Smut, Sauce and Sweets on the Rise

If pandemic stress has you downing another six-pack of Schlitz while watching “Saving Ryan’s Privates” as your husband finishes off his third pint of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, you’re not alone.

A BGU researcher says the coronavirus lock down may be erasing gender norms associated with stress, finding that both men and women are enjoying more porn, alcohol and chocolate in roughly equal numbers.

Dr. Enav Friedmann

Dr. Enav Friedmann, head of the Marketing Lab in the Department of Business Administration at BGU’s Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, says that in general women are more likely to consume chocolate, while men are bigger consumers of alcohol and pornography.

But stick them in a stressful situation, like a global pandemic and nationwide lock downs, and apparently they’ll both reach for all three.

 

 

 

“Even after years of research which stressed the biological differences between the sexes, we were surprised to discover that the default choice among both sexes was to act similarly. The stress allows us, in effect, to see the automatic behavior stripped of its gendered expectations,” says Dr. Friedmann. “The stress causes people to be flooded with emotions that neutralize ‘gendered consumer behavior’.”

Dr. Friedmann calls this taboo-breaking impulse a “disruption of inhibition,” and claims that it is caused by people lacking the cognitive energy to apply stereotypical gendered norms to their behavior during times of stress.

Friedmann conducted the survey among 115 people from the United Kingdom (46 men and 69 women) and an additional experiment in Israel on 41 people that utilized facial recognition technology to determine the levels of stress the coronavirus pandemic caused people.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Yeshiva University’s Dr. Gil Peleg, along with Gal Gutman, a Ph.D. student of Dr. Friedmann’s.

Read more in The Times of Israel >>