Many of them call themselves “meaty”. Men, it seems, are very fond of meat. This is all that emerges from the recent controversies raised during the summer about the barbecue. On the one hand, estimated Sandrine Rousseau (elected EELV in Paris, who now sits in the National Assembly), it is essential to “devirilize” the practice of barbecue. On the other, personalities like Fabien Roussel (former presidential candidate for the PCF, MP) have also decided to take up the issue, which they have handled very differently. The elected representative from the north thus prefers to advocate for “good meat” and a certain culture of the aperitif, similar to that mentioned during the presidential campaign.

Should we believe, therefore, that there is indeed a problem with meat consumption in France? It is, according to a recent Ifop study for Darwin Nutrition carried out among 2,000 men aged 18 and over*, a strong political marker. “A hyper-meat diet often goes hand in hand with an ultra-conservative vision of the place of women in society”, say the pollsters in any case.

It must be noted, first of all, that Sandrine Rousseau’s remarks are not shocking as long as the press and social networks have for a time been able to suggest it: 62% of those polled, deemed to be representative of the French male sex, say they are agreement with the need to devirilize the consumption of meat cooked on the barbecue. However, 78% of them recognize that the utensil is used almost entirely by men, since it is up to them to cook the meat over the embers.

A majority of them (72%) also say they disapprove of the term “soy boy” to qualify men who do not lack meat as much as required by the gender norms. However, the “meat” label also remains very accepted since 56% of them declare themselves in these terms and 18% even insist with pride: they are “very meaty”. These, continues Ifop, present a particularly right-wing profile while the “flexitarians” and men who seek to reduce their meat consumption are generally voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (18%) or Yannick Jadot (27 %).

Generally speaking, it also appears that beef consumers are more imbued with sexist stereotypes than those whose consumption is more moderate. They adhere, continues the survey, to a traditionalist vision of the family and more readily accept the culture of rape.

* Ifop study for Darwin Nutrition carried out by self-administered online questionnaire from September 5 to 7, 2022 with a sample of 2,033 men, representative of the French male population aged 18 and over.