New research published in June showed there’s a disincentive with being pro-environment: the fear that others will question their sexual orientation. Some men can be unwilling to perform environmentally friendly tasks such as using reusable shopping bags.
Specific types of pro-environment behavior can align with either masculine or feminine stereotypes, the study said. Engaging in the “wrong” type of environmentalism can lead people to wonder about your sexual orientation.
“Behaviors don’t just help us accomplish something concrete; they also signal something about who we are,” lead author of the study Janet Swim, a Pennsylvania State University psychologist, said on July 30 when announcing 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.”