Newman, Emily; Banas, Kasia. (2016). Female identity threat and eating, 2015, 2015 [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Health in Social Science. Clinical Psychology. https://doi.org/10.7488/ds/1426.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and unhealthy diets are a known
contributing factor. UK policies such as front of pack labelling of food products and campaigns
such as "Be food smart" are aimed to promote healthy eating practices. Data show that men
benefit from these interventions less than women. One possible mechanism is that social norms
about masculinity encourage men to eat meals rich in red meat and potatoes, and low on
vegetables. We propose two Internet-based studies to test the hypothesis that in situations
where men's masculinity is threatened, they will tend to choose foods that are perceived as more
masculine, and that are also less healthy. In the first study, participants would rate food items
(see The student diet 2014) on three scales: masculinity/femininity,
healthiness/unhealthiness and palatability. In this, the second (experimental) study, male and female
participants were randomly assigned to a gender identity threat or a gender identity
affirmation condition (using the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory (CFNI),
and then requested to choose between different food items. The prediction
is that, following a masculinity threat, men would choose more masculine and less healthy foods,
compared to the gender affirmation condition. We expect this effect not to occur among women. The snowball sample of 127 female respondents was conducted online via Qualtrics.
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