Sep. 17, 2020

As your basic intuition would tell you, consumption of alcohol, chocolate and pornography have all risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research conducted by BGU researchers. Whatever it takes to take the edge off the unending stress and uncertainty.

What is less intuitive and counter to previous crises is who is consuming what. Previously, men would be consuming alcohol and pornography, while women would be consuming chocolate. 
Einav Friedmann rollup.jpg

Not so, says Dr. Enav Friedmann (pictured above), head of the Marketing Lab at the Department of Business Administration in the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management at BGU. Dr. Gil Peleg from Yeshiva University in New York and Gal Gutman, a PhD student in the Business Administration Department, collaborated on the study. According to their research, men and women have been consuming all three at the same rates during the current pandemic.

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

"Our research undermines the commonly accepted perceptions of various stereotypical behaviors,” she adds. 

Friedmann conducted a survey amongst 115 people from the UK (46 men and 69 women) and an additional experiment in Israel on 41 people in which special sensors that measured facial responses were also utilized. 

The research is ongoing.

Media Coverage:
Times of Israel​