Ever wondered why chocolate is for girls, and steak is for boys? (Ever wondered whether chocolate is for girls and steak is for boys?) Well wonder no more, because those lovely scientists have been doing some researching and come up with some answers – which contradict each other, of course. First up, there’s the innate difference brigade, who claim that women are genetically predisposed to prefer sweet food, whilst men are genetically predisposed to prefer bitter tastes. This is why men prefer beer and women prefer alcopops. Then there are those in the evolution camp, including our old mate, David Katz. Men need more protein because they were hunters, so they prefer to eat meat. Delicate ladies like ourselves, however, can get by on vegetables, because we just evolved to sweep the cave and pick a few carrots. (Anyone know how much protein’s involved in making new humans? I’ll wager a fair bit’s required to make all those little brains and nervous systems and muscles and bones and… ok we get the picture). Third, there are those folks who realised that a proper study of gendered food preferences might want to peer past the US boundaries and see what all those foreign types were eating. And hey presto, they found that things were different overseas. Spanish women and men craved chocolate equally – it wasn’t just those Spanish lasses locking themselves in a bath to feast on well-known chocolate treats, whilst Egyptians all preferred salty foods. Finally, there’s Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab (wow – who knew such a place existed?), who has discovered that people like to eat food that they’ve been told reflects or embodies the sorts of qualities they want to have or see themselves as possessing. So food choices are an extension of people’s identities. But this is a phenomenon that is more prevalent in the US (and perhaps the UK?) where there is an abundance of food. In places such as India, for example, attitudes to food are different – it is considered sacred – and there are less gendered food preferences. So there you have it, folks. You can read more here.