In the last years people around the world are becoming more sensitive towards sustainable topics. But, according to a recent study, the real champion of the sustainability are the women. 

They produce less rubbish, they put more attention on recycling, they consume more organic and kilometer 0 products and use more often the soft mobility. According to different researches, women have overcame the men by adopting more green and eco friendly life styles. 

Are women more interested in sustainability?

Are women more interested in sustainability?

First of all, several studies has showed that the high sensitivity and the high level of altruism of women can influence the discrepancy between male and female, but a recent American study explains that there could be another reason. 

Aaron R. Broough, an associated Professor of Marketing at the Business School Utah State University, together with the collaborators has conducted seven different experiments with a sample of 2000 America and Chinese men. 

The result (published on the Scientific American) has revealed the existence of a psychological connection between sustainability and femininity. Indeed, the fact that the men do not care about sustainability is not true. It is very simple. Often, men love to feel macho and ,as a consequence, they have fear to adopt eco friendly life styles that can identify them as less masculine. 

In fact, a real stereotype has been developed. Men and women see the purchase of green products and the adoption of responsible behaviors as feminine actions. 

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Stereotype: a man surrounded by flowers -Picture of Seth Doyle

Some experiments have even proven this stereotype. For example, the participants have judge more feminine a man using the reusable fabric bag to shop instead to another man using the ordinary plastic bag given by the market. During another experiment, they asked to some men to choose between two gift cards. The first was pink and floral to buy sustainable products ( bulbs, backpacks and batteries) and a classic one to buy the same non sustainable products. The majority choose the non sustainable gift card. Indeed, men are very sensitive toward the gender’s identity. Several studies have shown how is more difficult for men to choose food and household products with a feminine brand or design due to their need to feel macho.

Male vs Female: how to overcome the stereotype?

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A possible example of sustainable message – Picture of Chris Hayashi via Unsplash

First of all, the promotional messages and the material of the eco sustainable products can be realized to affirm the masculinity and to overcome the obstacle and be judge by choosing green behaviors.

Secondly, the eco friendly companies and organizations could adopt more masculine colors, fonts and pictures for their brands and logos. 

These studies reveal how the stereotype of the feminine green product hinder the men to adopt sustainable behaviors suggesting to switch to marketing strategies for the valorization of the masculinity. 

Finally, we have to think how behind the concept of macho and masculinity there are some prejudices and stereotypes for men and women. A symptom of an old society that is slightly changing. Every man and woman should be free to choose the desirable life style without being judge for choosing a feminine floral reusable bag or for hiking the highest mountain. 

Cover picture: via Unsplash


Author: Elena Bragantini

I am Elena, a 24 years old curious and optimistic student with the passion for travel. My studies and my travels helped me to understand the importance of social entrepreneurship for improving the life of people and protecting our planet.
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