When it comes to environmental engagement, the role of gender has already been demonstrated in numerous studies: women are more interested in ecology than men.
But a study published earlier this year (2020) in the journal Psychology & Marketing could help equal things out in terms of taking action to help save the planet, as it shows that men who are concerned about ecology may be more attractive to women looking for a long-term relationship.
So, gentlemen, embrace your green side!
Women make more eco-responsible purchases and undertake more green actions than men.
This fact is already well-documented and has been referred to as the “eco gender gap” by market research firm Mintel.
However, the study also shows that among heterosexual women, eco-responsibility is a seductive criterion for choosing their life partner.
Conducted on a sample of 1,500 Americans, the study revealed that an eco-responsible man is perceived as more altruistic, faithful and a good father – qualities that make him an ideal life partner for long-term relationships.
In one part of the study, 200 women were shown a selection of “green” products and a selection of conventional products.
The women were then asked to imagine the owner of these products.
The results showed that while “green consumption” was associated with increased femininity, it didn’t translate as reduced masculinity.
The signal sent by green behaviour was deemed not to be negative, but rather associated with being more desirable.
The study suggests that qualities of altruism, cooperation and empathy are perceived as more feminine, and that such values prompt women to adopt more eco-responsible behaviours than men.
However, in contrast to the fears of some men, the study shows that when men are associated with such attributes, women have a positive perception of them.
The study concludes by suggesting that these results could be used as leverage to encourage men to adopt more eco-friendly behaviour.
In fact, in terms of heterosexual relationships, if there is indeed a tendency for men to adapt their behaviour to align with women’s preferences, this could be another incentive for men to further commit to the environmental cause. – AFP Relaxnews
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