Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Sociology

Major Professor

Stephanie A. Bohon

Committee Members

Robert E. Jones, R. Scott Frey, Damayanti Banerjee, Priscilla Blanton

Abstract

In this study I examine the relationship between environmental attitudes and gender. First, I explore variations across previous studies to determine patterns regarding gender differences in levels of environmental concern. Second, I look at the mediating effects of gender and several socio-demographic characteristics (age, race, class, education, political orientation, residence, martial status, number of children, religious identification, and scientific knowledge) on a variety of measures of environmental concern to assess the extent to which gender operates through other variables as it predicts levels of environmental concern. Third, I look at the moderating effects of gender on the same list of socio-demographic characteristics to determine the extent to which gender intersects with other variables to shape environmental attitudes.

I conduct a systematic review of literature using 22 peer reviewed journal articles, which include 128 measures of environmental concern, published between 1995 and 2010. I also test for mediating and moderating effects of gender and various socio-demographic characteristics on 14 measures of environmental concern using data from two sources: the General Social Survey Environment II: 2000 questionnaire and the American National Election Study 2008 Times Series Pre-election Survey. To test for mediating and moderating effects I employee several methodological techniques including principal component analysis, model building, linear regression techniques, and non-parametric regression methods.

The results of this study show that, in general, women do express a greater concern for the environment than men. However, gender in conjunction with other socio-demographic characteristics has the potential to produce different effects than when gender is considered alone. This study supports the idea that the intersectionality of gender and other socio-demographic characteristics is of great importance and should not be ignored.

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