Studies & Numbers

New Study Finds That Masculine Language Reshapes Men’s Perspective on Vegan Dishes

A new study published in Frontiers in Communication about masculinity and veganism found that using masculine language or attributes to describe vegan dishes sparked men’s interest in this type of food.

Previous research has shown that vegetarian or vegan diets are not popular with most men despite their numerous health and environmental benefits, possibly due to the prevalent association of meat with masculinity and veganism with femininity

“Given the relevance of this diet to health and environmental issues, further empirical research is worthwhile”  

To test this hypothesis, the study investigated whether vegan food can be more attractive to men by framing it in a less feminine way. The researchers conducted an online experiment with 593 participants in Germany, describing vegan dishes using conventional masculine words, colors, and fonts. The study also examined participants’ identification with new forms of masculinity. Previous studies have also taken a similar approach, presenting dishes using terms like “hearty” or “Western” to make them sound more masculine. 

The results revealed that the masculine framing of vegan dishes did influence the gender association with vegan food, making them more attractive to men. 

man prepping salad
© Maksym Povozniuk – stock.adobe.com

Gender and dietary preferences

However, masculine framing did not influence men’s or women’s general perceptions of veganism. The findings suggest that while male marketing can attract men to consume vegan dishes, more is needed to counterbalance the prevailing feminine connotations of veganism. The study recommends further exploring masculine framing with more potent stimuli or extended intervention to change men’s perceptions of veganism in general.

Additionally, the study found that contrary to what the researchers expected, using masculine language positively impacted individuals who believed in a ‘new masculinity,’ which represents a shift away from rigid, stereotypical notions of masculinity towards a more inclusive understanding. These participants also showed a positive attitude towards veganism.

The researchers also emphasize the need for a comprehensive understanding of the intricate interplay between gender identity and dietary preferences to make veganism more appealing to men. 

“Given the relevance of this diet to health and environmental issues, further empirical research is worthwhile to develop targeted interventions that could foster a reduction in meat consumption and engender a more appealing perception of vegan cuisine, particularly among men,” reads the study.

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