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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Masculinities and environment.

Abstract

This review article supports researchers and practitioners to strengthen attention to variously positioned men and masculine identities in order to increase the rigour of empirical research and to enhance outcomes of work addressing environmental issues. Masculinities interact with other factors to shape patterns of environmental management and to influence responses to environmental challenges; at the same time, human-environment dynamics produce differing expressions and experiences of masculinity. Yet, environmental initiatives implemented in many contexts and scales have been hindered by lack of attention to gendered conditions, identities and expectations associated with diversely positioned men. Theoretically, studies gathered here strive to overcome these limitations by applying concepts of plural masculinities, intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity. Methodologically, this body of work challenges universalizing stereotypes about men by situating empirical studies in specific sociocultural, ethnoracial, ecological and geographical contexts around the world. The 160 publications reviewed here illuminate three realms: productive enterprises including logging, mining, petroleum exploitation, ranching and agroindustry; lifeways and attitudes involving care for health, families and nature; and environmental crises, from disasters to refugees and climate change. Evidence in each realm suggests that some masculine-identified behaviours, attitudes and resources are intertwined with environmentally destructive processes, while others support, or can support, moves toward dynamics that are healthier for humans and non-human nature. After considering skills, tools and frameworks for further research and practice, die review ends with a look at challenges of developing more systemic approaches to gender and environment.

CAB Review details