According to a recent study, straight, cis-gendered men don’t use reusable shopping bags because they’re afraid they’ll make them look “gay.”
As reported by The New York Post, the Penn State University-run study found that the majority of male respondents said they would continue to willfully use known ecological hell raisers — like single-use plastic bags and straws — because “they don’t want to appear feminine or gay,” the Post said.
“People may avoid certain behaviors because they are managing the gendered impression they anticipate others will have of them,” a PSU professor noted. “There may be subtle, gender-related consequences when we engage in various pro-environmental behaviors,” and apparently employing the use of tote bags is one of those “certain behaviors.”
So how was this information gleaned? Well, during the study, researchers asked participants to “read about and evaluate specific environmentally friendly tasks — including line-drying clothes, recycling and tote-bag-carrying — as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine.’” The result: “people generally rated earth-saving errands as feminine, and were more likely to question a guy’s sexual orientation when he performed such tasks.”
“If being seen as heterosexual is important to a person, that person may prioritize gender-conforming over gender-nonconforming pro-environmental behaviors in anticipation of how others might see them,” one researcher said.
(And because we’re a 360º kind of awful, researchers also “found people were more likely to question a woman’s sexual orientation if she engaged in ‘masculine’ pro-environmental behaviors,” like “caulking windows.”)
So does that mean intelligence makes you look gay, too?
You can read more about it at The New York Post.