60-Second Mind

Meat-Eating Is Viewed as More of a Man's Game

A recent study finds that we tend to view meat consumption as being more masculine than vegetarianism. Christie Nicholson reports

You are what you eat. But for men and meat, you’re also what you want to eat. Because a new study finds that we strongly associate meat with masculinity. Which may explain the big gender bias in meat eating: Americans eat an average of 195 pounds of meat a year, with men consuming much more than women. The study is in the Journal of Cancer Research (pdf).

In a series of experiments, people consistently rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. Researchers also found that meat-related words like “steak” conjured male-related words in free association tests significantly more often than female-related words. The word “chocolate” however, conjured more female-related words in the minds of participants. And foods like raw beef or blood were viewed as far more “male” than “female.” And participants rated male meat-eaters as more masculine than male non-meat-eaters.

The studies took place in the U.K. and the U.S., but the researchers found the results to be consistent across various languages and cultures.

So if you want to make a meat-eating man try that tofu burger it might help to dress it up with grill marks and Hungry-Man’s BBQ sauce.

—Christie Nicholson

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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