The online version went live March 6th. Sharp-eyed news hounds picked it up last week, and the study has been making headlines.
I confess I didn’t shell out the $14 to read the whole study, so I’m trusting the accuracy of Medical Xpress, who quoted from it:
To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food. Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.
The team of researchers included Paul Ruzin from the University of Pennsylvania, Julia Hornes of Louisiana State University, Myles Faith at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Brian Wansink from Cornell University. They set out to study “whether there is a metaphoric link between meat and maleness in Western cultures.”
They found that consumers linked meat with masculinity and considered male meat eaters more masculine than guys who were vegetarians. Since eating less meat is usually equated with better health for people and the planet, the researchers suggest more efforts to disguise the veggies, such as striping those soy burgers with grill marks.
I checked on the reactions of some of my guy friends. They are a mixed group of carnivores and vegetarians, mostly from Commonwealth countries. They would probably have skewed the study because they are quite happy eating their vegetables. On the other hand, for most of the men who surrounded me when I was living in cattle country, a meal without meat was incomplete and definitely on the wimpy side of culinary experiences.
When you think about your experiences with family, friends, and co-workers, do the researchers’ observations ring true?
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