"It is possible that the cultural association of consuming spicy foods with strength and machismo has created a learned social reward for men." – Journal of Food Quality and Preference. Aka, science.
We all know someone who doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the spiciness of their meal unless it’s almost inedible. But why?
Is it the burning feeling? The flavor? The sweating it causes?
According to researchers from Penn State, it all boils down to personality. Otherwise, if you’re a thrill seeker, you’re probably going to enjoy a little heat.
“One study found that people who were most inclined to enjoy action movies, adventure-seeking and exploration were about six times more likely to enjoy the burn of a spicy meal,” says Allison Aubrey with NPR.
A second study in the Journal of Food Quality and Science determined women who sought spicy foods were actually drawn the burning side effects, while men did it more as a badge of the masculinity.