The study, titled a “foodie call”, is a process whereby a person sets up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in, but for the purpose of getting a free meal.
The name was derived from the term “booty call” – a slang for phoning an acquaintance for sex.
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The two online studies carried out by the researchers showed that 23 per cent to 33 per cent of women “have engaged in a foodie call”.
During the first study, 820 women — with 40% single, 33% married, and 27% committed in a relationship but not married — were recruited. Out of the participants, 85% said they were heterosexual, and they were the focus for the study.
Their personality traits, beliefs about gender roles, and their “foodie call” history were all measured. They were also asked if they thought a foodie call was socially acceptable.
Nearly a quarter — about 23 per cent — of the participants in the first group said they had engaged in a “foodie call”.
Although some of the women believed “foodie call” was more acceptable, others were of the opinion that it was extremely to moderately unacceptable.
For the second study, a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women were analysed and it was discovered that 33% had engaged in a “foodie call”.
The authors, however, stressed that neither of the studies recruited representative samples of women, so the percentage might not be accurate for women in general.
They noted that “foodie calls” could happen in any kind of relationships and could be perpetrated by all genders.