Around one in three women have been on a date just to get a free meal, according to new research.
Dubbed a ‘foodie call’ by the researchers – it involves a person setting up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in to be wined and dined.
Two online studies by psychologists found that 23 percent to 33 percent of women say they’ve engaged in a ‘foodie call’.
Women who scored high on the three ‘dark’ personality traits – psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism – were most likely to engage in a foodie call and find it acceptable.
Women who believe in traditional gender roles – for example that men should be breadwinners and women should be housewifes – were also more likely to make ‘foodie calls’.
In the first study, 820 women were recruited, with 40 percent reporting they were single, 33 percent married, and 27 percent saying they were in a committed relationship but not married.
A total of 85 per cent said they were heterosexual and they were the focus for the study.
The women answered a series of questions that measured their personality traits, beliefs about gender roles, and their ‘foodie call’ history.
They were also asked if they thought a foodie call was socially acceptable.
Almost a quarter (23 percent) of women in the first group revealed they’d engaged in a foodie call. Most did so occasionally or rarely.
Although women who had engaged in a foodie call believed it was more acceptable, most women believed foodie calls were extremely to moderately unacceptable.
The second study, also published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, analysed a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women and found 33 percent had engaged in a foodie call.
The researchers said that it was important to note that neither of the studies recruited representative samples of women, so they can’t know if the percentages are accurate for women in general.
Study co-author Dr Brian Collisson, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Azusa Pacific University, said: ‘Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behaviour in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures.’ He said he and his colleagues became interested in the subject of foodie calls after reading about the phenomenon in the news.
As for how many foodies calls might be occurring, Dr Collisson says that can’t be inferred from the current research.
But he added: ‘They could be more prevalent, for instance, if women lied or misremembered their foodie calls to maintain a positive view of their dating history, Dr Collisson said.
The researchers also noted that foodie calls could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by men as well as women.
The term ‘foodie call’ echoes the term ‘booty call’ – US slang now popular in the UK for phoning someone for sex.