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Straight men less environmentally friendly out of fear of being gay, says study

The new study found that men in America are refusing to be environmentally friendly

2019-08-07

Words: Steve Brown

Straight men are refusing to use reusable shopping bags out of fear people will think they are gay.

According to a new study from Penn State University, they found straight men in America are avoiding using reusable carrier bags because they believe they are ‘gendered’ and traditionally more feminine.

Researchers in the study found that the men also were reluctant to put laundry out on a line and preferred to use a tumble dryer due to fear again.

Psychologists deducted that heterosexual men are avoiding being more environmentally friendly due to worry that strangers may think they are gay – which they viewed as a bad thing.

The study also found that women were also more likely to question a man’s sexuality if he performed this ‘feminine’ tasks.

Psychology professor and study author Janet K. Swim said: “There may be subtle, gender-related consequences when we engage in various pro-environmental behaviours.

“People may avoid certain behaviours because they are managing the gendered impression they anticipate others will have of them.

“Or they may be avoided if the behaviours they choose do not match their gender.

“If being seen as heterosexual is important to a person, that person may prioritise gender-conforming over gender-nonconforming pro-environmental behaviours in anticipation of how others might see them.”