Men eat more meat than women, study confirms

It is a popular notion that men eat more meat than women. Now, new research says this is true all over the world. A study published in Nature Scientific Reports surveyed more than 28 thousand people on four continents.

Researchers say this is true across cultures and that the gap is wider in more developed countries. The study did not examine why. Given the meat consumption is a major driver of climate change, researchers believe their work could have implications for efforts to persuade people to eat less meat and dairy.

Three hypotheses to test

The study is in fact not conclusive as to the causes of this generic differentiation in meat consumption. However, it defines the horizon in three hypotheses to be tested.

The first hypothesis is of focus “universal” and attributes the phenomenon to a presumed general differentiation between men and women in food consumption. Such differences, the study points out, would occur “regardless of culture and context.”

The second theory points to a “differentiated evolutionary pressure”. According to this hypothesis, men have historically tended to carry out activities that would involve greater danger or tend to consolidate their position in the community.

“Historically, meat consumption It has been associated with norms that link it with social reward. For this reason, scientists say, meat consumption is higher in countries where gender roles are more traditional.

The third hypothesis is more sophisticated: it associates meat consumption with a whole series of psychological variables, such as personal interests and self-esteem. This line would lead to the conclusion that the differences between such variables are greater in countries with greater gender equality.

Universal approach and gender paradox

The apparent contradiction in this hypothesis is described by the authors of the study as “paradoxical gender effect”. The authors admit that the study must be deepened and that the current one has limitations.

However, they claim to be pioneers in revealing the paradoxical gender effect, in which men eat more meat than womenon average, but meat consumption is higher in people from countries with greater gender equality.