dealing with all the adrenaline and stress chemicals? Perhaps as brothers we know we might need one another in the future - and whose abilities can we believe in more than those of someone who has bettered the person we hold most dear - ourselves!

To get some insights, on others and yourself, check this out http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/add_user.shtml , and then watch Fight Club Emotion: smile

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