Research suggests that individuals learn to “do gender” and adhere to traditional gender norms from an early age. Those who do not do gender on a daily basis often experience adverse consequences (e.g., ridicule from others). The present study was designed to expand upon the literature regarding perceptions of a particular group of men who do not conform to gender norms – male vegetarians. Participants read one of four brief scenarios about a vegetarian or omnivore, male or female student who is vying for a student government position. After reading the scenario, participants 1) answered a series of questions about the scenario and 2) rated the fictitious individual about whom they read in the scenario using the Bem Sex Role Inventory. Because male vegetarians do not adhere to traditional gender norms, it was expected that the responses to both sets of questions would show that they are viewed more negatively than female vegetarians and omnivores of both genders. However, as male vegetarians were rated similarly to male omnivores and women in both categories, the hypothesis was not supported. The reasons behind the finding, as well as its implications, are discussed.
Browarnik, Brooke, "Attitudes Toward Male Vegetarians: Challenging Gender Norms Through Food Choices" (2012). Psychology Honors Papers. 25.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.