As arguments become more pronounced that meat consumption harms the environment, public health, and nonhuman animals, meat-eaters should experience increased pressure to justify their behavior. The present research further tested the notion that women employ indirect meat-eating justification strategies relative to men, specifically the claim that as a form of self-justification, women would underreport meat consumption when the context called in to question their dietary behavior. Men and women were randomly assigned to a treatment condition in which they were informed that they would watch a PETA documentary about meat production or to a control condition, and then they completed a questionnaire assessing the amount of various meats they consumed. Women reported eating less meat when threatened by watching the documentary, while male estimates were unchanged across conditions. Furthermore, this effect was sensitive to how much participants believed nonhuman animals shared similar emotions to humans.
MayfieldL. E.BennettR. M.TranterR. B. & WooldridgeM. J. (2007). Consumption of welfare-friendly food products in Great Britain, Italy and Sweden, and how it may be influenced by consumer attitudes to, and behaviour towards, animal welfare attributes. International Journal of Sociology of Food and Agriculture15(3) 59-73.
PrättäläR.PaalanenL.GrinbergaD.HelasojaV.KasmelA. & PetkevicieneJ. (2007). Gender differences in the consumption of meat, fruit and vegetables are similar in Finland and the Baltic countries. The European Journal of Public Health17(5) 520-525.
SchiesslM. & SchwagerlC. (August272008). Meat’s contribution to global warming. In Spiegel Online International. Retrieved Jan 3 2012 from http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0151857475400.html.
SilversteinL. B.AuerbachC. F. & LevantR. F. (2002). Contemporary fathers reconstructing masculinity: Clinical implications of gender role strain. Professional Psychology: Review and Practice33(4) 361-369.
SteeleC. M. (1988). The psychology of self-affirmation: Sustaining the integrity of the self. In L.Berkowitz (Ed.) Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 21 pp. 261-302). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.