If you ever had the feeling you see a surplus of women stumping for environmental causes, you were correct. According to a Scientific American survey, many men shy away from being openly eco-friendly.
Apparently, it's just not manly enough.
The journal surveyed 2000 American and Chinese men, conducting seven experiments to try and figure out this oddball division in the way the sexes perceive the difference between focusing on recycling and just tossing that beer can out the window as you drive. Here's what they found:
Our own research suggests (...) men may shun eco-friendly behavior because of what it conveys about their masculinity. It’s not that men don’t care about the environment. But they also tend to want to feel macho, and they worry that eco-friendly behaviors might brand them as feminine.
One of the experiments determined that both men and women perceived a shopper entering a store with a resuable canvas tote as feminine compared to a customer who was fine with the store's plastic bags.
The experiments found in general that men, in spite of seeming like the more thick-skinned gender, get a little more bent regarding how others perceive their gender identity.
The same research suggested that companies behind marketing eco-safe products work to do it in a way that supports a man's sense of his own masculinity.
If telling dudes to just get over it and put that can in the recycling bin is a little too much to ask, make it fun. Set up an aluminum can batting cage, where the cans are shot out of a machine and guys try to smack them into the bin.