A new study that will appear in the journal Apetite this June (2015), is calling on the meat-masculinity link as a barrier to sustainability. This is something we’ve been talking about for years at TheDiscerningBrute.com, and it’s nice to see it confirmed in a scientific journal:
The achievement of sustainability and health objectives in Western countries requires a transition to a less meat-based diet. This article investigates whether the alleged link between meat consumption and particular framings of masculinity, which emphasize that ‘real men’ eat meat, may stand in the way of achieving these objectives.
The study specifically looked at 18-35 year old men in the Netherlands. Chinese Dutch, Turkish Dutch and native Dutch adults were the subjects of the study, which found that cultures with the biggest gender differences, had the strongest link between meat-eating and masculinity. In this case, it was the Turkish-Dutch men who showed the strongest link, and native Dutch men who had the least gender differences and the weakest of meat-masculinity link.
The findings suggest that the combination of traditional framings of masculinity and the Western type of food environment where meat is abundant and cheap is bound to seriously hamper a transition to a less meat-based diet. In contrast, less traditional framings of masculinity seem to contribute to more healthy food preferences with respect to meat. It was concluded that cultural factors related to gender and ethnic diversity can play harmful and beneficial roles for achieving sustainability and health objectives.