Are you male? Do you still fork out 15 cents for the shopping bags when doing the groceries at Woolies or Coles? Well, according to a new study you may be struggling with your masculinity.
The study, by Penn State University, has found that men don’t like using reusable shopping bags for a fear of looking “gay”.
According to the study’s author, the University’s Professor of psychology Janet Swim, men can be unwilling to perform environmentally friendly tasks if they’re perceived as “gendered”, such as bringing your own bags to buy groceries.
According to the goodly Professor, there can be “subtle, gender-related consequences when we engage in various pro-environmental behaviours”.
Swim added: “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.”
The study used 960 participants who had to rate everyday fictional experiences out of a score of 10 as to whether they saw them as more masculine or more feminine.
According to the results, things such as recycling or using reusable shopping bags were regarded as very feminine. Pursuits such as fixing a broken window or door were considered masculine. While paying bills or turning off the air-conditioner were considered gender neutral.
The study then found that males who engaged in the more feminine pursuits were seen to have had an “uncertain heterosexual identity”.
People who engaged in gender-incongruent green behaviours were “rated as less likely to be heterosexual”.
The study also found that women who engaged in more masculine behaviours were “gender bending women” who were often “avoided by men”.
It added that this phenomenon appears to be driven by men’s “discomfort engaging with a woman who is not clearly heterosexual”.
But apparently the study wasn’t all about overly masculine men refusing to bring their own bags to Coles.
As Swim concluded: “Activists, policymakers, and practitioners working to engage in, and promote, pro-environmental behaviours may wish to take into account pressures to conform to gender roles.”