While plenty of people of all gender identities enjoy chomping down on a good burger once in a while, men in particular do seem attached to meat, don’t you think? Between giant steaks to tons of wings and drumsticks, so many dudes seem to have a passion for animal protein. If you’ve noticed the trend but sorta thought there was nothing to it, you’re wrong – science says so. In fact, according to a new study, men really do love meat and they tend to eat a ton of it so that they can feel more manly.
- UCLA was behind the study. They looked at 1,706 American adults between the ages of 18 and 88 and discovered that standing at the BBQ or chomping down on your body weight’s worth of meat seems to be a stereotypically masculine endeavor.
- The goal of the study was bizarrely specific. The researchers wanted to know whether traditional gender roles had anything to do with meat eating and questioned participants not only about how they currently eat but how open they are to becoming vegeterian, vegan, or predominantly plant-based. The answers weren’t all that surprising, but they were interesting.
- Men are less likely to want to give up meat. The survey results, published in the journal Appetite by UCLA psychologists Daniel Rosenfeld and Janet Tomiyama, found that male participants were way less likely to be open to going vegetarian or vegan than women and that they were way more likely to eat a lot of chicken and beef.
- If we could just shift men’s thinking, they might be open to changing their diet. As Rosenfeld wrote, “Shifting men’s perceptions of ideal gender roles away from traditional masculinity could lead to their reduced consumption of beef and chicken.” Given that we know reduced meat consumption is better for health and our planet, this could be an avenue worth exploring.
- The researchers now want to take this study even further. They want to investigate other stereotypes and how they might affect people’s diets. “A deeper understanding of the role of gender may help reduce public meat consumption to improve human health and environmental sustainability,” they concluded.