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The Reason We Think of Meat As ‘Man Food’

Breaking down the weird gender tropes that can define meals as “feminine” or “masculine”

Are burgers manly? Why is it always women who are laughing alone while eating salad? In this episode of Gut Check, Eater set out to understand why some foods are gendered, and how those associations are formed. Psychology professor Paul Rozin and nutritionist David Katz provided their expert opinions.

The link between masculinity and meat was the strongest, but only for “mammal muscle meat,” observed Rozin, citing results from his 2012 study. (In that experiment, participants didn’t consider offal cuts, like liver or heart, with strong associations.) David Katz supplied a more biologically informed argument, making a case that men are perceived as hunters, and are therefore related to meat.

Women, annoyingly, were most strongly associated with chocolate and salad. Rozin argues that this is because salads are tied to stereotypes about dieting, but Katz asserts this is because women are more likely to be foragers. There are both psychological and biological arguments to be made for these associations, but it can’t be denied that they exist: Watch the video above to learn more.

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