A new survey finds that women in the United States donate an average of 5,400 pounds of clothing a year to charity.
But women in general are less likely to donate than men.
The data comes from a survey of more than 6,000 Americans conducted by the non-profit organization Equality Matters, which has partnered with Amazon to donate clothing through its Women’s Clothing Donation Program.
According to the study, one in five women who donate clothes said they didn’t have the money to do so, and more than two-thirds of women (69%) said they were unsure whether they were donating because of a financial situation.
More than half of women, 56%, also said they felt pressured to donate because of their age or financial status.
“We think the way that women feel about clothing is much more positive than men do,” said Sarah J. Martin, an assistant professor at The George Washington University’s School of Women’s and Gender Studies and the study’s lead author.
“And so that may be because men tend to have a more emotional response to clothing, and they might not necessarily have the same emotional response for clothing that women do.”
According to Equality Matters’ survey, more than half (54%) of women said they would prefer to donate to charity with a higher standard of care, including the need to take extra care with clothing and a higher priority on quality.
That’s in stark contrast to just 12% of men.
A similar proportion of men (58%) said that they would donate more money to charity if they knew they were not going to get the same amount back.
Men also tend to donate more when they have an older age bracket, or a higher income, or an older race, gender or sexual orientation, than women.
Women are also more likely to give to charity when they know they can receive a larger donation.
Only 29% of women who give to a charity that requires an average donation of $2,000 said they’d rather receive $5,000.
Only 24% of white women and 13% of Hispanic women would prefer $20,000 to $50,000, compared to only 5% of black women and 6% of Asian women.
And when it comes to donations from other women, women are more likely than men to say they would rather donate to a local, nonprofit, or nonprofit with a lower standard of quality.
For instance, more men than women (49%) would rather give to an organization that requires the minimum donation of a dollar, compared with 22% of those who would prefer a charity with no minimum.
The study’s results are likely to fuel more discussion around women’s empowerment and how women are perceived to donate, said Dr. Martin.
“We are so used to seeing men as doing all the work, and we have a perception that women are just taking care of things for them,” she said.
“It seems like we need to change that perception to see that women really are contributing.”