Why do men behave the way they do? Is it their male brains? Surging testosterone? From vulgar locker-room talk to mansplaining to sexual harassment, society is too quick to explain male behavior in terms of biology.
In Are Men Animals?, anthropologist Matthew Gutmann argues that predatory male behavior is in no way inevitable. Men behave the way they do because culture permits it, not because biology demands it. To prove this, he embarks on a global investigation of masculinity. Exploring everything from the gender-bending politics of American college campuses to the marriage markets of Shanghai and the women-only subway cars of Mexico City, Gutmann shows just how complicated masculinity can be. The result isn’t just a new way to think about manhood. It’s a guide to a better life, for all of us.
Matthew Gutmann is a professor of anthropology at Brown University who has spent thirty years exploring notions of masculinity across the United States, Latin America, and China. He is also a visiting professor at El Colegio de México and Nanjing University, as well as the author of eight books. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.