Men may be more likely to snub mother nature by refusing to carry reusable shopping bags — because they don’t want to appear feminine or gay, according to a new study.
Penn State University researchers found that people tend to view the act of schlepping groceries in a tote bag — instead of plastic ones — and other eco-conscious activities as un-manly, according to a study published in the journal Sex Roles.
“People may avoid certain behaviors because they are managing the gendered impression they anticipate others will have of them,” Penn State professor of psychology Janet Swim, who participated in the study, said in a statement. “There may be subtle, gender-related consequences when we engage in various pro-environmental behaviors.”
During the study, researchers asked 960 men and women to read about and evaluate specific environmentally friendly tasks — including line-drying clothes, recycling and tote-bag-carrying — as “masculine” or “feminine.”
They found people generally rated earth-saving errands as feminine, and were more likely to question a guy’s sexual orientation when he performed such tasks, according to the study.