Call it new-age dating but nearly one in four women now go on a date not for the sake of romance or building a long-term relationship but grabbing a free meal, an interesting study has revealed.
The new phenomenon is a "foodie call" where a person sets up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in, for the purpose of getting a free meal.
New research finds that 23 to 33 per cent of women in an online study admitted they have engaged in a "foodie call".
The researchers from California-based Azusa Pacific University and University of California-Merced found that women who scored high on the "dark triad" of personality traits (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism), as well as expressed traditional gender role beliefs, were most likely to engage in a "foodie call" and find it acceptable.
"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," said Brian Collisson from Azusa Pacific University in a paper appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
In the first study, 820 women were recruited. They 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.
Twenty-three per cent of women in this 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 findings showed.
The second study analyzed a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women and found 33 per cent had engaged in a "foodie call".
For both groups, those engaged in "foodie calls" scored higher in the "dark triad" personality traits.
The researchers also note that "foodie calls" could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by all genders.