If you simply type in a query as random as to why guys don’t like soy milk, you’ll be met with thousands of pages on the theories and myths (and some facts) about how soy is something straight men prefer to avoid and go for cow’s milk instead. But why? Fashion, makeup, jewellery yes. But whoever thought milk would be the next thing to be queer and have gender norms associated with it. So, is there truly essence of truth to this or is it just another stereotypical coincidence?
What is soy milk?
Made from soybeans and often fortified with healthy additives such as vitamins and essential nutrients, soy milk is a plant-based alternative to regular cow milk. Julieanna Hever, RD, a plant-based-foods dietitian in Los Angeles says “Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids [if fortified] and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties.”
The milk per se has abundant properties, such as its richness in protein, potassium, magnesium, essential amino acids, a balance in carbs and fats. The property that stands out though is the amounts of isoflavones present in the milk and this raises the whole question of the queer nature of the product. Isoflavones -plant estrogens with a function that is very similar to its human counterpart present in women. Due to their similarity with the estrogen hormone in women, it can bind to the receptors in the body and cause a weak, yet observable effect.
Does soy milk turn men into women?
As absurd as the question may seem this is the whole point of the discussion. It seems several men who are curious about plant-based or vegan diets do have reservations about the whole soy thing. This is due to the estrogen qualities that soy is known to have.
In fact, an advertisement by Burger King for the Impossible Whopper had portrayed chomping down on a burger that is made of soy. The men appear burly and aggressive and very masculine, to say the least, and are awestruck by their burger being so very wholesome, one man even going on to compliment the ‘cow’. While the people in the ad were deceived that the burger was not made from meat but rather plants, and thus the conclusion being that no one could tell the difference between meat and plant as the company had done such a man good job of making these patties.
James Stangle who has been a cattle veterinarian for 30 years, published a takedown of the Impossible Whopper. Reason? He stated that “When food manufacturers started talking about making artificial meat, I, too, thought it would be impossible to make a hamburger cheaply enough to make it competitive. You see, I assumed that they would have to buy the individual amino acids (the building blocks for protein) and chemically string them together in the proper order, then remove the reagents (chemicals needed to cause the chain reactions) and then add something to give it the right textures.”
Stangle then went on to give a detailed comparative analysis of the two burgers, the usual whopper and the Impossible Whopper. “The impossible whopper has 44 mg of estrogen and the whopper has 2.5 ng of estrogen. Now let me refresh your metric system. There are 1 million nanograms (ng) in one milligram (mg). That means an impossible whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular whopper. Just six glasses of soy milk per day have enough estrogen to grow boobs on a male.”
Does soy milk actually cause man boobs?
Due to its estrogen content, speculation has been rife about men beginning to show signs of gynecomastia which is the enlargement of breast tissue in males. Experts and researchers say in a 2010 review of medical evidence that while it is true that the plant-based fluid does contain isoflavones, “these do not exert feminizing effects on men at least not when consumed at levels typical of many soy-heavy Asian diets.” Should you be worried about the effects nevertheless, Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford who has studied this area, says to calm down. “I've consumed soy for 30 years, every day, and have never had to buy a bra.”
Why do hetero-men drink regular milk?
The composition may well be the reason why gay men do have a preference for milk, if that’s a real thing and why straight men would steer clear from consuming soy alternatives. But this isn’t the only aspect that causes hetero-men to drink regular milk. It is also a psychological thing.
As social scientist Peter Glick stated in an article “Anything [related to] eating ‘healthy’ or vegetarian is typically seen as unmasculine.” He went on to say that men feel their masculinity is closely associated with being strong enough to handle things and thus opting for a vegan diet or ‘caring’ for their bodies in any way would take away from this notion of theirs.
It is a personal choice for people as to what they wish to consume and if in doubt you should seek medical advice as to how your hormones may fluctuate or a nutritionist’s advice as to the amounts of soy milk advisable.