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EMAC 2022 Annual

Traditional Masculinity, Identity and Male Preference for Meat

Published: May 24, 2022


Paul Naughton, Edinburgh Napier University; Ashleigh Logan-McFarlane, Edinburgh Napier University


The aim of this study was to examine if traditional masculinity norms are antecedents of pro-meat consumption attitudes and meat consumption self-identity, and act as a barrier to meat consumption reduction. The study sample consisted of 276 male adults living in the UK. Traditional views of masculinity were positively associated with pro-meat attitudes and meat consumption self-identity. Self-identity mediated the negative relationship between endorsement of traditional masculinity norms and willingness to reduce meat consumption. Men who had a university degree were less likely to endorse traditional masculinity norms. It appears that some men eat meat to bolster their male identity, and this may partly explain the relative unwillingness of men to reduce their meat consumption. Challenging the archaic ‘men eat meat’ stereotypes that continue to pervade discourse around food will be important for marketing campaigns promoting meat consumption reduction and plant-based meat alternatives.