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What the? Beer tastes better if we think a man made it, says research


It would seem gender stereotypes even extend into our shopping habits.

A new study by researchers at Stanford University has found that in traditionally ‘male-oriented’ markets – like beer, power tools or car parts – female-made products apparently don’t stack up.

The researchers asked study participants to rate 360 different products on ‘masculinity’ or ‘femininity’ before landing on two products that clearly went one of the two ways: craft beer (masculine) and cupcakes (feminine).

They asked over 200 volunteers to rate a craft beer label, changing only the name of the brewer in each case, to see if gender affected their opinion. Then they did the same with the cupcakes, altering the name of the baker.

Women invented beer

On average, participants said they would pay less for a beer, and had lower expectations of taste and quality, when they believed the brewer was a woman.

But for the cupcakes – there was almost no difference in attitudes about female versus male bakers.

“What we’re seeing here is that woman-made goods for sale in male-typed markets are being penalized for no reason other than the fact they are made by women”, said researcher Sarah Soule.

“We’ve looked at craft beer and cupcakes, but this could extend to any type of product from academic research to entrepreneurship … and that has very serious implications.”

Disappointing news. Guess none of the participants knew that the first people to start making beer 5,000 years ago were – you guessed it – women

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