Meat as a symbol for masculinity and meat serving as validation for masculinity has been verified by a number of studies. Furthermore, a study by Matthew B. Ruby and Steven J Heine found that many men would rather embrace the health risks associated with eating red meat than be associated with the ‘feminine’ attributes of a vegetarian diet. Dr. Attila Pohlmann and his team are conducting research to expand on the psychological and physiological effects of this phenomenon.
According to Pohlmann, this research will be beneficial for individuals and society, as investigating psychological and physiological factors can inform marketing and consumer choices in encouraging “traditionally masculine people” to make healthier choices. The page detailing the experiment states, “The findings will have implications for marketers that are seeking to position meatless products to their consumers as well as for general public health.” Biological masculinity, testosterone, and stress response, cortisol, will be measured in participants’ saliva in order to draw conclusions.
The research project has been funded on the science platform Experiment, a crowdsourcing site. It has met its fundraising target of $3,000 for the study.