Vaccaro, a visting faculty member in IUP's Department of Sociology, conducted a two-year ethnographic study of mixed martial arts fighters to further understanding of how men manage their fears. The study was published in the December 2011 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.
The PPG profile, "Study of martial arts fighters attempts to shed light on how men manage their fears," quoted Vaccaro as saying that most fighters never fully overcome their fear of losing or getting injured. However, they learn to manage it through "a number of mental strategies to exude dominance and maintain their masculine identity."
Vaccaro's research included interviews with more than 100 persons. He calls the process used by men "managing emotional manhood." His article also suggests that this ability may "create an emotional orientation that primes men to subordinate and harm others."
Vaccaro describes himself as a sociological social psychologist and symbolic interactionist interested in the study of gender, emotions, identity, and enbodiment.
The PPG article follows a number of mentions in national media, including in the Huffington Post and Men's Health News.