5

votes

More MEN than WOMEN are paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Just curious. I know no one likely has an actual answer - but what's your answer to this question: are there more men than women following a paleo diet?

My sense is overwhelmingly that there are more men than women interested in and following this lifeway, principally because I see so little female-specific info discussed.

If this is so, I wonder why this is. Is it the "caveman" association? ;)

Thoughts?

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on May 14, 2012
at 06:15 AM

Sounds like sexism to me. Imagine if it were a group of 17 girls and three boys, and the two leaders were both boys.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on May 14, 2012
at 06:11 AM

@Chris of course she won't. And that's not even to mention the child caring role, the lower physical endure and strength (vital for hunting) and depth perception that women have.

3d1ee836077f15597801dd9339dd411c

(10)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:39 AM

perhaps men are just a little more open/vulnerable about their issues and comments?

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on November 18, 2010
at 08:30 PM

The truth hurts. Just look at the gourmet cupcake craze. Who is that targeted at? Surely not young virile heterosexual males. Whether it is sociological, cultural, marketing or genetic factors, these ideas are hard to ignore. People will attempt to however, because many don't want to accept that women and men are actually different.

Deca3d3cb4fa349be861f38f2746c996

(10)

on November 18, 2010
at 07:27 PM

Agreed--enjoyed the read. Thank you.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 17, 2010
at 03:05 PM

Then why are the WAPF'ers mostly female? http://www.hunter-gatherer.com/blog/idiosyncratic-observations-wise-traditions-2010-weston-price-conference

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 17, 2010
at 02:50 PM

Absolutely! When I had a candy dish at work, then men were all over the chocolate! They also really look forward to dessert at the corporate events and ask me to bake at Christmas. The men I am around all love their sweets, for sure.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 16, 2010
at 10:07 PM

Its unfortunate you have a negative rep here given that you have stated your observation, which I agree with..

E3b60feef9b8d4e53192f9fc149edb99

(160)

on September 05, 2010
at 01:35 PM

I started first, and my husband jumped on the bandwagon after about a month of watching me. It has been very bonding and I think has brought us closer together to be on this "adventure" together. I have noticed that while I have entered the waters slowly, and cheat now and then, he watched carefully from a distance for awhile, then when he jumped in he did so cold turkey and totally, with very little effort it seemed, and less transition effects. NOT FAIR! But I'm glad we're in it together.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on August 19, 2010
at 02:28 PM

Interesting... you need more upvotes.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:56 AM

I enjoyed your answer. Thank you. Makes sense to me...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2010
at 12:36 AM

i should have been more specific. i'm talking about heavy periods causing anemia, and anemia somehow being linked with hypothyroidism. what have any of the paleo bloggers have to say about that? nothing. please prove me wrong as i have been anemic for quite some time and paleo actually drove my hemoglobin done further even though i was eating more meat. so it is a mystery so far.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 15, 2010
at 11:30 PM

Do you have a single shred of evidence (papers, citations, hell even opinion pieces) to substantiate your claim women did not fit into the typical 'gatherer' role that we seem to ascribe them to?

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 15, 2010
at 11:27 PM

40% of the 'diseases' you just listed affect both genders, and there's a lot paleo has to offer to all of them....

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on July 15, 2010
at 07:36 PM

I think we might live in a better world if bread made everyone as sick as it makes me :)

02fdef6cbb397ad339e4752cb8fc7570

on July 14, 2010
at 10:12 PM

That is an interesting point you bring up. I also think it might have something to do with the amount of sugar that is in carbs. During menstruation women crave sugar due to hormones. Also I read an article somewhere about how women tend to crave sugar where as men crave meat. I don't know how true this is, but when I'm on my period I really really have to battle with sugar cravings. I'm actually trying to get my boyfriend to jump on the paleo wagon and he can't seem to give up bread, even when I promise him bacon.

02fdef6cbb397ad339e4752cb8fc7570

on July 14, 2010
at 10:02 PM

I don't crave junk food, but when it's that time of the month I really really crave sweet.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on July 12, 2010
at 02:14 PM

I like your thoughts on empowerment. Indeed I know a few women who love baking bread and find it relaxing and somehow connecting with the heritage etc. There is also a very strong acceptance for men wanting their steak than for women... Women should eat hardly anything, light and soft. guh.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 12, 2010
at 08:05 AM

Might not be an obsession with junk food per se but rather with "that tasty stuff".

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on July 12, 2010
at 06:54 AM

I would love to convince my girlfriend to go Paleo too.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 12, 2010
at 05:21 AM

I also doubt that men hunted whilst women gathered, but to consider it is not sexist in its own right. Also, I do think many women may have been forced to be closer to the home if for no other reason than caring for and breastfeeding the likely many young children.

9e6d534ecb4afb803f7075d64573d8d8

(276)

on July 08, 2010
at 03:47 PM

There is a segment in "Born to Run" that discusses how primitive tribes probably 'ran down' larger game and cited that all members, young/old male/female were involved in the process.

9e6d534ecb4afb803f7075d64573d8d8

(276)

on July 08, 2010
at 03:43 PM

You must live in a very sad place. Woman around these parts flock to a pig pickin', love their meats, and gather round the Raw Food Truck and farmers market in droves.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 06, 2010
at 06:04 PM

Well Dave, that was sure true when I had sleep apnea. I craved carbs like crazy and had the 'mindless munchies' every evening. However my taste for sweets is far less than my diabetic husband's is- a lot of things hit me as far too sweet to bother with.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 06, 2010
at 03:16 PM

Lierre Keith is an example of someone highly respected by the paleo community. She has had a huge influence, but journalists aren't interested.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 06, 2010
at 03:15 PM

Having had the misfortune to interact with the journalists doing stories on the paleo diet, it really is sadly clear to me what is going on here and it's very upsetting. Almost ALL the journalists we have dealt with have wanted to portray this as masculine and savage. Ugh.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 06, 2010
at 10:19 AM

Re. women craving more carbohydrates, I heard the hypothesis that this was caused by women having lower serotonin levels and thus self-medicating with carbs. I also remember suggestions that women tend to have an especial liking for sugar and men an especial liking for salt (and protein), though all I found in 5 minutes' search was http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Financial-Industry/Study-finds-taste-preference-varies-on-age-and-gender

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 19, 2010
at 03:36 AM

I remember that feeling and I sure don't miss it!

Fa47fe5368e66325865f60a928609145

(961)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:24 PM

That link is an absolutely awesome read :)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:49 AM

Crazy thought indeed! I do dream about the potato chips I used to eat sometimes. But it's my non-paleo husband who is the carb-lover in our family. Perhaps we're anomalies?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:58 AM

Hi Michelle. For sure not all women are woosies,myself included! In my working life I packed an 80+ pound machine up and down stairs as a truck-mount carpet cleaner and water and fire damage technician. I think curious open-minded people of all sexual persuasions are the ones most likely to explore new, against the grain ideas and try them out. It is far easier to sit back eating dry whole grain toast and taking cholesterol drugs than to challenge medical authorities. (PS I'm kind of friendly too, but have been known to scare the odd adjuster! LOL)

693b4a92133c19c288277dae8b43ab69

(188)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:24 AM

Oh, I love, love, love that article. Can't count at this point how many times I've given it out!

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:22 AM

The thing is, there is a big difference between original cavemen or modern day hunters gatherers and (partial) reanactors of the paleo lifestyle. So yeah, there might have been few people that would qualify as nerds in the stone age. And I'm happy with "more detail-oriented and scientifically minded" instead of "nerdy". That's more or less the idea I was trying to convey.

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:11 AM

It is also not impossible that metabolically, women need more carbohydrates on average than men. They do seem to tend to crave them more.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 17, 2010
at 05:59 PM

I think "nerdy" is just short for "more detail-oriented and scientifically minded". I don't know about any nerds that mind being called nerds.

8f2bc05f4c80bbef337cdb5fccbb5471

(801)

on February 17, 2010
at 05:03 PM

Nerdy cavemen! What a funny thing to think about. I imagine men in leather loinclothes, complete with hand-sewn leather pocket protectors for their rock protractors. Or something like that. But seriously, I think that instead of "nerdy" I like to think of those interested in paleo as being more detail-oriented and scientifically minded, as taking on this diet means chucking conventional wisdom and doing a bit of personal research.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:52 PM

Have trouble using caveman and nerd in the same breath! Maybe they are more aware and tuned in, not nerdy.

8f2bc05f4c80bbef337cdb5fccbb5471

(801)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:42 PM

Yeah, that is a little strange! I just started a blog, and I know that other women are jumping on the blogging bandwagon, too. I just posted a question for women, and am going to start being a little more vocal with regard to women and paleo. Thanks for the inspiration!

693b4a92133c19c288277dae8b43ab69

(188)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:34 PM

huh! I agree with you about the impact of the diet, and about the commenters...I guess I'm really just wondering *why* I don't see more discussion of female-specific issues. Also, most of the blogs I've encountered so far seem to be written by men.

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23 Answers

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2
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on February 17, 2010
at 09:37 PM

Most of the women I know are obsessed with eating junk food, and just eating in general.

I've never known many guys to obsess about wanting to have a slice of cheesecake. I just don't get it.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 19, 2010
at 03:36 AM

I remember that feeling and I sure don't miss it!

02fdef6cbb397ad339e4752cb8fc7570

on July 14, 2010
at 10:02 PM

I don't crave junk food, but when it's that time of the month I really really crave sweet.

9e6d534ecb4afb803f7075d64573d8d8

(276)

on July 08, 2010
at 03:43 PM

You must live in a very sad place. Woman around these parts flock to a pig pickin', love their meats, and gather round the Raw Food Truck and farmers market in droves.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 12, 2010
at 08:05 AM

Might not be an obsession with junk food per se but rather with "that tasty stuff".

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 16, 2010
at 10:07 PM

Its unfortunate you have a negative rep here given that you have stated your observation, which I agree with..

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on November 18, 2010
at 08:30 PM

The truth hurts. Just look at the gourmet cupcake craze. Who is that targeted at? Surely not young virile heterosexual males. Whether it is sociological, cultural, marketing or genetic factors, these ideas are hard to ignore. People will attempt to however, because many don't want to accept that women and men are actually different.

13
522e72ef5ee75739706c8ba34f901c71

(138)

on February 17, 2010
at 11:12 PM

Nearly all fringe or small communities are male-dominated. I've noticed this especially in self-improvement focused communities (like hardcore meditators, or extreme dieters). Statistcally, males are over-represented in both the positive and negative extremes in nearly every way (IQ, mental disorders, physical ability, etc.).

Here's a great read that may help answer this: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm

Fa47fe5368e66325865f60a928609145

(961)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:24 PM

That link is an absolutely awesome read :)

693b4a92133c19c288277dae8b43ab69

(188)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:24 AM

Oh, I love, love, love that article. Can't count at this point how many times I've given it out!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 17, 2010
at 03:05 PM

Then why are the WAPF'ers mostly female? http://www.hunter-gatherer.com/blog/idiosyncratic-observations-wise-traditions-2010-weston-price-conference

7
Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on February 26, 2010
at 09:33 PM

I commented on this on another blog...and of course was promptly censured by other commenters. This blog was more mainstream and not paleo-oriented, so I should have held my tongue and waited for a better opportunity. Well here it is!

Let me say first off...I think a combination of stereotypes, marketing practices, and the sordid history of gender discrimination in our society are the reasons for the differences between men and women in regards to paleo. In a vacuum, there is no reason to believe that a man or a woman would be more or less capable of following a paleo lifestyle.

As a result of these outside influences, I think women have a harder to warming up to paleo and/or have less of a desire to follow it. I also think women have a harder time giving up grains and legumes. I can't tell you how many women have told me, after I informed them about my diet, "But I LOVE carbs!" How many men have said this to me? None that I can think of.

I think it is in the minds of many women that by eating meat they are in essence demonstrating their dependence on men. Grains and legumes are thus empowering for women, and so that may be the reason you see more women than men following a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.

I wish there was more focus on women among paleo bloggers and proponents as well. I think a shared experience exploring a paleo lifestyle would be a wonderful addition to any relationship, and personally I would love to be able to convince my girlfriend to go paleo.

So you paleo women out there...keep putting out good, woman-specific info. The boys are watching and reading. Every "Grok" wants a "Grokette!"

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on July 12, 2010
at 02:14 PM

I like your thoughts on empowerment. Indeed I know a few women who love baking bread and find it relaxing and somehow connecting with the heritage etc. There is also a very strong acceptance for men wanting their steak than for women... Women should eat hardly anything, light and soft. guh.

02fdef6cbb397ad339e4752cb8fc7570

on July 14, 2010
at 10:12 PM

That is an interesting point you bring up. I also think it might have something to do with the amount of sugar that is in carbs. During menstruation women crave sugar due to hormones. Also I read an article somewhere about how women tend to crave sugar where as men crave meat. I don't know how true this is, but when I'm on my period I really really have to battle with sugar cravings. I'm actually trying to get my boyfriend to jump on the paleo wagon and he can't seem to give up bread, even when I promise him bacon.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on July 15, 2010
at 07:36 PM

I think we might live in a better world if bread made everyone as sick as it makes me :)

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on July 12, 2010
at 06:54 AM

I would love to convince my girlfriend to go Paleo too.

E3b60feef9b8d4e53192f9fc149edb99

(160)

on September 05, 2010
at 01:35 PM

I started first, and my husband jumped on the bandwagon after about a month of watching me. It has been very bonding and I think has brought us closer together to be on this "adventure" together. I have noticed that while I have entered the waters slowly, and cheat now and then, he watched carefully from a distance for awhile, then when he jumped in he did so cold turkey and totally, with very little effort it seemed, and less transition effects. NOT FAIR! But I'm glad we're in it together.

7
A6c24d24be86cd02215a54feb8840206

on February 17, 2010
at 11:29 PM

The paleo diet and assumptions that women gathered while men hunted in the paleo era is a sexist assumption that has been disproved. There is plenty of proof that women AND men hunted.

The paleo diet, when it is attached to reminiscing about the days when men hunted and women looked gorgeous, appears to be an attempt on behalf of some "nerdy/macho" men to reclaim their masculine identity. It should be noted that men who do this are being sexist towards women by ESSENTIALIZING and GENERALIZING- creating sexist stereotypes.

Men AND women are dieters. Men AND women are vegans. Men AND women are vegetarians. I thoroughly disagree that veganism/ vegetarianism is a "chick" movement, and I disagree that men have no part in "feminine vegetable" diets. Why is diet associated with feminine and masculine identities? Because of sexism.

Now, to prove that women read just as much scientific literature as men, I must say I stumbled across the paleo diet while reading science case studies. As a feminist, this "paleo diet" stinks of a new form of machoism taking root. Perhaps female scientists are not being read by the "male paleo" community? Perhaps female bloggers, like PhD Darya Pino at summertomato.com, are being ignored due to their gender?

The fact is, putting a gender to a dieting movement that will save the world's health is like saying men or women have a claim to success due to their gender. Men and women both have a claim to equality in the science community.

I eat a paleo diet not for vanity or weight, but because I lift weights and am seeing good results proven to be associated with good health, blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, etc.

I want to thank other female commentators for responding to this post. I wish for people to avoid attaching gender to successful scientific claims.

There is just no proven correlation between gender, food, clothes, and lifestyle. The proof is in the diversity of our sexual community- heterosexuals, homosexuals, transgendered, bisexuals, etc. Humans have had diversity from the get go. Therefore, it is not fair to associate females with any type of lifestyle really. Females= gatherers is just wrong. Females= skinny blonde vegetarian is just wrong.

Wake up fat frat boys, stop making assumptions and stop writing like macho frat boys! Sincerely, -Feminist, political scientist, activist, and pissed off "paleo/healthy" dieter

p.s. Don't stereotype me either. No I am not a hairy, obese, ugly, rejected female that most men like to posit as feminists. I am actually quite friendly.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 06, 2010
at 03:16 PM

Lierre Keith is an example of someone highly respected by the paleo community. She has had a huge influence, but journalists aren't interested.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 06, 2010
at 03:15 PM

Having had the misfortune to interact with the journalists doing stories on the paleo diet, it really is sadly clear to me what is going on here and it's very upsetting. Almost ALL the journalists we have dealt with have wanted to portray this as masculine and savage. Ugh.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:58 AM

Hi Michelle. For sure not all women are woosies,myself included! In my working life I packed an 80+ pound machine up and down stairs as a truck-mount carpet cleaner and water and fire damage technician. I think curious open-minded people of all sexual persuasions are the ones most likely to explore new, against the grain ideas and try them out. It is far easier to sit back eating dry whole grain toast and taking cholesterol drugs than to challenge medical authorities. (PS I'm kind of friendly too, but have been known to scare the odd adjuster! LOL)

9e6d534ecb4afb803f7075d64573d8d8

(276)

on July 08, 2010
at 03:47 PM

There is a segment in "Born to Run" that discusses how primitive tribes probably 'ran down' larger game and cited that all members, young/old male/female were involved in the process.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 15, 2010
at 11:30 PM

Do you have a single shred of evidence (papers, citations, hell even opinion pieces) to substantiate your claim women did not fit into the typical 'gatherer' role that we seem to ascribe them to?

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 12, 2010
at 05:21 AM

I also doubt that men hunted whilst women gathered, but to consider it is not sexist in its own right. Also, I do think many women may have been forced to be closer to the home if for no other reason than caring for and breastfeeding the likely many young children.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on May 14, 2012
at 06:11 AM

@Chris of course she won't. And that's not even to mention the child caring role, the lower physical endure and strength (vital for hunting) and depth perception that women have.

6
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on July 12, 2010
at 09:22 AM

I think there is actually more women interested and researching the Paleo diet.

Have a look at these: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thepaleodiet.com# http://www.quantcast.com/thepaleodiet.com

These are visitor's statistics for thepaleodiet.com, both sets of stats indicate that there is more women than men visiting the site. My guess is that most people searching about the Paleo diet end up visiting this site.

I have two websites about the paleo diet (a general site and a recipe site) and they also both get much more women visitors.

I think the take home message is that men might be more active on a site like this one, but women are certainly really interested by the paleo diet.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on August 19, 2010
at 02:28 PM

Interesting... you need more upvotes.

5
8f2bc05f4c80bbef337cdb5fccbb5471

(801)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:25 PM

Nah. I don't agree! I think that there are as many women as men involved in a paleo diet and lifestyle. If you read the comments on some of the biggest paleo blogs, you will note that there are as many women as men commenting. Sometimes MORE women than men. Go, chicas!

As a woman, paleo just makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint and according to the scientific literature. Plus, I feel great. It's the proper diet for humanity in general, so my guess is that women are jumping on board as often as men are.

As far as "female" types of issues go, I would like to see more of those discussed here as well, so perhaps I will start a few more threads. I can only speak from my own experience, but I feel more alive, more active, more sexy, more.... female... the longer I stick with my paleo diet. Yay!

8f2bc05f4c80bbef337cdb5fccbb5471

(801)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:42 PM

Yeah, that is a little strange! I just started a blog, and I know that other women are jumping on the blogging bandwagon, too. I just posted a question for women, and am going to start being a little more vocal with regard to women and paleo. Thanks for the inspiration!

693b4a92133c19c288277dae8b43ab69

(188)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:34 PM

huh! I agree with you about the impact of the diet, and about the commenters...I guess I'm really just wondering *why* I don't see more discussion of female-specific issues. Also, most of the blogs I've encountered so far seem to be written by men.

3d1ee836077f15597801dd9339dd411c

(10)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:39 AM

perhaps men are just a little more open/vulnerable about their issues and comments?

3
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on March 23, 2010
at 08:06 PM

I too wondered why the Paleo movement seems to be so geared towards men, though from the posts it does seem that there are a lot of women involved. I think it is the idea of when we think of paleo it is associated with "cavemen", emphasis on the "men" part. I decided to start my own blog, on the one hand, to chronicle my journey, but on the other hand, focus on the female aspect of paleo. http://paleolady.wordpress.com

For instance, on the whole "women eat grains/plants vs men eat meat" discussion. I have a theory that men generally are better able to digest large amounts of meat and woman thrive on a more balanced plant/meat diet due to the hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Since men went out for large game (we will get to female hunting in a moment), I believe that a larger part of their diet was meat, and also they needed more protein to sustain them on the long hunts. Whereas women were able to have a more varied diet, with plants and small animals.

So, everyone calm down, I hope I don't perpetuate the men hunt/women gather gender issue! In my anthropology of human behavior course, I actually chose to study the topic of women hunters. Of course, the info has to be drawn from contemporary hunter/gatherer cultures. The truth of the matter is, there is a spectrum on whether or not women hunted, in a lot of cultures they did not, but in many they did. The difference seemed to be more based on the environment. Women tend to hunt small game, and not the big game. Therefor, it tended to vary on whether or not the game available was large or small.

Why did women hunt small game and not large game? Going with the current stereotype, one might think it has to do with strength. Not so, dear sir! When looking at what was successful and probably for women, you must take into account childcare. It is much easier to take care of your children and gather plants, or lay traps, or fish and come back to the nets later, when quiet is not as much of an issue.

Another aspect to the whole women hunting issue is status. Those who bring home the meat and are considered good hunters get higher status & power. For a variety of reasons (which I won't go into here), men tend to be more hierarchical and concerned with power & status (theory is they have to prove they are good hunters and good fighters to impress a woman to believe she and her children would be safe & well fed with him; whereas women need to signal that they would be faithful so that he wouldn't worry about raising some other fellows offspring, and that they would be good mothers, and are healthy - in which appearance becomes more important, beauty signals health). So, men have a vested interest to monopolize the power plays, and also keep women out of dangerous situations so they can continue to raise the offspring. However, I did find one society where women participated in the distribution of meat, making them key in understanding the social dynamics.

Okay, that is me nerding out about that. Sorry I don't have the notes handy from what I found, I'll look at my home computer to back that up.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:56 AM

I enjoyed your answer. Thank you. Makes sense to me...

Deca3d3cb4fa349be861f38f2746c996

(10)

on November 18, 2010
at 07:27 PM

Agreed--enjoyed the read. Thank you.

3
9747ae0ff20a8f4a4a2857c66820b125

(439)

on March 06, 2010
at 08:56 AM

In 2007, I went to a week-long survival school as part of a program I've participated in since I was 13 (it's like the Scouts). As part of our training, we had to kill, skin/clean, cook and eat two rabbits. There were 17 boys in the group and 3 girls. We were divided into two teams, and each team leader was a girl (me and my friend Molly were Team Leaders). When it came time to thump the bunnies, a number of boys couldn't stomach the thought. Molly and I ended up whacking them over the heads with a big stick, Babe Ruth style.

It never even occurred to me to think that there was a disparity between men and women following a Paleo lifestyle.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on May 14, 2012
at 06:15 AM

Sounds like sexism to me. Imagine if it were a group of 17 girls and three boys, and the two leaders were both boys.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 26, 2010
at 10:19 PM

Ironically, it's always my boyfriends who clamor for carbs when I serve only meat :)

I wrote a little about this on my own site, but I think lots of it has to do with quasi-religious cultural memes about "clean" food. It's considered desirable for women to eat "clean": yogurt, high fiber things, fruit, cereal. Meat is unhealthy, bad for the environment, makes you smell bad, and putrefies in the colon.

Oh how far that is from reality. I suffered a lot on this diet, which is promoted by mainstream woman's magazines, TV shows, and books.

My family friends have said so many sad things to me ranging from "BUT yogurt is SOOOO healthy" to "isn't meat bad for your colon?" Then they tell me they are struggling with their weight. It's pretty hard to let go of the cultural mythology surrounding food and women I suppose. I wasn't really raised in the mainstream culture, so maybe it was easier for me.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:40 PM

I think you may be right that there are more cavemen than cavewomen so far, but there are a few women out there for sure. For instance, I like to check out http://girlgoneprimal.blogspot.com/2010/01/recipe-index-post.html from time to time.

After all, back when, it was likely mainly the men who went out and killed the meat so it makes sense that this way of eating appeals to men. And even when our diets got all messed up, men were there standing at barbeques all over the land happily getting huge chunks of meat ready to eat!

I think more women got sucked into the vegan and vegetarian frame of mind because we are more sensitive to killing animals and felt that it was nicer to just eat plants. Look up http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Myth-Food-Justice-Sustainability/dp/1604860804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261163258&sr=8-1#noop for an interesting read.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:49 AM

Crazy thought indeed! I do dream about the potato chips I used to eat sometimes. But it's my non-paleo husband who is the carb-lover in our family. Perhaps we're anomalies?

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:11 AM

It is also not impossible that metabolically, women need more carbohydrates on average than men. They do seem to tend to crave them more.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 06, 2010
at 10:19 AM

Re. women craving more carbohydrates, I heard the hypothesis that this was caused by women having lower serotonin levels and thus self-medicating with carbs. I also remember suggestions that women tend to have an especial liking for sugar and men an especial liking for salt (and protein), though all I found in 5 minutes' search was http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Financial-Industry/Study-finds-taste-preference-varies-on-age-and-gender

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 06, 2010
at 06:04 PM

Well Dave, that was sure true when I had sleep apnea. I craved carbs like crazy and had the 'mindless munchies' every evening. However my taste for sweets is far less than my diabetic husband's is- a lot of things hit me as far too sweet to bother with.

2
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on November 17, 2010
at 06:52 PM

99% of the people who contact me regarding grass fed beef are female. So, that is not scientific or even paleo/non paleo. This question made me think about it. Woman have a big impact on what food to buy for their family and are interested in food safety for their family. Women ask the questions, women send the check, women coordinate the pick-up or delivery. Just an observation. (maybe we are just more into internet shopping/investigation ????)

2
7bea72ef073e8f76b5828727f1460900

(2718)

on November 17, 2010
at 12:45 AM

The demographics for my Paleo for Life Facebook fan page is running at 52% female, 47% male. So, I would actually say that more women than men are following a Paleo diet.

2
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on November 17, 2010
at 12:17 AM

The leaders are male. But you could also look at the leading advocates of "plant based diets" and they are all male too.

I think it's a false stereotype to say that only women love sweets. Men like that just as much. Why would male dominated society invest so much historically in the cultivation of sugar if it was a female thing? Just to impress women? I just find this implication of men naturally not favoring those things to be irrational.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 17, 2010
at 02:50 PM

Absolutely! When I had a candy dish at work, then men were all over the chocolate! They also really look forward to dessert at the corporate events and ask me to bake at Christmas. The men I am around all love their sweets, for sure.

2
06090bd24212be89726345d0cae1a52a

(20)

on November 16, 2010
at 08:41 PM

In my experience, men are just as hesitant. However, the "excuse" is different. Whereas most women say that they don't want to give up cake, cookies, etc., men don't want to give up bread and beer and pasta. But they both rank the same. And I don't feel that it's hormones or men hunting or whatever. I think that the idea of meat as masculine is just pushed in our (women's) faces constantly. Look at a woman's mag and compare that to a men's mag (try it from the same publishing house for more giggles!). They give opposite advice: Men's mags concentrate on lowering carbs and eating "healthy" lean meats. Women's mags focus on pasta and fake sugars and "healthy" whole-grains.

2
B07cf2d116cea62d78845411e924a0b2

(20)

on March 25, 2010
at 05:08 PM

I think the term "paleo" or "primal" may be more popular among men and therefore even if the numbers of men and women following this type of diet were the same, I think more men would call themselves "paleo".

That being said, I do think more men are following this type of diet. One of the main reasons is what information is forced upon women by the media and doctors. A women asking her doctor (or reading a magazine) for advice about diet and health is told to cut calories, fat, red meat, dairy, eat more whole grains and incorporate running or yoga into their workout regime. A man asking for advice about diet and health is told to get plenty of good quality protein, eat more fruits and vegetables, and lift weights. Obviously this is not always the case, but it is what I have seen happen to myself and those around me.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 12, 2010
at 03:49 AM

Societal constructs and socialization do impact behavioral choices. It may well be that the idea of living like a caveman, exercising in the sun, and eating meat happen to fit with more wiht many men's sensibilties than with women's. It is not judgemental to notice that there ARE differences between the two sexes both physically and mentally. To notice a difference is not the same as making a judgement on one being better than another.

As well, in general vastly more research is done on the male body than the female, which is a problem because the female body does not always react in the same way and extrapolating research done on males is not a reliable way to learn about females.
-Eva

1
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on February 28, 2010
at 04:19 PM

I don't really notice the gender of folks who follow this way of eating. I don't see much point in grouping people by gender, race, etc. It's a smart eating plan and the online community is very intelligent and supportive. I don't really care what their gender is.

1
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:07 AM

I think -- and maybe this is playing to a stereotype; it'd be interesting to see data -- a fair number of women who explore alternative ways of eating end up vegan, more so than men.

1
C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

on February 17, 2010
at 04:45 PM

Might have to do with the fact that most of the paleo gurus, or whatever you call them, are men. It's true that a lot of the advice, in terms of diets and training, is aimed at men more than women.

Also, more than some others, the paleo lifestyle might draw in part a more nerdy crowd, which tends to be more masculine.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 17, 2010
at 04:52 PM

Have trouble using caveman and nerd in the same breath! Maybe they are more aware and tuned in, not nerdy.

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on February 18, 2010
at 12:22 AM

The thing is, there is a big difference between original cavemen or modern day hunters gatherers and (partial) reanactors of the paleo lifestyle. So yeah, there might have been few people that would qualify as nerds in the stone age. And I'm happy with "more detail-oriented and scientifically minded" instead of "nerdy". That's more or less the idea I was trying to convey.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 17, 2010
at 05:59 PM

I think "nerdy" is just short for "more detail-oriented and scientifically minded". I don't know about any nerds that mind being called nerds.

8f2bc05f4c80bbef337cdb5fccbb5471

(801)

on February 17, 2010
at 05:03 PM

Nerdy cavemen! What a funny thing to think about. I imagine men in leather loinclothes, complete with hand-sewn leather pocket protectors for their rock protractors. Or something like that. But seriously, I think that instead of "nerdy" I like to think of those interested in paleo as being more detail-oriented and scientifically minded, as taking on this diet means chucking conventional wisdom and doing a bit of personal research.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on January 20, 2013
at 04:54 AM

I'm a paleo female, but I could understand why paleo appeals more to men than to women- it focuses on THE MEAT. Which, most (as a generalization) men seem to have a thing for, and they've even done brain scans to suggests that men are actually relaxed by images of raw meat, perhaps due to a still-lingering primal instinct from when men were the main hunters (hey, my brother gets all googly-eyed when he sees meat). It might be the same reason more women are vegetarians than men. I've been vegetarian/vegan in the past, I handled it just fine and though I like meat, I don't think it sets off any neurological reactions in me.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 15, 2010
at 01:36 PM

paleo at its current state of knowledge is not as helpful for women-specific problems such as anemia, uterine fibroids, hypothyroidism, perimenopause and menopause.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 15, 2010
at 11:27 PM

40% of the 'diseases' you just listed affect both genders, and there's a lot paleo has to offer to all of them....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2010
at 12:36 AM

i should have been more specific. i'm talking about heavy periods causing anemia, and anemia somehow being linked with hypothyroidism. what have any of the paleo bloggers have to say about that? nothing. please prove me wrong as i have been anemic for quite some time and paleo actually drove my hemoglobin done further even though i was eating more meat. so it is a mystery so far.

0
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 24, 2010
at 09:11 PM

Just recently I've come across more female paleo bloggers. One that springs to mind is paleochix.

0
B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 17, 2010
at 07:52 PM

http://www.mypaleokitchen.com is created by a cavewoman as well. I do think there are more women blogs about paleo than there are men blogs on the net.

So based on the blogs, i tend to say that the women own us in their numbers. Could be that the cavemen are just to busy hunting and dont have time for any blogging :P

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