Not protect it. According to ‘experts.’
James Wilkie, a business professor at the University of Notre Dame, wanted to understand what drives this gender eco-friendliness gap. After years of exploring psychological bias, he and his colleagues developed a theory.
“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,” they assert this month in the Journal of Consumer Research. “As a result of this stereotype, men may be motivated to avoid or even oppose green behaviors in order to safeguard their gender identity.”
Maybe manly men intuitively understand that the pencil-necked geeks who are behind the environmental movement are clueless about the environment? Perhaps manly guys have experience with quazi-male enviro-daffodils preaching about global warming, overpopulation and loving the Mother Earth. Maybe masculine guys are prone to be critical of societal pressures to change everyone’s behavior based upon shaky science.
Maybe the environmental movement should work out more.
“Stereotypical feminine behavior and attitudes are more in parallel with taking care of the environment,” Wilkie said of the findings. “Male traits tend to conflict with this idea of maintaining a nice environment for other people.”
Wilkie blames stereotypes. People who care about the environment are perceived as nurturing, gentle caretakers. Pop culture says they’re barefoot hippies with long hair and flower crowns. That image clashes with traditional masculinity.