Recent findings from a Monash University study shows that something as simple as red meat can go a long way in helping men in their love lives.

Over 1 600 participants from Australia, USA and the UK took part in the study which found “that a desire for status and implied wealth, combined with the motivation to pursue a mating partner, made men more likely to choose meat-based dishes”.

Women, on the other hand, prioritised beauty and vegetarian options to make themselves desirable to men.

The study, published in the Food Quality and Preference Journal, was done by Dr Eugene Chan, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Monash Business School and Associate Professor Natalina Zlatevska from the University of Technology Sydney.

“Sexual and mating desires are fundamental to all of humankind’s existence. As such, our search for a mate is so fundamental in the evolutionary psyche that it might shape food decisions also – so long as they are relevant in attaining mating goals,” Chan said.

Human history shows that meat was more often than not a luxury because it was rare to come by, but it was also mot easy to prepare. And so it contributed to status and wealth of men and increased their mating desirability to women.

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“The link between meat and status is grounded in evolutionary drivers of consumption. Cavemen consumed meat in order to be strong, healthy and powerful enough to survive the harsh environment. Royalty and the nobility also consumed meat because it signified wealth,” Zlatevska said.

“To this day, we still celebrate with meat, especially around Christmas, Thanksgiving and at weddings, as well as those moments we share with family and friends.”

The groundwork

There were three separate behavioural studies to establish a link between sexual motivation and meat consumption

“The first study monitored the food choices of 268 undergraduate university students after being exposed to images of attractive men and women – none of which were nude or sexually provocative,” said the university.

As a reward for their participation, the students were asked to choose between beef or vegan biltong. “More than 86% of men chose the beef jerky, but this figure dropped to just 54% for female participants.”

In the second study, participants were divided into two groups and subjected to different forms of sexual motivation manipulation for five minutes.

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“Participants in one group were asked to imagine meeting a highly desirable person of the opposite sex, spending a romantic evening with him/her, and finding themselves romantically attached to the other person. In the control group, participants envisioned a fun night out with a friend of the same sex.”

Results showed that men subjected to sexual motivation manipulation were more likely to choose a beef burger compared to their male counterparts in the control group.

The full study can be downloaded from the Science Direct website upon request.

Source: Monash University

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