Your Menu May Help Men Feel Less Aggresive

File this one under the list of things too bizarre not to be true. It turns out that men who are feeling aggressive could actually get help in feeling less aggressive by taking a gander at your menu. If you serve meat, that is!

Frank Kachanoff is a researcher from McGill University who was studying the relationship between meat and aggression in men. He wanted to test a theory that people are likely to become more aggressive in response to meat. Mr. Kachnoff showed pictures of the stuff to men and to study their reactions.

The study looked at 82 men and used various techniques to force them into a more aggressive stance. The men were told to punish a person who was reading a script to them whenever a mistake was made. At the same time, they were given a stack of photos of ready to eat meat products and told to flip through them while the script reader was busy doing his thing.

A control group was given the same experiment but when the script reader was reading, they were instead given a stack of random photos to flip through. The men in the study were told that they would be administering their punishments by way of painfully high levels of sound being broadcast to the person reading the script.

What really shocked Mr. Kachnoff however was the result of the study. He fully expected that the images of meat would make the men more aggressive and more likely to commit punishments against the reader when he made a mistake. Instead, the opposite was true. All the men who sat and stared at pictures of meat were less aggressive than the control group.

Kachnoff speculates that the reaction was based on the fact that the meat the men were staring at was ready to eat. He theorizes that the primal instinct which would have made men feel aggressive about meat was absent when the meat was already prepared.

At that point, he says, ancient man would have felt more peaceful because he was sitting around the fire and having a pleasant meal with family and friends. Maybe that’s why people enjoy going out to eat so much – they get to feel that ancient primal experience of a group meal.

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