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