Why Dudes Love Bar Brawls

Bar fight

Here’s some breaking news: men like to fight.

While that shouldn’t be shocking, we’ve been curious to know exactly why men fight so easily, specifically in bars. It seems like a common occurrence that we’ve seen countless times in movies and even in reality. If you Google “bar fight,” you’ll probably find numerous sites detailing how you can survive a bar brawl. But that still doesn’t answer why it’s so common for men to fight in bars.

First off, it doesn’t seem to take a lot for men to get worked up. Maybe someone accidentally bumps into them or says something smart. Then there are the numerous classic triggers for a brawl. We’re talking about women, money, opinions, sports, and of course, alcohol consumption.

Then, there are others who feel it could be anything from ego, culture, homoerotic desire, self-defense, or the fact that fighting is addictive and can be fun, even if you get your face busted open.

Some people even believe that when men fight, it’s Social Darwinism at work. They may think, according to Health24, that because of “testosterone and adrenaline we simply can’t help ourselves and that for millions of years we’ve evolved to do personal battle with other men over territory, food, females, and the right to be an alpha male.”  As this line of thinking goes, a trigger, like a woman, could cause a fight to break out.

We do know that there have been studies on the topic that have found various causes for bar fights. For example, in a 2006 study of Toronto drinking establishments, researchers Samantha Wells, Paul F. Tremblay, and Kathryn Graham of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health sent observers into 118 large drinking establishments for 2 hours on 25 weekend nights. The observers recorded at least one aggressive encounter in roughly 40% of the visits. The researchers concluded that males were aggressive because their peers would accept that behavior.

There was also research published in the April 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research that found not all men in bars want to fight. However, the interesting part of the study’s findings was the conclusion that bar fights are caused by two personality characteristics: so-called hypermasculinity and trait aggression.

In short, trait aggression “refers to a propensity to respond to certain situations with acts of aggression.” Hypermasculinity, meanwhile, “is a psychological term for exaggerated, narrowly-defined, stereotypically male behavior emphasizing things like physical strength, body hair, virility, and physical and sexual aggression.”

Actually, there probably isn’t one exact reason for why it’s easy, or common, for men to get into bar fights. All the right factors are there: alcohol, women, and enough testosterone to fill a room. And though every guy is different, when a man walks into a place with all the ingredients for trouble, it’s pretty easy for fists to start flying.

Image Source: Regretful Morning

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