Is meat sexy? Meat preference as a function of the sexual motivation system

Eugene Y. Chan, Natalina Zlatevska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

When their sexual motivation system is activated, men behave in ways that would increase their desirability as a mating partner to women. For example, they take greater risks and become more altruistic. We examine the possibility that men's sexual motivation, when elicited, can influence their preference for meat because meat signals status to others, including women—and signalling status is one way to help men achieve their mating goals. We find support for this hypothesis in three studies involving consumption (Study 1) and preference (Studies 2 and 3) for meat. Men's desire for status mediates their liking for meat. In contrast, when their sexual motivation system is activated, women like meat less, possibly since they pursue other strategies such as beauty and health to make themselves desirable to men. Thus, we suggest that evolutionary processes shape food preferences. We discuss the contributions and limitations of our results as well as practical implications for reducing meat consumption—to not only improve one's physical health but food sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume74
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Desirability
  • Meat
  • Sexual motivation
  • Status

Cite this

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Is meat sexy? Meat preference as a function of the sexual motivation system. / Chan, Eugene Y.; Zlatevska, Natalina.

In: Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 74, 01.06.2019, p. 78-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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