Stubborn Old Men

by Luke on December 16, 2010

I’m getting more and more stubborn as I age.  I sometimes catch myself being that way.  My wife always catches me when I act that way.  What is it about men that makes us become more stubborn as we age?

I don’t know the answer, but a new survey on shopping attitudes of consumers just discovered some interesting data that illustrates this:

  • People over the age of 55 are twice as likely as younger people to believe that shopping green makes no difference.  Maybe I’m misinterpreting this, but to me, it seems like stubbornness to change their ways.  I feel myself already getting that way and I’m a ways off of 55.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to believe that shopping green makes no difference.  Does that mean older mean have double the stubbornness?  Maybe my stubbornness in other things is just an outlier?
  • Men are twice as likely to believe that the green movement is just a marketing ploy. Um, is climate change also not real?
  • Men are much less likely to check that their purchases come from ethical companies than women.  Yup, women are definitely better at shopping.
  • People with a post-graduate degree are twice as likely to pay “substantially more” for green products as opposed to those with an undergraduate degree or below.  Either they have a lot more money to spend or they really think buying green makes a difference.  I’ll side with our higher education system and say that buying green makes a difference.

Here’s what I take from the survey:

  • Women are smarter than men
  • Older men are more stubborn than younger
  • More educated people see the value in green and probably for a legitimate reason
  • Green marketers better figure out how to market to women, younger people, and people with advanced degrees

I’m remaining optimistic that I can keep myself out of the stubborn realm.  I know that I’ll always buy “green” products, but I guess there’s no saying what other things I’m stubborn about that I don’t realize.

  • Think4yourself

    Allow me (a self-proclaimed stubborn old man myself) to play devil’s advocate for a moment… Could this be a spurious correlation, and perhaps you are overlooking an over-arching variable that contains/explains all of these “anomalies” within it? What you may be elluding to is the difference between conservatives and liberals in general, and therefore sussing out the differences in female/male identification with the left and right, as well as age in relation to affiliation… just a thought. Social sciences have already demonstrated a positive correlation between years of post-graduate education and likelihood that you’ll vote democratic. Not trying to turn this into a conversation on politics, but I think the variables you refer to are split similarly along the political spectrum. Furthermore, you refer to the dispute over climate-change being real or not, isn’t this yet another issue that is split pretty clearly along the afore mentioned party lines? People over 55 are from a different generation, therefore it may not necessarily be “stubborness” but a generational difference, i.e. today’s younger generations might not be any less stubborn, perhaps they are simply accustomed to having been raised in this sort of culture of acceptance. Also, you don’t debate the validity of any of the reported “men’s” findings. In other words, would you claim that there are NO instances where shopping green really doesn’t make a difference? Please consider for a moment, these questions weren’t asked of people who only purchased, or were exposed to, “genuine” green products (whatever that qualification might entail). Would you deny that many companies out there are simply “green-washing” and hence giving credence to the views that were expressed in this survey? Just something to consider. Perhaps some research into what percentage of companies claiming to be green actually are “green” by some objective criteria, would help illuminate, or refute, the findings of this particular survey… I wouldn’t conclude that the men in this survey are somehow more cynical than the rest, without first trying to understand how wide spread “green-washing” is to begin with. Anyway, those are my ramblings…. thakks for a thought provoking post!

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