New research shows that being a straight man is actively contributing to the degradation of the planet
According to a new study, straight men are worried that if they take an active role in being environmentally-friendly, they’ll look “feminine” or have their sexuality questioned. Yes, really. Gender stereotypes are literally killing our planet.
The research aimed to show how specific types of pro-environment behavior can align with either masculine or feminine stereotypes. Apparently engaging in different types of environmentalism can lead people to question your sexuality or avoid socializing with you — hence why straight men are afraid of engaging in planet-friendly practices. Which is, of course, ridiculous.
“Behaviors don’t just help us accomplish something concrete; they also signal something about who we are,” lead author Janet Swim, a Pennsylvania State University psychologist, says in the findings. “Line-drying clothes, or keeping tires at proper pressures, may signal that we care about the environment, but if those green behaviors are gendered, they may signal other things as well.”
The study consisted of 170 participants who were recruited online and asked to evaluate a fictional scenario involving characters named either David or Diane. The scenarios included daily routines full of several environmentally-friendly activities.
There were actions people stereotypically associate with women, like recycling and using reusable shopping bags. The “male-oriented” activities include caulking windows and donating to a waterfowl sportsman’s group. Gender-neutral activities included paying bills and turning off the air-conditioner to preserve energy.
According to the findings, participants confirmed that certain “green” behaviors aren’t associated with “manliness.” Who knew using a reusable bag or putting a plastic 2-liter in a green bin instead of a black one was too feminine for a man to want to do? Participants who learned that David engaged in behaviors associated with women didn’t necessarily view him as “gay.” Still, they “were uncertain of his heterosexual identity.”
Naturally, the internet has been having a field day with these results.
Meanwhile, climate change is the biggest global risk affecting everyone on the planet right now. These harmful gender stereotypes when it comes to environmentally-friendly behaviors may not necessarily be accelerating climate change at an even more alarming rate, but they’re certainly not helping.
Basically, straight men need to fall in line here and fill up their reusable Trader Joe’s bags and distribute their recyclables appropriately like the rest of us, because to do otherwise is completely and utterly ridiculous in the Year Of Our Planet Is In Crisis 2019.
Until then, Swim and her research team hope people in positions of power will utilize the results of this study: “Activists, policymakers, and practitioners working to engage in, and promote, pro-environmental behaviors may wish to take into account pressures to conform to gender roles.”
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