Science & Tech

Study finds that environmentalism is sexy to both men and women

Study finds that environmentalism is sexy to both men and women

Environmentally conscious behaviour is not just good for the planet, but your dating life, too. According to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, both men and women consider people who live environmentally friendly lifestyles to be more attractive and desirable as long-term romantic partners.

For the study, researchers surveyed 157 adults from the United Kingdom, presenting them with a series of hypothetical scenarios describing potential mates. In some circumstances, the hypothetical partner was painted as more environmentally friendly, recycling and/or utilising reusable water bottles. In others, they displayed more wasteful behaviour, like opting to buy disposable goods instead of reusing or recycling. There were also a handful of “neutral” scenarios, which did not imply whether or not they were “environmentally friendly.”

Both men and women consistently demonstrated a higher attraction to hypothetical partners who displayed environmentally friendly behaviour, especially when it came to long-term relationships. These findings were in line with previous research on similar subjects, which concluded that individuals’ desirability increases with their “prosocial behaviour.”

A woman uses a sustainable shopping bag.A woman uses a sustainable shopping bag.Getty Images/iStockphoto

In a follow up study, the same researchers asked 307 adults how they would respond to a sustainability survey regarding their own lifestyle when asked by a member of the opposite sex. Upon being showed photos of the imaginary surveyor, the team found that participants regularly reported more sustainable habits when in the presence of someone they found appealing.

“We show that prosociality, in the form of pro-environmental behaviors, can have an adaptive role in romantic relationships,” study authors Daniel Farrelly and Manpal Bhogal said via Psychology Today.

“It signals care for the environment and good character which are important when choosing partners. This engagement in pro-environmental behaviors could also signal care for future offspring, as environmental behavior increases the chances of a better world for ourselves and for future generations.”

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