February 14, 2012 in Daily Bulletin
Slate reports that on this day of romance and love up to 45 million pounds of chocolate will be given from men to women. But why did women come to be associated with chocolate? Slate took a look at the history of chocolate and gender:
- Studies analyzing whether or not women objectively enjoy chocolate more than men have been inconclusive. They have however suggested that American women enjoy chocolate more than women outside of America which would indicate that cultural factors are at play.
- Effective marketing is the most likely reason for the link between women and chocolate. Marketers do this by either suggesting that a woman’s life remains unfulfilled unless they are given chocolate, or they portray chocolate and sexuality as a transactional arrangement between men and women.
- Advertizers might have chosen to market chocolate in this way due to the increasing liberalization of women. Chocolate was a demonstration that women didn’t need a man to take care of them since chocolate fulfilled their every need. Unlike alcohol or sex chocolate is seen as a culturally appropriate thing for women to indulge in. Conversely, chocolate companies began selling men on the idea that sexuality could be bought with chocolate.
- There is a historical precedent for the relationship between chocolate and sex. The Aztecs believed that it enhanced the virility of men.
To read more about chocolate and women through the years; to find out why men drank coffee while women drank chocolate; and to see examples of advertizers linking chocolate with sexuality, click here.