Can’t we teach reason? Get together and softly hum kumbaya? Our educators try, but how do you reason with a 16-year-old who has identified with his violent, alcoholic father and now is the father?

How do you reason with a terrorist who sees Western culture as blasphemous? Our president has lost valuable years trying, and to what purpose?

How do you reason with a sociopath, a person with no conscience, who does whatever he wants because it feels good? That’s why we have prisons.

How do you reason with a pedophile, whose sexual drive transcends any decency and logic. You don’t, that’s why Penn State is being sued and will be dragged through the court system.

You can’t reason with unreasonable people! You fight! Go to war! Do whatever it takes to protect yourself, your family and your society.

Using logic in the face of an illogical belief system can be dangerous. It is often perceived as weak and gives license to more bullying, terrorism, sociopathic acts or pedophilic  attacks. Fighting is not a bad thing. It is a necessary tool that we all need to survive in a potentially hostile environment.

Oh, I forgot, girls need to fight too…

7 thoughts on “WHY DO BOYS NEED TO FIGHT? by Art Smukler MD

  1. Thanks Dr. Art. Just learned in my therapy session that my dad was a bully in the true sense of the word. Emotionally, not physically which is just as bad. I’m starting to understand myself better now. Also, don’t forget, girls need to get angry too. I was taught not to, and learned to turn anger toward myself with severe consequences over the years.


  2. I have been studying Buddhist philosophy, and come to respect it a great deal. The position of Buddhism is that ANGER is never useful, never constructive, always destructive, and to be avoided at all costs. This is not to say that one should never fight, or stand up for what is right in difficult and trying circumstances, even at great risk to oneself; it is only to say that this must never be done IN ANGER. Buddhists define anger very narrowly: it is the wish that another suffer (the wish to cause another sentient being harm or suffering). So I think one should distinguish between the question “Why do boys (“need”) to fight?” and “Why do immature human males fight among one another?” I don’t think boys “need” to fight at all, certainly not in the way most of us think of that (fist fights on the playground, bloody-nosed 12-year-olds). At the same time, young people must be taught to stand up against true injustice, effectively, assertively, but without anger.


  3. As a professional mediator I can appreciate the concept that there is a time when you throw up your hands and give up or “go to war”. However, it is surprising how going the extra mile can resolve what at first seems impossible.


  4. Art: Your blog is fabulous and courageous in this age of political correctness. Compromising with a monster, such as Hitler, just doesn’t work as history has proven. Fighting to protect us from evil domination is a just cause. Bravo!! Bernie


  5. Someone once told me, “Some people are just plain assholes.” I never forget that comment and I try to remember it when faced with frustrating, illogical, and irrational people.


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