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Men avoid green choices to preserve their manliness

macho-manManliness is killing the planet. Sort of. But new research suggests that masculine branding of eco-friendly products could help change that.

Are you the type of guy who goes out of his way to convince others of your manly nature? Do you feel the need to talk down about the neighbor’s hybrid car or solar panels, or to ‘roll coal” all over a Prius in your giant diesel truck, or to disparage those who go to great lengths to recycle and shop ‘green’ products, because you don’t want your own actions to be seen as overly feminine? If so, your resistance to adopting more sustainable choices could simply be a function of your own sense of what manliness or masculinity means.

Evidently, masculinity is a fragile beast, and many men are much more attached to maintaining a manly identity than women are to a feminine identity, which leads men to not want to be seen as green or eco-friendly, which are often associated with the feminine. Of course, this isn’t new to those of us who have spent any amount of time learning about, writing about, or working toward sustainable solutions, but when it’s backed up by findings from studies that examine the issue from a consumer research angle, this difference in perception could be a key to unlocking the market potential of a wide array of environmentally friendly products and services, simply by rebranding them with a so-called masculine approach.

Read more: Men avoid ‘green behaviors’ to preserve their macho image

Image: Surian Soosay

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