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Gender, Scientific Knowledge, and Attitudes toward the Environment: A Cross-National Analysis

Bernadette C. Hayes
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 657-671
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/449275
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/449275
Page Count: 15
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Gender, Scientific Knowledge, and Attitudes toward the Environment: A Cross-National Analysis
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Abstract

As of yet, relatively little information exists regarding gender differences in attitudes toward the environment. This is particularly the case when countries besides the United States and Canada are considered. Furthermore, the information available has proved to be inclusive, with some studies indicating that men are more concerned about the environment than women, others indicating that women are more concerned but only in relation to a narrow range of risk-related environmental issues, and still others finding no significant differences. Using nationally representative survey data from the United States, Great Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, West Germany, East Germany, and Japan, this study investigates gender differences in levels of scientific knowledge and its consequences for attitudes toward general environmental issues. The results suggest that although men and women do differ in terms of their knowledge of scientific matters, this has little or no effect on their attitudes toward the environment. Across a majority of nations, women are not more concerned about environmental issues than men and this lack of relationship holds whether or not differences in levels of scientific knowledge are controlled for in the analysis.

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