Study: quantitative evidence of metaphoric association between meat and maleness

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The findings of this study are unlikely to surprise anyone – the research is based on experiments carried out in the US and the UK and finds that there is a strong connection in people’s minds between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity.

Reference and abstract as follows:

Rozin P, Hormes J M, Faith M S and Wansink B (2012). Is Meat Male? A Quantitative Multi-Method Framework to Establish Metaphoric Relationships. Journal of Consumer Research

Metaphors are increasingly recognized as influencing cognition and consumption.  While these linkages typically have been qualitatively generated, this article presents a framework of convergent quantitative methodologies that can further document the validity of a metaphor.  To illustrate this multimethod framework, the authors explore whether there is a a metaphoric link between meat and maleness in Western cultures.  The authors address this in six quantifiable studies that involve 1. implicit associations, 2. free associations, 3. indirect-scenario based inferences, 4. direct measurement profiling, 5. preference and choice and 6. linguistic analysis and conclude that there is a metaphoric relationship between mammal muscle meat and maleness.

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