Dish influences implicit gender-based food stereotypes among young Japanese adults.
The present study explored whether the gender impression of a dish affects the gender stereotypes of foods. We assessed gender stereotypes of food among young Japanese adults using a semantic priming task. As prime stimuli, we took pictures of food in combination with a dish. We used feminine- and masculine-evaluated foods and dishes in order to create four different combinations of food and dishes. In the semantic priming task, we primed the participants (n=58) with the pictures of food-dish combinations and immediately after the priming, we presented them with forenames as target stimuli and let them decide whether the forename given was feminine or masculine. By so doing, we estimated the semantic association between the food-dish combinations with gender. The results demonstrate that gender impressions of dishes affect gender stereotypes toward foods. The feminine-evaluated dish exhibited a facilitation of the femininity and an inhibition of the masculinity of foods. Similarly, the masculine-evaluated dish exhibited a facilitation of the masculinity and an inhibition of the femininity of foods. These results suggest that gender-based stereotypical attitudes toward food pictures are determined by the combination of gender impressions for both the food itself and its dish. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.