Are men better cooks than women? Are women better cooks than men? There are arguments on either side, though most people would likely decide that women are better cooks than men. The arguments in favour of women being better cooks than men include the fact that it is still mostly women who cook for their families (therefore they have more practice, and will be better at putting meals together from random ingredients), and that they are normally the ones who are expected to learn. An argument in favour of men being better cooks is that men are more often the professional cooks in restaurants, but there are several arguments against that which will be explored in the article proper.
Despite the modern world now increasingly coming to see cooking as a skill which everyone should have, girls are still expected to learn it as a matter of course much more than boys are. Think of the last family gathering you went to – who was in the kitchen, and who was out in the garden with a beer? Girls and women are still proportionally expected to both cook and clear up with no input from men, despite the fact that they have just as many responsibilities as men when it comes to work and family (or more, depending on how childcare is split). Because girls are the ones who are most often expected to help with the cooking around the home on a regular basis – or cook entire meals on a regular basis – they, more often than boys, end up being able to cook. So it becomes an expectation that girls will grow into women who have the ability and means to cook for themselves and others. While there are outliers in the vast numbers of women – there are actually women who have no ability to cook, or interest in learning, hard as it may be to believe – most women have some ability to cook because of this expectation, meaning that women in general are better cooks than men.
While relationships are becoming more egalitarian with every passing year, studies have shown the burden of home- and childcare still primarily falls to the woman of the house. This includes cooking, and usually other things which are involved in food preparation, such as shopping and clean-up. Because of this, women are in general better cooks than men, purely because they spend more time in the kitchen. This ends up being reflected in two different ways: one, women spend more time in the kitchen and therefore become better at cooking, therefore making them better than the men in their lives, and two, women are generally better at throwing meals together from what’s in the cupboards and fridge, because after doing the shopping and all the meals, they know what is in there! Of course, modern times means that the family is not defined by ‘one man + one woman’ anymore (at least not officially), so there are exceptions, but most people would agree that women are better cooks than men for these reasons.
A counterpoint to the above arguments is that when it comes to professional cookery, it is mostly men who make up the ranks, particularly the higher up the ranks you climb. This could be seen as a strike against everybody who says that women are the better cooks, since wouldn’t they be the professional chefs if that was truly the case? There are two particular reasons why the lack of female professional chefs does not automatically mean that women in general are worse than men at cooking. One is, as mentioned before, societal set-up: women are still expected to do most of the work regarding childcare and homecare, so the long hours which are associated with being a professional chef are simply not suited to women. Two: as anyone who has watched the recent spate of cookery programmes on TV such as MasterChef or Top Chef will be able to tell you, most if not all the male contestants cite their mothers and other female relatives as their inspiration. While women may not be physically present in a professional kitchen in the numbers they perhaps deserve to be, they nevertheless cast a long shadow.
All in all, women are better cooks than men. There are outliers on either side, of course–some women are terrible, or have no interest, some men are brilliant, and have lots of interest – but in general, women are better than men. The reasons for this are that women are expected to take part in cooking and cleaning duties from a younger age than men are, which may only lead to them doing these by necessity, but may also instil a love of the craft which continually grows over the years.