from the world's big
New research suggests some men identify with a new form of masculinity that values authenticity, domesticity, and holistic self-awareness.
- Media and societal norms have been feeding us the same "meat is manly" ideology for decades, maybe without many of us realizing it.
- A new study questions the stereotypical narrative that real men eat meat by taking a look at the variation in how men identify themselves and their values.
- The psychological link between meat and masculinity will likely remain alive and well, however, this study (and others that follow suit) can continue to challenge the narrative.
Society’s psychological link between meat and masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM0NjU5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTI0Mzg1NH0.OkRwFQ0wP0obBZJvskvWb1IDRUzwP6LdRUOInoETxwc/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="9f729" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="10a00f24b28cd1318c50122f0205fca8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="male barbecuing meat while female watching concept of masculinity and meat" />
One 2018 study found that men routinely incorporate more red meat in their diet to preempt the negative emotions that are caused by threats to their masculinity.
Photo by bbernard un Shutterstock<p>With the release of her book in 1999, Adams was able to highlight the idea that meat has become something of a symbol of masculinity, mainly by companies attempting to promote meat sales. Putting that theory to the test in today's society, one simple search for "making salad" on a stock image site will give you countless photos of women making salads in their kitchens. Another search for "barbeque" will show dozens of men grilling meat outdoors.</p><p>This association between meat and masculinity is something that has been deemed a societal norm for decades, perhaps without many of us even realizing it. <a href="https://experiment.com/projects/meat-can-manhood-stomach-the-punch-of-the-vegetarian-alternative?s=search" target="_blank">One 2018 study</a> found that men routinely incorporate more red meat in their diet to preempt the negative emotions that are caused by threats to their masculinity.</p><p><a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2012-30417-001" target="_blank">A 2013 study</a> argued Adams' original theory on the sexual politics of meat with results that suggested men associate eating meat with animals being lower in a hierarchy system than humans, whereas the majority of women who eat meat try to disassociate animals from food and avoid thinking about the treatment of animals. </p><p>Alongside the narrative that meat is masculine comes the stigma around vegetarianism or veganism. These are both things that society deems "soft", "sensitive" or "whiny". </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/find-out-how-many-vegans-there-are-great-britain" target="_blank">this Vegan Society survey,</a> while the number of vegans is rapidly increasing (there were three and a half times more vegans in 2016 as there were in 2006), there is still a massive gender gap, with 63 percent of participants identifying as female and 37 percent identifying as male.<br></p><p>Researchers on this survey theorize that the main cause of this gap is the psychological link between meat and masculinity that is seemingly everywhere in today's society. </p>
Some men identify with a new form of holistic, self-aware masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM0NjU5Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzQ2MzIzMH0.b5Iay2oh2gt8YIbGQuBssQAlVTbcr5jQgD3cNrvU5mU/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="daa1c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c5757809798a679170bc1a15cca6b27e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="businessman in dress shirt and tie eating a salad at work" />
The results of a new 2020 study reveal that there are new forms of masculinity that are linked with less meat consumption and a more positive attitude towards vegetarianism.
Photo by Stock-Asso on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666319313704?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">A new study</a> questions the stereotypical narrative of carnivores by taking a look at the variation in how men identify themselves and their values.</p><p>In the study, 309 male meat-eating participants were asked about their self-identification with new forms of masculinity, their attachment to eating meat, their willingness to reduce their meat intake, and their general attitudes towards vegetarians. </p><p>The results of this study suggest that men who identify more strongly with new forms of masculinity tend to consume less meat, have a weaker attachment to eating meat, and have a greater tendency to reduce their meat intake when possible. These men also showed more positive attitudes towards people who choose to be vegetarians. </p><p>This study is the first of it's kind to underscore the idea that not all men think alike and that biological sex differences shouldn't be taken into account when studying the consumption (or lack of consumption) of meat products. </p><p><strong>Changing the way researchers conduct studies like this can help turn the tide.</strong></p><p>Modern studies such as this are leaning more towards different tools that place less of a stigma on various types of masculinity. This study, for example, used the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1097184X16634797" target="_blank">New Masculinity Inventory</a> (NMI), where high scores can suggest holistic attentiveness, questioning of male norms, authenticity to self, and sensitivity to male privilege. </p><p>Studies like this, where not only the results but the tools used to conduct the study take into account the varying types of masculinity in the participants, can only offer more accurate results due to being more inclusive and less stereotypical. </p><p><strong>Does vegetarianism stand a chance against meat-eating masculinity? </strong></p><p>The sheer amount of information surrounding vegetarianism and <a href="https://share.upmc.com/2014/03/benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet/" target="_blank">all the attached benefits</a> is astounding - so why is society having such a hard time keeping up? Why are men still less likely to decrease their meat consumption? </p><p>The "meat is manly" ideology will likely remain alive and well in today's society due to advertisements and societal norms, however this study (and others that follow suit) can continue to challenge the narrative. We can continue to promote the idea that vegetarianism isn't feminine and eating meat isn't masculine - they are simply choices that we make based on our unique views and how we feel about the information that is presented to us. </p>
Atop certain glaciers are herds of small mossy balls that somehow move together when no one's looking.
- Weird but cute, "glacier mice" are actually balls of moss, dirt, and more.
- The balls move, oddly, in packs through some unknown means.
- A new study tracked 30 glacier mice but still couldn't figure out what's going on.
Scientists have known about them at least since the 1950s, when Jón Eythórsson named them "jökla-mýs," which translates as "glacier mice." However, they're not actually mice. They're smallish balls of moss, and there are lots of them atop Alaska's Root Glacier. They can also be found on ice in Iceland, Svablard, and even South America, presumably places with just the right conditions, though researchers don't know what those conditions are.
The really odd thing about them is that they apparently move in some unexplained way, though no one has observed them doing so. It's just that repeated visits find them in different places.
And that's not the coolest part. "The whole colony of moss balls, this whole grouping, moves at about the same speeds and in the same directions," geologist Tim Bartholomaus of University of Idaho (UI) tells NPR. "Those speeds and directions can change over the course of weeks."
Bartholomaus and two colleagues have published their research on glacier mice in Polar Biology.
Mice but not mice
Image source: Steve Coulson/ The University Center at Svalbard
The "glacier mice" nickname has stuck perhaps because glaciologists are so fond of the fuzzy things. They are pillow-like, soft, squeezable objects, comprised of different species of moss, but that is not all.
A 2012 study found entire thriving habitats inside the mice. "I had expected to find some animals, but not so many," said study author and arctic biologist Steve Coulsonto to the New York Times. His research revealed springtails (six-legged insects), tardigrades (of course), and simple nematode worms. In a single mouse, there were 73 springtails, 200 tardigrades, and 1,000 nematodes.
Co-author of the new study, wildlife biologist Sophie Gilbert of UI describes them:
"They really do look like little mammals, little mice or chipmunks or rats or something running around on the glacier, although they run in obviously very slow motion."
Clues and an unsolved mystery
Some glacier mice are found perched on ice pedestals.
Image source: Fanny Dommanget/The University Center at Svalbard
Her report recounts the efforts made by Bartholomaus and his co-authors, which also included biologist Scott Hotaling of Washington State University, to figure out how the mice are getting around.
The 2012 study outfitted some mice with accelerometers and confirmed that they do rotate, but that's as far as its authors went into the balls' means of travel.
For Bartholomaus and his cohorts, there were some clues going into this.
For example, occasionally, balls are found perched on a pedestal of ice as seen above, perhaps shading that spot from melting sunlight until it finally melts and the ball rolls away.
Another clue is the intact nature of the healthy moss that serves as each ball's surface — it's a sign that they all have their turn in the sun. "These things must actually roll around or else that moss on the bottom would die," says Gilbert.
One obvious explanation was quickly ruled out — they're not simply rolling downhill, because many of them were found to be on level surfaces.
For the study, the researchers tagged 30 of the mice with a loop of wire and colored beads that identified each ball. They tracked their position for 54 days in 2009, and again in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Bartholomaus explains, "By coming back year after year, we could figure out that these individual moss balls were living at least, you know, five, six years and potentially much, much longer."
Although the researchers expect the movements of the balls would be individualized and random, that's not what they found. The balls moved about an inch a day, and together, like a herd of animals.
Also, they periodically changed direction. "When we visited them all, they were all just sort of moving relatively slowly and initially toward the south," Bartholomaus said. "Then they all started to speed up and kind of start to deviate toward the west. And then they slowed down again and progressed even farther to the west."
Wind, maybe? Measurements of the dominant winds in the area ruled that out. Sunlight patterns also failed to account for the movement of the packs.
So, what's going on? Admits Barholomaus, "We still don't know. I'm still kind of baffled."
Given scientists' affection for the little balls, other people are also rolling the idea around in their minds. Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute suggests to NPR, "I think that probably the explanation is somewhere in the physics of the energy and the heat around the surface of the glacier, but we haven't quite got there yet."
Another theory put forward is that the moss on a ball's underside grows and pushes it over and forward, cueing up the next moss to begin growing in the same way. If growth rates from ball to ball are similar, this could explain their herd-like movement.
The mystery is reminiscent of the "sailing stones" of Death Valley that perplexed scientists for years unit their secret was revealed: They're pushed around by the wind as they temporarily float on wet melting ground ice.
There are countless studies that prove ecotherapy (often referred to as nature therapy) is beneficial for your physical and mental health.
- What was once considered a simple practice and ideology about the benefits of nature has been proven in multiple studies to positively impact our physical and mental health.
- Some of the benefits of spending time in nature can be: a boost in killer-cells that fight off viruses, an ability to maintain focus and improvement in mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.
- To explain the all-encompassing benefits of nature, the Japanese have coined the term "shinrin yoku", which translates to "forest bathing."
How nature therapy works to better your physical and mental health<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4ODczOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzAxMDI2MX0.vJdHUPtd6Ca9gwe0okWsDNdjLEq0HCdsfHfKewgykyI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C263%2C0%2C1&height=700" id="c0920" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="138dd9a6e3620f581b2a2d2816c6d83f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="forest and trees concept of nature therapy ecotherapy" />
A simple walk in the forest can have more of a positive impact on your health than you may realize.
- Astronaut Garrett Reisman took in countless indescribably beautiful views while he lived in space. But most shocking, he says, was observing the thinness of Earth's atmosphere.
- You can compare the thickness of the atmosphere to the diameter of Earth to the skin on an apple, or the shell of an egg. It's incredibly thin and shows just how seemingly fragile our planet is.
- But to put this into perspective, whereas the atmosphere reaches a height of 300,000 feet from Earth's surface, the deepest part of the ocean only reaches 35,000 feet, ten times thinner than Earth's atmosphere. Everything we experience on Earth, from sea to sky, exists on just a tiny slice of precious surface coating.
Carbon nanotubes embedded in leaves detect chemical signals that are produced when a plant is damaged.