Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Study: Men think being green isn't manly and avoid environmentally friendly products and charities

Fear of not appearing manly leads men to resist "green" products, says a study at the University of Notre Dame published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The study, which included a survey of 127 college students, a quiz taken by 194 students and two observational studies, found that men in the research generally associate anything environmentally friendly with being feminine and shy away from it.

Study authors wrote: "Men’s resistance may stem in part from a prevalent association between the concepts of greenness and femininity and a corresponding stereotype (held by both men and women) that green consumers are feminine. As a result of this stereotype, men may be motivated to avoid or even oppose green behaviors in order to safeguard their gender identity."

The survey "asked respondents if they thought green products appeared masculine, feminine or neither," Danielle Paquette reports for The Washington Post. "Most participants, both men and women, said items designed to protect the planet seemed feminine." Quiz participants were instructed "to imagine two grocery store shoppers, one carrying a green reusable bag and another toting a plastic sack. The quiz asked: Which seemed more eco-friendly, wasteful, masculine and/or feminine? The green shoppers seemed to respondents more eco-friendly and feminine, regardless of their gender. The plastic shoppers came off as more wasteful and masculine."

Researchers also conducted a pair of studies, Shannon Roddel reports for Notre Dame News. The first study, at a BMW dealership in China, centered around an eco-friendly car. "While surveying shoppers, the researchers simply changed the name of the car from the traditional, environmentally friendly name to 'Protection,' which is a masculine term in China. Despite all other descriptions of the car remaining the same, the name change did increase men’s interest in the car."

"In another study, the team compared men’s and women’s willingness to donate to green charities," Rodel writes. "They called one 'Friends of Nature,' with a bright green logo featuring a tree. The second was named 'Wilderness Rangers' showcasing a wolf howling to the moon. Women favored the more traditional green marketing, while more men were drawn to the masculine branding over the traditional."

No comments: