Is Meat Male?, Asks New Study


Confirmed by science.

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?  


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  1. “the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables.”

    Depends whether you’re talking cucumbers or lettuce vs steak or tripe.

    1. There are some languages where “vagina” is masculine and some languages where “penis” is feminine.


      1. What? Commenter fail.

        OK, this was meant in reply to Publilius below

    2. … vs sausage or tripe.

  2. Who funded the study? Please, please tell me that it came from a stimulus grant. That would help restore my confidence in government.

    1. does it really matter? Four academics wasted someone’s money on a study that insults the word “pointless”. And the ivory tower wonders a growing segment of the population looks at it with contempt.

      1. Yep, absolutely pointless. The Cattleman’s Beef Board or the Soy Growers’ Association don’t want information on how and to whom to market their products. Nope, not at all.

        1. and neither group can figure out marketing without the help of academics?

          1. You may not know this, but using research from Psychology in Marketing is a “thing”.

            1. I know plenty about it; marketed many things to many folks and made a tidy living doing it. Often, the best information came from users of the product and, curiously, none of them ever worried about how it was pronounced in a different country. Come on..the product’s value is neither enhanced nor denigrated by the gender assigned to its name in a different country.

              Most research yields a “so what?” That seems to escape most of the folks on this thread.

  3. Masculinity is nothing but hatred of Gaia, after all.

    1. Does it count as hatred if I want to STEVE SMITH her?

  4. Tax dollars at work.

  5. Don’t let your meat loaf.

  6. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

    1. Can vegans give decent blow-jobs?

      1. most other women cannot either, so that’s likely a null set.

        1. My long-ago ex told me (I was a virgin who hadn’t done much mor ethan make out): “You practically have to be a hooker to know how to give a good blow job”.

          On the one hand, I’m probably going to be really bad at it, on the other, I’m a whore if I’m good at it. Yeah, that really made me want to do it.

          1. heh – my first BJ was in HS from a real slutty girl. She had plenty of practice and it showed. Worst part: after 25 years I’ve never had one better.

            1. Look her up on Facebook, bro.

              1. she hasn’t aged well.

                1. Turn off the lights.

            2. Weirdly, my story is very similar, only the girl wasn’t slutty.

          2. He was a keeper.

      2. I got pushed down a flight of stairs by this vegetarian chick after asking her “How do you keep a boyfriend if you don’t eat meat?”

        1. Yep, you had me howling with that one. 🙂

        2. I got pushed down a flight of stairs by this vegetarian chick

          I’m surprised she could muster the strength to do anything but futily bounce off of you. She must have had rage strength on her side.

          Nevertheless I’ll send someone around shortly to collect your man card.

          1. She must have eaten a lot of vegetables because she was, how do they say, built like a brick shithouse.

            1. Where do inorganic bricks fall in the spectrum? Can vegetarians eat them?

      3. Yup. And will still swallow. Small sample size though.

  7. . . . but the authors also analyzed 23 languages that use gendered pronouns. They discovered that across most languages, meat was related to the male gender.

    This what happens when researchers get into fields they aren’t familiar with. Anyone who knows linguistics, knows that the gender of words is based on the form of the words, not how speakers view them. As sound changes make languages evolve, those patterns are often lost while the genders remain. There are some languages where “vagina” is masculine and some languages where “penis” is feminine.

    1. Great point.

  8. Ziskey Rates The Vegans: They’re Pussies

  9. Are there more female vegetarians than male? I’d have to add it up for the people I know, but I’d guess that I know just as many male as female vegetarians. Though the only ones I have seen act as if they are about to barf because they thought their food might have been contaminated with a little meat juice or butter have been female. So there’s my totally anecdotal input.

    1. Are there more female vegetarians than male?

      By far, most of the vegetarians I know are women. The only two vegans I know are women. Considering that our digestive systems are designed for us to be carnivores, it doesn’t surprise me all the grass eaters I know over 30 are sickly, depressed and either obese or anorexic.

      Of course, my Bacon Interventions are the answer.

      1. As much as I love meat, our digestive systems are designed for us to be omnivores.

        1. Our digestive systems allow us to be omnivores. The length for humans being about 50% longer than for dogs, relative to total body size, but it is still a carnivore’s digestive tract.

          Mammals have three types of digestive systems: The competition model, the cooperation model and the competition-cooperation model. The first exists in carnivores, the second and third exist in herbivores. “Competitive” digestive systems want to get the food before the microbes do, thus the stomach acid. “Cooperative” digestive systems feed the food to the microbes which digest the cellulose, then the herbivore is fed by the bacteria bodies or their poop. Thus, the stomach environment has a neutral pH.

          And people cannot and do not digest cellulose. Our teeth rot from exposure to sugary fruits and our intestines rot from exposure to plant proteins.

    1. My GOD that’s offenseive!

      And by “offensive” I mean “it’s what’s for dinner”.

      1. My nearest grocery doesn’t sell salt pork. I live in a Salt Pork Desert! Someone call the food police! I can’t make baked beans the way dog intended!

        1. tsk tsk. Learn to make salt pork. It isnt difficult.

          Monday I helped my grandfathers first cousin load about two hogs-worth of pork into his smokehouse and I mean the real thing. He is 82 and still smokes meat in the smokehouse he and his father built 50 years ago. Salt pork, sausage, jerky, smoked pork…..

        2. Have you checked the freezer section, there’s usually one cooler with like frozen livers and other weirdbits. I think I saw saltpork in a spot like that once (rather than next to the bacon or lard/other-nonstandardporkproducts, like a normal person might assume.)

        1. +Chicken George

      2. I’ll be in my bunk.

        1. If meat is male, wouldn’t that make you…

  10. I know a chick that was a vegetarian before she got married, and now she’s suspiciously a pescatarian. I says props to the hubby for at least semi-meatifying her.

    1. What’s the difference between a job and a wife?

      Five years later the job still sucks.

      1. Confess: you’re like 60 years old, aren’t you?

        1. Nope. I’m roughly the same age as $parky.

          1. not to brag, but my wife is not one of those women. And she likes a good steak. Damn..I wonder if there is a grant available to study if there is a wider correlation to that.

            1. Cholesterol is important for the production of sex hormones. Of course the only study I can find at the moment is specifically about men.

              My wife went to a “Healthy Lunch” event at work. She didn’t even make it home before she was thanking me for being a “kill it, burn it, eat it” kind of guy.

      2. I’m just trying to picture this particular friend denying oral sex to her husband. From what I know of her (and we used to be roommates), that does not compute.

        1. Give her time.

  11. Good to see those research grants being put to good use tackling the most important scientific issues of our day.

  12. I opted for the all-vegan option (collards and lentils) at the food truck today. Someone take my temperature, please.

    1. Committed vegans have been known to be at room temperature. So be careful.

    2. Food Truck? You need a blood draw for botulism! Apparently, every food truck is a rolling, incubating vector of full of food poisoning and filth. Top. Men. told me so!

      I hope you don’t mind a rectal thermometer. I don’t trust those temporal infrared ones.

      1. Ya know, I was at a conference earlier this week, and nearby there was a park with an array of food trucks circling it. I swear the food truck cuisine was more innovative than what was being served in any of the nearby restaurants.

        They were serving meat pastries filled with lamb, for example.

      2. I hope you don’t mind a rectal thermometer. I don’t trust those temporal infrared ones.

        The first line in the Groovus/Kristen porn script that I wrote.

        1. Anal costs extra.

          1. By the way, I just thought of the acronym KLIF porn. It amuses me greatly.

      3. I hope you don’t mind a rectal thermometer.

        After collards and lentils?! You’re a brave man, Doctor G.

    3. Kristen,
      sometimes one must research the opposition to verify how wrong it is. Good work.

    4. Are you sure they didn’t sneak some lard in there?

      1. If you saw the folks running this truck you would have no doubts the vegan claims are 100% true.

        More hipstery food truck goodness.

        1. My rage…it cannot be contained.

          1. You have something against attractive Ethiopian women?

            1. Did you see any Ethiopians in those pics? Cause I ain’t never seen no Ethiopians when I go to the truck.

              1. That chick looks 100 percent Ethiopian.

                1. If she is, she’s never been in the truck when I’ve been there. It’s all whiteys and one Jamaican dude.

  13. Meat has protein which builds muscle which is masculine. Red meat also raises testosterone levels.

  14. It is possible that men choose steaks, bacon, and burgers over veggies because they taste better?

    I think it’s for a number of reasons, but that one is the most correct. I’m of the view that not only is meat yummy, but in IMMO, it’s even more vital for females to consume meat, particularly red meat, to stave off the possibility of anemia (iron poor blood, AKA Iron Deficiency). Yes, yes, I know that iron gluconate, ferrous sulfate, Geritol and other iron supplements help, but ferritin (the enzyme responsible for the storage and use of iron, notably in the manufacture of hemoglobin, the most important iron based compound) levels are enhanced with intake of natural sources of iron. I’m not suggesting eating a whole steer whole like Warty does, but the notion that meat is sex specific is thoroughly idiotic and smacks of real politik.

    1. it could also be that men, or more specifically “man”, choose meat because meat is and always has been a central component of the human diet. Man hunted game and ate a few things that grew in the wild.

      If there is correlation between diet and expanding waistlines, I am relatively sure it has little to do with excessive protein. Then again, you are a doc and I’m not, so I could be wrong.

    2. While I agree that meat is yummy and a good source of iron, (My AE-Bart’s Disease suffering Wife refuses to eat a meal unless some animal died for her, for what its worth) my first instinct is to agree with the argument that there is a cultural link between the consumption of meat and masculinity.

      For example, amongst the Chinese population in Thailand (and other places in S.E. Asia) there exists the cult of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Adherents of this cult abstain from consuming cow flesh, at least. Most are vegetarian, and all are vegetarian for the 9-days of the Vegetarian festival. The worshipers of “Great Mother” Guanyin are almost exclusively female. Indeed, the only male member of this sect have I have ever met was a very effeminate gay man.

      Jus’ sayin’

      1. Fair enough. Your anthropological skillz are indeed formidable. Perhaps I should amend my comment to a more Westernized culture context.

    3. I don’t know if that’s what the term “real politik” is meant to mean.

      1. It’s meant to imply a Machiavellian intent, in this context. Essentially, encouraging women to eschew a potentially healthy foodstuff for a greater ideological good is pretty awful.

        I dare say: PROBLEMATIC.

    4. Og strong hunter. Og catch many wildebeest. Bring meat home to Ugga. Ugga eat good. Ugga make strong cubs for Og. Ungh! Good!

  15. Anecdotally, I know that while meat eating is common in the cuisine of northeastern Thailand and Laos, the consumption of dog meat is seen as a “masculine” thing (and an import from Vietnamese culture, Thais and Laotians normally consider dog to be a taboo meat, as in the West.). Dog is beer and whisky food, and most women consider the consumption of it to be a disgusting male-posturing “habit”, akin to hard liquor or smoking.

    1. “Fry dough?” I thought you said “Fido!”

  16. Nothing new. Corporation Man, published in 1971, traces all forms of human organization to paleolithic hunter/gatherer roots. And one has only to observe any Memorial Day cookout to note who is tending the wildebeest burgers on the campfire!

    1. And one has only to observe any Memorial Day cookout to note who is tending the wildebeest burgers on the campfire

      At my house, that would be me. I am always the fire meister. Though I won’t begrudge the squeeze a turn or two with the tongs, the laying and starting of the fire is all me.

    2. I hate it when men always takeover the campfire and insist on being the ones to start it.

      My fire-making skills rock. In a fire building contest I would beat the pants off of 9 out of 10 males.

      1. It’s on.

  17. In the name of Godwin, I need to state: Hitler was a vegetarian,

    1. “Anti-smoking Nazi” is historical, not just rhetorical.…..zi_Germany

  18. Can I just say this lil lighthearted thread is just what I needed on this lovely Friday after working 12 hours yesterday and very little sleep because of a snoreasaurus rex in the bed next to me?

    1. The sudden elbow into the ribs normally solves the snoring problem.

      1. or the pillow pressed over the face. (note, LH is not responsible for legal implications)

      2. Believe me, I tried everything short of duct taping his mouth.

        1. Believe me, I tried everything short of duct taping his mouth.

          Wouldn’t that exacerbate the problem?

    2. Use your meat-strength and roll him over on his side next time.

      1. Fuck that shit. I snore because I hate my wife and it’s the only way I can get back at her. If she was a better wife, I would never snore. That’s some goddamn motherfucking SCIENCE FACTS!

        1. Well, there is that too. Would you like a mint julep?

    3. He (I’m being gender-normative here, I know) needs to go to sleep specialist, and likely get a c-pap machine. Besides stopping the snoring, and likely mean he will get much better sleep.

      I use one now, and it has made a big difference. I didn’t realize how poorly I was sleeping until I got the blower.

      1. More on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure appliances and devices.

        This is actually a very good suggestion by RC. CPAP may not guarantee better sleep, but RC is correct in that it will stop the snoring. Sleep studies are a bit on the caveat emptor side, but if your sig oth has a deviated septum, a sleep study can help DX this. Biggest problem with CPAP TX is patient compliance.

  19. You’re all either too young or too old to have cited the Meatmen.

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