London, June 4 (IANS) Men who stated their dietary preferences as vegan in their job application were considered less “masculine” and thus are not likely to be hired, according to a study.
This was seen particularly in the case of jobs that were stereotypically perceived as “masculine”, such as a financial analyst, Daily Mail reported.
However, diet preferences of women “did not influence” their job prospects, according to the researchers from the University of Warsaw.
Interest in a plant-based diet has gained much prominence in recent years, with some studies also suggesting its benefits to lower the risk of heart attack or type 2 diabetes.
But the researchers said employers seem to erroneously associate veganism in men with incompetence.
Meat consumption is traditionally associated with masculinity, and masculinity, in turn, is often viewed as a measure of competence, the report said.
“Vegan men can be seen as less masculine, so with less stereotypical masculine traits,” the researchers said.
The team included about 838 study participants and randomly assigned them to one of eight versions of a fictitious resume of men and women who were supposedly applying for jobs.
In the hobby section, either “vegetable cooking” or “cooking” was added to differentiate between vegan and non-vegans.
Half of all resumes were fictitious applications for a job as a psychologist — “in line with the stereotype of a female profession,” scientists said — and the other half for a position of financial analyst, “a stereotypically male profession”.
In the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers said vegan men were considered less capable than same-sex carnivores.
Vegan men who applied for the position of financial analyst scored an average of 4.77 and 4.26 for competence and warmth, respectively. Meat eaters, on the other hand, achieved results of 4.92 and 5.3.
Male vegans who submitted resumes for a psychologist role, meanwhile, reported 4.66 and 4.92 for ability and warmth.
Carnivores averaged 4.1 and 4.43, respectively.
“Vegans who applied for a stereotypically female position – psychologist – were generally perceived as warmer than vegans who applied for a stereotypically male position – financial analyst,” the team said.
Studies have previously shown that men tend to eat more meat than women, despite the fact that both sexes need the same amount nutritionally.