Men might refuse to give up meat because it ‘threatens their masculinity’, according to new study
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Men are less likely to go vegetarian or vegan because of - wait for it - toxic masculinity.
The research discovered that if these men were to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets then it would threaten the very fabric of what it is to be a man, apparently.
The study consisted of an eye-watering 4,897 Australian men and women, and investigated their attitudes towards meat consumption and their self-rated genders.
The study, entitled Masculinity Matters for Meat Consumption: An Examination of Self-Rated Gender Typicality, Meat Consumption, and Veg*nism in Australian Men and Women, investigated to what extent men felt masculine and women felt feminine.
The study then used those prisms to decipher attitudes towards food and diet, specifically, attitudes towards meat.
I don't know about you, but this writer has never looked at literally anyone chowing down on a steak and had the word 'manly' pop into my head like a buzzing neon light, but that might just be me.
Anyway, the study from ANU referenced previous research from 2021 that revealed how nearly three quarters of male respondents would rather have a decade taken off their life than give up meat.
"Our findings support previous research suggesting that it is not simply being male that leads to greater meat consumption behaviours," the ANU study authors said.
"Instead, self-identified levels of masculinity may explain apparent gender differences, with more masculine men more resistant to reducing their meat intake.
"Interestingly, we also found some evidence that women’s femininity was similarly (and often, just as strongly) associated with meat-related attitudes as men’s masculinity.
"Thus, self-rated gender typicality can help us understand the gendered nature of meat consumption and low prevalence of veganism in Australia."
This obviously flies in the face of the manliest of men - beloved children's cartoon character Popeye - who was well known for his tough demeanour and rippling muscles.
But what did it take to get his chiselled rig from zero to hero? Spinach. Yep, not a helping of prime rib, but spinach.
Which, for you cavemen out there, is a vegetable.