Duh. This terrific new insight about guys is reported in a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Consumer Research (sub required). These findings come out just in time to kick off the summer grilling season. ScienceDaily notes:
"We examined whether people in Western cultures have a metaphoric link between meat and men," write authors Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania), Julia M. Hormes (Louisiana State University), Myles S. Faith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and Brian Wansink (Cornell University). The answer, they found, was a strong connection between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity.
In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. They also found that meat generated more masculine words when people discussed it, and that people viewed male meat eaters as being more masculine than non-meat eaters.
Most of the studies took place in the United States and Britain, but the authors also analyzed 23 languages that use gendered pronouns. They discovered that across most languages, meat was related to the male gender.
No doubt paleoanthropologists who have been going on for years about the sexual division of labor among primitive peoples, you know all that stuff about hunting vs. gathering, will be relieved to have their research further bolstered by these insights from modern marketers.
Oddly, ScienceDaily wonders why male consumers avoid vegetarian options. It is possible that men choose steaks, bacon, and burgers over veggies because they taste better?