Matthew C. Gutmann: “Men Are Animals: The Perils of Naturalizing Male Violence and Sexuality"

Welcome to a departmental seminar featuring Matthew C. Gutmann, Director of Brown International Advanced Research Institutes, Brown University, US.

After the seminar, coffee and snacks are served in our lunch room. The event is open to all, no registration required.

Copyright: Brown University


This lecture explores popular enthusiasm for putative scientific beliefs that men have minimal control over their sexual and violent “natures” and that they must be managed and restrained, usually by societal restrictions, and by the women in their lives. A folk biological narrative can be compelling when trying to understand gendered undercurrents in biological explanations about human behavior pervasive today in various societies. Nonetheless, the biology of maleness may be more remarked upon than understood. Why and how analytic frames referencing heredity, genes, and hormones hold sway in the popular imaginary in three societies (China, Mexico, and the United States) at this particular historical moment rests on more than simply the credibility of scientific discovery. 

Research profile

Matthew C. Gutmann is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI). Gutmann's research and teaching focuses on gender, health, politics, and ethnography in Mexico and China. At present he is working on three projects: Global Latin America (an edited volume with Jeffrey Lesser), Men Are Animals, and Global Affinities.

Editorial review by Michael Kearney: "Writing with a poet's ear for spoken language, a novelist's vision of story line and plot, a historian's sense of time and period, and, most of all, an ethnographer's vision of people and Place. A new book by Matt Gutmann is a gift." Gutmann's published books include "The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City", "The Romance of Democracy: Compliant Defiance in Mexico City" and "Breaking Ranks: Iraq Veterans Speak out against the War" (with Catherine Lutz).

Published Aug. 2, 2017 9:50 AM - Last modified Oct. 31, 2017 11:02 AM