Gluttony and Adultery

Are our evolving social and cultural judgments about sex and food related? Mary Eberstadt, fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, believes so.

Pulitzer Prize-winning op-ed columnist George Will discusses Eberstadt’s theory, stating that nowadays we judge people more for their food choices than their sexual behaviours, whereas a generation ago these moral poles would have been reversed.

In a Policy Review essay, Is Food the New Sex? — it has a section titled “Broccoli, pornography, and Kant” — she notes that for the first time ever, most people in advanced nations “are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want.” One might think, she says, either that food and sex would both be pursued with an ardor heedless of consequences, or that both would be subjected to analogous codes constraining consumption. The opposite has happened — mindful eating and mindless sex.