Effects of gender identity manipulation of eating behaviours in males
Item statusRestricted Access
The present study investigates the effects of gender identity manipulation in males though their choices of foods and healthy eating and exercise intentions. 203 participants were randomly assigned to one of the experimental conditions differing with respect to false feedback given about their masculinity: feminine (threat), masculine (affirmation), or no feedback (control). They were asked to complete an online questionnaire, including measurements of gender identity, a food selection task, intentions to exercise and healthy eating, and masculinity traits. A set of analyses revealed that participants in the threat (T) condition opted on average for more masculine foods at dinner than did people in affirmation (A) and control (C) conditions. The intensions to healthy eating were not influenced by the gender identity manipulation, while marginally significant differences were observed in exercise intention scores between participants in T and A. The current research suggests that males experiencing a threat to their masculinity change some of their behaviours in order to regain their sense of masculinity. This research can provide further evidence for effects of gender identity manipulation, and help in developing and implementing interventions aiming at changing attitudes about healthy lifestyle in males.