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Study: Men Lie and Say They Like Hot Sauce to Look Cool and Tough

Illustration for article titled Study: Men Lie and Say They Like Hot Sauce to Look Cool and Tough

When you're about to dump sriracha sauce all over your brunch eggs, do you ever pause to wonder why you enjoy its spicy goodness so much, or do you just dump, bite, and mindlessly enjoy a delicious meal? According to new research out of Penn State, your predilection could be because you simply like spicy food—OR, if you're male, you might just like the image of being someone who likes spicy food, i.e. tough and masculine and able to tolerate capsaicin okay.

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Via The Cut:

In the study, the researchers conclude that women are more likely to seek sensation from spicy food, while men are more likely to see other extrinsic rewards like praise and admiration. The authors write, "It is possible that the cultural association of consuming spicy foods with strength and machismo has created a learned social reward for men."

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This raises many questions. Like, if you're on a date, and a guy orders pasta puttanesca, which is already kind of spicy but not crazy spicy in the grand scheme of hot, but then asks for a side of arrabbiata sauce—is he trying to impress you, or is he just trying to take advantage of the bread basket? If a man drinks a Bloody Mary in a forest and no one is there to see him finish off the celery stalk, did it happen?

Image via Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

gingerisaconstruct
Ginger Is A Construct

#notonlymen

I was in such pain when I tried to out-macho my brother-out-law by eating spicy peppers. We were both dying in the kitchen, trying to conceal how much wee were both suffering. I really do like spicy food (I used to carry around hot sauce in my bag when I lived in Massachusetts, the food was so bland) but I am also a bit of a masochist.

Also, there are other reasons to eat capsaicin beyond hot sauce being a gift from the gods (Tabasco habanero or Crystal Extra Hot). It is a natural anti-inflammatory, and I currently can not take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.