A new study undertaken by researchers in Canada suggests that some men consume more red meat to appear more masculine.
The study finds that these men feel insecure about their masculinity, and therefore, eat more red meat to increase their manliness.
Through the survey, the researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta wanted to explore the psychological factors behind meat consumption with a focus on masculinity.
The scientists interviewed around 300 men from the US, UK and Canada to determine their ‘masculinity stress’, which means how much these individuals conform to traditional practices – like eating meat – to adhere to the image of being a man.
The respondents were asked a range of questions around machoism, and were also questioned on whether they find some foods more manly (or girly) than others.
They were made to choose amongst four different foods – a meatball sub, a bacon sandwich, a salad with chicken, or a salad with tofu. The men who were told they ranked highly on the masculinity test conducted earlier had a less likelihood of choosing the red meat options.
Rhiannon MacDonnell Mesler, who led the study, stated: “Our results suggest that men concerned about their masculinity may seek opportunities to augment their manhood through the food that they consume.
“They also indicate that affirming masculinity can serve a reinforcing function that one is indeed ‘man enough’ which, in turn, should reduce the need to restore masculinity through red meat consumption.”