Vaginas don’t like asparagus

asparagus.jpg
Another great article from the NYTimes, Who Likes Asparagus? Men More Than Women discussing a study that analyzed eating patterns among men and women.

The study of eating habits of adults — called the most extensive of its kind — was a telephone survey of 14,000 Americans. It confirmed conventional wisdom that most men eat more meat than women, and women eat more fruits and vegetables. But there were a few surprising exceptions: Men were much more likely to eat asparagus, brussels sprouts, peas and peanuts. They also were bigger consumers of frozen pizzas, frozen hamburgers and frozen Mexican dinners. Women are more likely than men to eat eggs, yogurt and fresh hamburgers.

Studies like this, and the simple reporting that outlets like the NYTimes does upsets me for a few reasons. One, it is really that useful? Could we also do a telephone survey and find that brunettes show different trends in eating than blonds? How much does this research just reinforce our already concrete ideas about gender difference? Of course men eat more meat than women! It’s because they need more protein for all their manly activities.
The other problem has more to do with the media misuse (and abuse) of random scientific studies. There is a great article in Bitch Magazine, Mad Science, that addresses this.

Nowhere do scientific findings get more mangled than when they’re about the differences between men and women. According to the science pages, women aren’t just biologically hardwired to prefer pink to blue. We’re also predisposed to backstab one another in the workplace, cry in the boardroom, and have both lower iqs and less of a sense of humor than men.
Some misleading stories come from bad science, where the study authors’ conclusions aren’t supported by their own data. Others are well-conducted studies whose conclusions mutate upon contact with the mainstream media. Newspapers and websites are prone to playing fast and loose with their reports on studies, often neglecting to reveal salient facts about a study’s sample group or methodology.

And finally, there is the obvious angle missing from this piece which is the way the we are socialized through our gender. Men and women have very different eating habits most likely because they are taught (and marketed to) in very different ways. Body image, differences in standards of beauty and nutritionism, all of these things are going to have an impact on our eating habits. Yet the way the NYTimes reported the study simply implies that this is just another fascinating way that men and women are so radically different!

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94 Comments

  1. Geek
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I should clarify that the point I agree iwth is that the study itself isn’t the problem. As far as I see, that study wasn’t intended to determine why there are differences, but to take those differences into account when dealing with food-related illness outbreaks.
    The conclusions of the study did not even guess the reasons why those differences exist.

  2. dedf
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I find it interesting that in many conversations, the remarks that Ennui make usually dominate the conversation … and it seems to be the same thing all the time. We end up having to explain ourselves to him, or explain why something is sexist (even when sometimes it is painfully obvious).

  3. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    find it interesting that in many conversations, the remarks that Ennui make usually dominate the conversation
    It’s not my fault that my opinion attracts so much attention.
    We end up having to explain ourselves to him, or explain why something is sexist (even when sometimes it is painfully obvious).
    This one is not painfully obvious. Quite a few people agree on that note.

  4. dedf
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    This article is not painfully obvious….which is why I stated ‘sometimes’. Although I did consider that I should clarify that statement.

  5. cuddlebot3000
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Yikes! Who knew asparagus was such a touchy subject?
    Studies such as this one are very useful for those in the public health nutrition field, but they’re not particularly useful for the rest of us, especially when someone in the mainstream press gets hold of it and writes a really lame, over simplified, extremely misinformed article about it.
    The purpose of such studies is not to give someone at the NYT something to write about, nor to point out the differences between men and women, but rather to get a better understanding of what people are eating, why they eat it, what effects that may have on their health, etc etc. You can’t work on improving peoples’ eating habits without a solid understanding of what they choose to eat and why. That’s what studies like this aim to accomplish.
    I haven’t read the original study, but I seriously doubt their intention was to say “men eat this, women eat that.” When these studies are carried out, many basic demographic characteristics are taken into account, gender key among them. They may have also found differences in eating habits by age, for example, but that’s not a very sexy thing to write about. I mean, we’re talking about it right now, and as far as the NYT is concerned, that’s all that matters.

  6. Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    cuddlebot, the abstract to the study was posted above and it clearly states the purpose and conclusion. It did look specifically at gender, but only to help inform people working to understand food-related illness outbreaks.
    “The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) population survey has been
    used to describe food consumption patterns in the general population; these data have been useful for hypothesis
    generation during outbreak investigations. This analysis examined differences in consumption of various types of
    foods, including high- risk foods for foodborne illness, between men and women.”

  7. Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    That is exactly why I loathe all this evolutionary “science” crapola that’s been getting so much ink lately.
    Can you say why one of the most fascinating and useful theories in modern science is discarded as “crapola”? Cos it damn sure wasn’t the creationists that got us to our present understanding of life and how we got here, never mind modern medicine and antibiotics.

  8. Dio
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    And it really seems like it would be hard to frame it any other way. Per cuddlebot3000′s point, the info garnered from such a study is useless for most people, so then the media, any way they frame it, is playing to the public fascination with gender differences.
    And yeah, that opening was ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the existence of frozen hamburgers. Do they come in a can?

  9. Posted March 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I buy frozen hamburgers all the time. It’s just ground beef pre-formed into circles and sold frozen. It’s easier for me because as a single person, I won’t need to cook a whole package of beef at a time, and so I’ll freeze it anyway. Plus, I’m squeamish about touching raw meat.
    It’s totally different if they’re talking about the prepackaged kind with buns that you heat up in the microwave. Those are gross and probably loaded with sodium.

  10. Olivia
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Studies like this are pointless. Yes, yes, men and women are different in general, but there is overlap in all areas, even in the foods we eat. In the end the study hasn’t provided any new information and was just a waste of time and money.

  11. Dio
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Geek: I was picturing the latter. Google “canned cheesburger.” Ew.
    Olivia: If studies like this benefit public health, which they apparently do, then it’s tough to call them pointless. Of course there are differences among individuals, no one could reasonably argue otherwise, but when you’re considering the greater good of 300+ million people, considering dietary risks/health impact on an individual basis is a bit impractical. Enter demographics. Besides, this study isn’t the end all body of info in its field, it is, like all scientific research, a tiny niche in a greater aggregate of compiled and evolving bodies of information.

  12. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    OLIVIA “Studies like this are pointless. Yes, yes, men and women are different in general, but there is overlap in all areas, even in the foods we eat. In the end the study hasn’t provided any new information and was just a waste of time and money.”
    Unless you are concerned with identifying who is most at risk for foodborne pathogens based on who consumes which types of food. Also, if you are concerned with identifying how sex differences in dietary choice might be contributing to documented sex differences in chronic disease risk.
    My overall opinion is study = good, media coverage = bad.
    ITHIKA: “I think it’s a pretty dumb study, considering that it seems that many factors are left out and/or not taken into consideration: ethnicity/culture, race, class, location, etc.”
    What makes you think they were left out? I’d bet cold hard cash that SES and ethnicity and zipcode are included in the study, and that the data will be used to help examine the factors that cause poorer health among black and low SES individuals.
    The fact that the NYT focusees on the sex differences tells us something about what information society values, not necessarily the quality or importance of the study.

  13. meeneecat
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Dio, I think it depends on what the standard of error is for a study like this. Sometimes it can be as much as 4-6%. So it really depends on the study whether or not we can say 4-6% is significant. I couldn’t find a link to the actual results so it’s hard to tell. Can’t really make a conclusion either way.
    Also I wonder if they considered the fact that women are more likely to be living in or close to poverty, and the correlation that poverty has with the amount of vegetables consumed. It has been shown that people who live in poorer neighborhoods have more limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Still, there could be a lot more confounding variables that affect a study like this, in addition to poverty.
    Again, I haven’t looked at the actual report, so it’s hard to tell what was and wasn’t taken into account. I just wonder how it’s possible to attribute the results totally to gender since there are so many other environmental factors that can contribute to intakes of certain foods such as poverty, marketing, individuality etc. Just a few thoughts.

  14. SarahMC
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The only reason the media highlights stories like this one is to feed into the “ZOMG! Look at how inately different men and women are!” craze.
    They point out differences that arrise mostly due to gendered socialization and present them in a way that suggests we’re all *born* a certain way.

  15. meeneecat
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the one after the other post, I just wanted to clarify this:
    Re: Ithika: “Can you say why one of the most fascinating and useful theories in modern science is discarded as “crapola”
    Ithika, I think what she was trying to say was that she hates it when female/male behavior is attributed to evolution when it is actually a product of environment and nurture. For example, many (non-feminists) will argue that women are “soft, demure, sensitive, etc.” and that men are “strong, aggressive, powerful, etc.” because that’s how we evolved to be. Feminists argue that this is incorrect, that these traits are a product of nurture and environment, they are learned through the way we are raised and through societal norms and cultural expectations. This is a big deal because these stereotypes are part of what feminists are trying to change, and if something is part of “nature” than it’s almost impossible to change, however if something is learned as part of a societal construct, than likewise it can be deconstructed and thus we DO have the power to break down societal and cultural stereotypes that have historically been used to maintain the patriarchy and oppress us. This is what I believe she meant by saying she was sick of the “evolutionary” gender difference studies crapola.
    Here’s more info on the topic which here it is called “biological determinism”, and “essentialism”: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/05/10/faq-but-men-and-women-are-born-different-isnt-that-obvious/

  16. Dio
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I’m an amateur with statistics, so bear with me.
    Most of the results in the conference program had a probability of p

  17. Dio
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    meeneecatnot: sure what happened there, but here’s my full post:
    Ok, I’m an amateur with statistics, so bear with me.
    Most of the results in the conference program had a probability of p

  18. Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    @UCLAbodyimage:
    The bit you quoted wasn’t actually me. I accidentally closed my own quote too early, and that paragraph should be attributed to L-K.
    (You should see my statement to that effect about two posts down. Unfortunately there’s no edit window, though I guess you could argue that’s what the preview button’s for…)
    @meeneecat:
    Okay, I see what you mean there, but it still has little to do with the veracity of evolutionary theory. It’s the same way people use eugenics/the Holocaust/social Darwinism to tar evolution. It’s pretty much typical creationist tactics.
    I read through a lot of the Feminism 101 blog last week and confess to being quite disappointed. A lot of the pages seemed to just restate the question implied in the title but give nothing more, or answer a very different question from the title.

  19. Dio
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    AHHH. the “less than” symbol was fooking with the HTML.
    Ok, I’m an amateur with statistics, so bear with me. Most of the results in the conference program had a probability of p less than 0.0001, which I am pretty sure means the correlation between the test subjects and general population is very close to 1:1. p less than 0.05 is considered strong, so p less than 0.0001 should mean that the findings of this study should be very accurate for consideration of the general population. This is strengthened by the conclusion in the program “Food consumption patterns differed substantially between men and women. This information can be useful for the design of targeted interventions regarding consumption of high-risk foods. Moreover, in the investigation of outbreaks in which a preponderance of cases are among members of one sex, knowing the background rates of food consumption by sex can quickly suggest plausible vehicles.â€?

  20. Jetgirl
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    My vagina would kick my ass if I didn’t buy asparagus as often as possible.
    I also love artichokes, and women in renaissance France were forbidden to eat them because women who ate artichokes were considered sluts.

  21. Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    What makes you think they were left out? I’d bet cold hard cash that SES and ethnicity and zipcode are included in the study, and that the data will be used to help examine the factors that cause poorer health among black and low SES individuals.
    If you would have betted, I probably would have won ;) (That was my quote you quoted, Ithika didn’t properly do the italics).
    But no, it doesn’t seem to be the case. I found the abstract to this particular study titled, “Are There Gender Differences in Food Consumption? The FoodNet Population Survey, 2006-2007.”
    The background: “the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) population survey has been used to describe food consumption patterns in the general population; these data have been useful for hypothesis generation during outbreak investigations. This analysis examined differences in consumption of various types of foods, including high-risk foods for foodborne illness, between men and women.”
    Conclusion: “Food consumption patterns differed substantially between men and women. This information can be useful for the design of targeted interventions regarding consumption of high-risk foods. Moreover, in the investigation of outbreaks in which a preponderance of cases are among members of one sex, knowing the background rates of food consumption by sex can quickly suggest plausible vehicles.”
    Now, in the general FoodNet Surveys (latest one available is from 2003), they do have a more broken down view of the people that they surveyed (only in nine states), but do not do comparisons nor offer any recommendations.

  22. L-K
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    P.S. – Not to say that they don’t give recommendations in FoodNet publications, but I don’t see any specifically on addressing particular disparities, just overall.

  23. meeneecat
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Ithika, You didn’t even read what I wrote, This has nothing to do with creationism vs evolution. I posted a clear explaination with a link that included other links and comments by users and all you have to say in response is this:
    “It’s the same way people use eugenics/the Holocaust/social Darwinism to tar evolution. It’s pretty much typical creationist tactics.”
    How dare you suggest that just because I argue against biological determination and socially constructed gender roles that I am advocating “eugenics the holocaust and social darwinism”. You know what screw you for even suggesting this. It’s disgusting, just discussion that you would liken feminist theory with genocide. I thought you actually were interested in intelligent conversation, but I know now that you are nothing more than a troll, probably related to M.E. too. I’m done feeding you trolls. Get lost, all you trolls, just get lost.

  24. meeneecat
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Dio, sorry, but where are you getting the numbers from, can you provide a link to the results, I didn’t notice any when I clicked on the NYT’s page (maybe I just missed it). I’d better be able to understand what you’re discussing if I could look at the actual study. Thanks.

  25. Posted March 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    How dare you suggest that just because I argue against biological determination and socially constructed gender roles that I am advocating “eugenics the holocaust and social darwinism”.
    I am completely at a loss to imagine how you concluded that from my statement. I specifically said that the above three are typical ways in which creationists attempt to tar evolution. I think that essentialism is just as much a fallacy as the others and was being used by Olivia in the same way — being associated with evolution and the whole lot discarded as a result.
    It’s disgusting, just discussion that you would liken feminist theory with genocide.
    I don’t really know enough about the minutiae of feminist theory, but I would guess it bears no relation to genocide. I didn’t suggest they were similar but I’ll be happy to apologise if I said they were.
    but I know now that you are nothing more than a troll, probably related to M.E. too. I’m done feeding you trolls. Get lost, all you trolls, just get lost.
    Well, if you reckon someone who agrees with you wholeheartedly is a troll, that must make for some interesting categorisation of people who actually disagree with you.

  26. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    “”"”How dare you suggest that just because I argue against biological determination and socially constructed gender roles that I am advocating “eugenics the holocaust and social darwinism”. “”"
    Meeneecat, I don’t think that’s what s/he was implying.
    S/he wasn’t saying that opposing evolutionary explanations means supporting eugenics/holocaust.
    S/he was pointing out that people point to some extreme examples of how evolutionary theory has been misused as their justification for ignoring or attacking modern ev psych research.
    The link you posted had information that basically said “essentialism is bad because it’s been used to justify men having power and women being kept from power.”
    But essentialist research is also used to identify how changes in hormones shift behaviors, the evolved functions of emotions, etc. The website you linked to used scare tactics to sway people away from essentialist arguments (they’ll use essentialist theories to oppress women so throw away the whole enterprise!), which is similar to the tactic that creationists use (believe evolution and you’re endorsing racism and eugenics so throw away the whole theory!).
    S/he definitely wasn’t implying that you support eugenics!!!!

  27. meeneecat
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Ithika, you said:
    “It’s the same way people use eugenics/the Holocaust/social Darwinism to tar evolution. It’s pretty much typical creationist tactics.”
    I took it that you were saying that in response to my argument and implying that I was advocating this horrible stuff when I wasn’t. Yeah, I was a bit shocked and didn’t really understand how someone could be saying that. But obviously that’s not what you meant and I just misunderstood what you said, so I apologize. It’s hard sometimes when you are typing and you don’t have a person’s voice to detect tone. This is just a total misunderstanding which I hope you won’t think any worse of me for. I take back what I said in response, thanks for clarifying. I think I was just on edge from all the other trolling that had been going on.

  28. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    L-K “If you would have betted, I probably would have won ;) (That was my quote you quoted, Ithika didn’t properly do the italics).”
    Darn it, I wish we had laid down cold hard cash wagers!!!
    In the link you supplied, they have charts where the results are broken down by education, income, ethnicity, state, and a variety of other factors :-) .

  29. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    oh… maybe that’s what you were saying -they usually do but might not have in this case.
    sadly, we may never know, it looks like a conference presentation not a publication:
    The findings were presented at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.

  30. Posted March 28, 2008 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    “In the link you supplied, they have charts where the results are broken down by education, income, ethnicity, state, and a variety of other factors :-) .”
    Yes, I’m aware and stated this. However, in the study specifically used by NY Times, these factors are not taken into consideration and intentionally used gender as the sole factor. In the results section of the abstract, it doesn’t seem that the other factors applied. So, in regards to the NY article and their source…give me my money! :P
    In terms of the survey, yes, they use 8 factors. However, for lack of better words, I still think it sucks. As a quantitative survey, OK fine. But, it’s just a count. Can I get a bit more information? Maybe if they would have described the population more thoroughly, which they obviously have access to considering that they got all this information in the first place (for e.g. – breaking down the states, in terms of age, income, race, education; breaking down income, in terms of age, race, sex; actually asking people if they have gotten sick from food consumption; etc.). These government surveys are usually pretty good and extensive with that, so I’m surprised that it’s the opposite in these surveys.

  31. kiuku
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Do the people who are all “Can’t you see men and women are different! what is so bad about realizing that!” realize that they only think that because they are impressed by ridiculously stupid “studies” like these?

  32. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Do the people who are all “Can’t you see men and women are different! what is so bad about realizing that!” realize that they only think that because they are impressed by ridiculously stupid “studies” like these?
    No, I think men and women are different because the male and female of pretty much every two-sex species on the planet is different, so why should we stand out as the only one that breaks that?

  33. Crotchfire
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, it seems to me that the question “What do you eat?” is more geared toward how men and women are socialized to be different, whereas “How do you feel after eating _____” or “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the taste of _____” are better questions to determine actual differences that are independent of socialization.
    Of course, either type of question can be useful, if the results are correlated with the frequency of some disease. I’m lazy, didn’t read the article… does the article talk about the correlations with diseases, or is that just in the abstract?

  34. kiuku
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    These studies come about because men need to make a role for themselves by oppressing women. They need “man roles” (and hence women roles) because nature didn’t give them a role beyond inseminator.

  35. Dio
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    meeneecat: The link at the bottom of the Time’s article takes you to the site of he org. that hosted the conference where the paper was presented. Go to “abstracts” at the top of the page and then click “Link to EID supplement” and the conference program PDF is in the middle of the following page. The just search search the PDF for the author name (p. 227, I think). I’d just copy and paste but the “less than” “greater than’s” throw off the HTML.
    I talked to a statistics prof. about what the results mean, and he said they’re as close to 1:1 correlation as you could expect from such a study. This isn’t a presidential election poll, so I guess that’s expected.
    kiuku: this study was authored by a woman.

  36. Dio
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    L-K: this study wasn’t performed by the government.
    And why is gender alone bad? Like i said before, there are big differences in the percentages re: preference of certain foods between gender. So, if 50,000 people get deathly ill and our government needs demographic data to figure out the source food causing the illness, they look at the percentages of those sick and weigh it against the results of studies like this. If there are %5 more sick women, it’s almost certainly not asparagus causing the illness. They’ll then probably use another study re: race and economics, some regional studies and so on until they’ve narrowed it down enough to figure out just what is causing the illness. Just because this study isn’t comprehensive, and to be honest, almost none are, doesn’t make it bad. It’s one tool of many.
    I just didn’t know demographics could be so offensive.

  37. Peepers
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I eat trolls.
    Trolls-’n'-gravy.

  38. Posted March 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    L-K: this study wasn’t performed by the government.
    The study wasn’t, but the survey was. The survey, which I linked to and referred to earlier, is from the Center for Disease Control’s FoodNet – Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network. This is the project that the study is based on and what my latest comments were based on as well.

  39. Dio
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about that L-K.

  40. Dio
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    sorry bout that L-K. I still don’ see the problem, though. It seems a lot of the commentary I’ve found on this study says it should be helpful research.

  41. prairielily
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Mild Ennui, you’re not being called sexist because you’re a man. It’s because you’ve been a jerk in so many different threads.
    Ithika, there’s a difference between evolutionary “science” and evolutionary science. One is fascinating and useful and makes new discoveries, and the other starts with a predetermined conclusion and forces the research to support it. But since real science isn’t always sexy, the media doesn’t report on it accurately, and we end up with more “science” than science.
    And the study actually is useful. The article even says why, it’s just buried in the crap.
    The researchers analyzed 10,000 foodborne outbreaks from 1973 through 2006. Leafy greens were blamed for about 2 percent of outbreaks in the first 10 years, 4 percent in the second decade and 6 percent in the third.
    If women are eating more leafy greens than men, they’re more at risk for these diseases. There’s also the part about runny eggs, and undercooked meat. It’s useful to have a way of narrowing down the likely culprits when you have thirty middle-class women all show up in the ER with food poisoning, even if it is a stereotype. It doesn’t really matter to the doctor whether the difference is based on innate differences or environment. The doctor just wants the patients to not have food poisoning anymore, and I think we can all agree that food poisoning sucks. These studies aren’t usually malicious until some crap “science” writer gets hold of them.
    And men probably eat more meat and asparagus because it makes semen taste awful, and they want women to feel properly submissive during blowjobs. How’s that for snark?

  42. Posted March 29, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    my problem with the article and the study is why bother asking about gender eating differences in the first place? It doesn’t really give us any useful information about anything.

  43. Posted March 30, 2008 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    OMIGOSH! I’m a MAN! (quick check to discover vagina still intact and no penis has sprouted outoftheblue). Even before this study people commented on my love of “man food.” So what? I love steak, I hate yogurt (I eat it when I’m on antibiotics so I don’t get all yeasty, but blech that stuff is nasty!). I really don’t think the food we eat determines ANYTHING about our gender or (thank God) our gender roles. This kind of study just reinforces the patriarchy’s view that we were created “for” certain roles.

  44. sepra
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I think this study is fascinating, even as I hate the Mars and Venus spin.
    Men eat more red meat and women veggies because we are socialized to do so. If you look at nutritional studies in other, more plant-eating cultures, I bet you dollars to donuts that there isn’t an appreciable difference.
    For me, when I see a study like this, it confirms how these gender roles hurt us. Men are taught to eat food that is worse for them, and then wonder why women have a higher life expectancy?
    There are so many cool things about nutritional data and what it can tell us about our society.

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