Several theories have been presented that predict differences between women and men in attitudes toward the environment due to differences in sex roles. Research on which these theories can be tested has tended to examine general environmental concern, and the results have generally been weak and inconclusive. Using an approach suggested in the literature, this study examines sex differences in concern and knowledge, using multi-item scales for each, about one environmental issue — acid rain. The results contradict the theories being tested, however: if there is a sex difference, men are found to be more concerned and knowledgeable about the environmental problem.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Anderson, A. B., Basilevsky, A. & Hum, D. P. J. Measurement: Theory and techniques. In P. H. Rossi, J. D. Wright, & A. B. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Survey Research. New York: Academic Press, 1983.
Arbuthnot, J. The roles of attitudinal and personality variables in the prediction of environmental behavior and knowledge. Environment and Behavior, 1977, 9, 217–232.
Arcury, T. A., Johnson, T. P. & Scollay, S. J. Ecological world view and environmental knowledge: An examination of the “New Environmental Paradigm.” Journal of Environmental Education, forthcoming.
Barbour, I. Technology, environment, and human values. New York: Praeger, 1980.
Brody, C. J. Differences by sex in support for nuclear power. Social Forces, 1984, 63, 209–228
Catton, C. J., Jr., & Dunlap, R. E. Environmental sociology: A paradigm. The American Sociologist, 1978, 13, 41–49.
Council on Environmental Quality. Public opinion on environmental issues: Results of a national public opinion survey. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1980.
Cowan, R. S. From Virginia Dare to Virginia Slims: Women and technology in American life. Technology and Culture, 1979, 20, 51–63.
Dunlap, R. E. & Catton, W. E., Jr. Environmental sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 1979, 5, 243–273.
Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975.
Gray, E. D. Why the green nigger? Wellesley, MA: Roundtable, 1979.
Lounsbury, J. W., & Torantzky, L. G. A scale for assessing attitudes toward environmental quality. Journal of Social Psychology, 1977, 101, 299–305.
Lowe, G. D., Pinhey, T. K., & Grimes, M. D. Public support for environmental protection: New evidence from national surveys. Pacific Sociological Review, 1980, 23, 423–445.
Maloney, M. P., & Ward, M. P. Ecology: Let's hear from the people: An objective scale for the measurement of ecological attitudes and knowledge. American Psychologist, 1973, 28, 583–586.
McEvoy, J., III. The American concern with the environment. In W. B. Burch, Jr., N. H. Cheek, & L. Taylor (Eds.), Social behavior, natural resources, and the environment. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.
McStay, J. R., & Dunlap, R. E. Male-female differences in concern for environmental quality. International Journal of Women's Studies, 1983, 6, 291–301.
Merchant, C. The death of nature: Women, ecology and the scientific revolution. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
Passino, E. M., & Lounsbury, J. W. Sex differences in opposition to and support for construction of a proposed nuclear power plant. In L. M. Ward, S. Coren, A. Gruft, & J. B. Collings (Eds.), The behavioral basis of design, Book I. Stroudsburg, PA: Dowden, Hutchinson, and Ross, 1976.
Ramsey, C. E., & Rickson, R. E. Environmental knowledge and attitudes. Journal of Environmental Education, 1976, 8, 10–18.
Reuther, R. R. New women, new earth. New York: Seabury, 1975.
Tognacci, L. N., Weigel, R. H., Widen, M. F., & Vernon, D. T. A. Environmental quality: How universal is public concern? Environment and Behavior, 1972, 4, 73–86.
Van Liere, K. D., & Dunlap R. E. The social bases of environmental concern: A review of hypotheses, explanations, and empirical evidence. Public Opinion Quarterly, 1980, 44, 181–197.
Waksberg, J. Sampling methods for random digit dialing. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1978, 73, 40–46.
About this article
Cite this article
Arcury, T.A., Scollay, S.J. & Johnson, T.P. Sex differences in environmental concern and knowledge: The case of acid rain. Sex Roles 16, 463–472 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00292481
- Social Psychology
- Environmental Problem
- Environmental Issue
- Environmental Concern
- Acid Rain