Do you love a steak? You might be INSECURE! Men who worry that they are not ‘manly’ enough are more likely to eat red meat, study claims 

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  • Research finds men think consuming red meat can ‘enhance their manhood’
  • It is not known why red meat is actually considered masculine in some societies.
  • But the male sexual instincts depicted in red meat product commercials may be to blame.

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A new study suggests that men who eat a lot of beef, lamb, pork and other red meats may be insecure about their masculinity.

Researchers in Canada have found that men suffering from ‘masculinity stress’ are more likely to try and ‘enhance their masculinity’ by eating red meat, which is generally considered to be more masculine.

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The stress of masculinity describes an individual male who worries about their masculinity or worries that they are ‘male enough’.

It is not known why red meat is considered masculine in some societies, although it may be seen as a muscle-building method, helping to promote stereotypical male qualities such as virility and sexual power.

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Male-related language in food marketing, such as Burger King ads that contain crude sexual intuition, may also be to blame.

Previous research has found that red meat consumption is believed by both men and women to be associated with masculine qualities such as virility and sexual potency.

masculinity stress

The stress of masculinity describes an individual male who worries about their masculinity or worries that they are ‘male enough’.

It stems from a perceived discrepancy with male gender norms, such as drinking pints and playing sports.

Experts from the University of Lethbridge have found that the stress of masculinity causes men to play up another gender norm – eating red meat.

They report: ‘Men with high masculinity stress are more likely to believe that eating meat will enhance their masculinity and, consequently, are more likely to buy red meat.’

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The new study is led by Rhiannon McDonnell Mesler at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

“Our results suggest that men who are concerned about their masculinity may seek opportunities to enhance their masculinity through the food they eat,” he said.

‘They also indicate that the affirmation of masculinity may serve to strengthen that one is indeed “man enough”, which, in turn, should reduce the need to restore masculinity through the consumption of red meat.’

Previous research has found that red meat consumption is believed by both men and women to be associated with masculine qualities such as virility, sexual desirability, and sexual potency.

The new study cites criticism of a 2009 Burger King ad that depicted a ‘long and juicy’ burger floating in front of a woman’s parted lips – a euphemism for oral sex – with the tagline ‘It blows your brain. will fly’.

It is therefore ‘surprising’ that red meat consumption is significantly higher in men than women, say the study authors, who explored the effects of ‘masculinity stress’ on red meat consumption.

In the first phase of the study, 300 male participants from the UK, US and Canada were assessed for masculinity stress, how conforming they were to traditional masculinity, and their intent to buy red meat.

The study cites criticism of a 2009 Burger King ad depicting a 'long and juicy' burger floating in front of a woman's chapped lips, with the tagline 'this will blow your mind'.

The study cites criticism of a 2009 Burger King ad depicting a ‘long and juicy’ burger floating in front of a woman’s chapped lips, with the tagline ‘this will blow your mind’.

Of the total, 13 were removed from the study after disclosing whether they were vegetarian or vegan, leaving a final sample of 287 male meat eaters.

The tension of masculinity was determined by questions such as, ‘I wish I was interested in things that other people found interesting’ and ‘I worry that women find me less attractive because I am not as masculine as other boys’. .

Next, the participants were told about a new product called ‘The Butcher Box’, which delivers packaged meats to homes.

Manhood stress levels compared with intent to buy from 'The Butcher Box', which delivers meat to the home

Manhood stress levels compared with intent to buy from ‘The Butcher Box’, which delivers meat to the home

UK daily meat consumption down 17%

Daily meat consumption in the UK has fallen by 17 per cent over the past 10 years, a 2021 study finds, but still not falling fast enough to meet a national target.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, showed that most people are eating less red meat and processed meat than they were a decade ago.

Despite the promising decline, data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey – which looks at the eating habits of 15,000 people – found that people are eating more white meat than they were ten years ago.

Read more: Daily meat consumption in the UK has dropped by 17% over the past decade

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Following the product description, they were asked ‘how willing are you to purchase a meat box containing 8 prime cut steaks, 24 sausages, and 6 pounds of lean ground beef?’.

Additionally, participants reported the extent to which they agreed on a set of beliefs about the relationship between masculinity and food consumption.

These include ‘some foods are more masculine than others’, ‘real men eat meat’, ‘there are some foods that are just plain’ and ‘when I eat meat, I am a man’. I feel like

The results showed that men with high masculinity stress were more likely to believe that eating meat would enhance their masculinity and, as a result, were more inclined to buy red meat.

In the next part of the study, another 200 male participants from the same three countries completed a masculinity questionnaire and were told that their answers would be used to validate ‘a new measure of masculinity’.

Respondents were randomly assigned to receive a response with the intention of confirming or denying their masculinity (ie, ‘Our algorithm indicates that you are more/less masculine than 85 percent of the population’).

They were then offered a choice of four main-course items from a cafeteria menu – a meatball sub or a bacon sandwich (the ‘manly’ red meat option) or a salad with chicken or a salad with tofu (the non-masculine option).

Which of these dishes would you choose from this menu?  The study suggests that 'masculine' men prefer meat dishes and women prefer chicken or tofu salads, its cultural stereotypes.

Which of these dishes would you choose from this menu? ,

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