Disease stresses and cross-national variations in gender difference in pro-environmental behavior

[Speaker] Pong, Vivien:1
[Co-author] Chan, Hoi-wing:1, Tam, Kim-pong:1
1:Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)

Infectious diseases in a region create threats to personal safety and lead to restrictive social institution to protect the survival of the members in the region. Such institution reinforces norms and limits value expression. As a result, behaviors tend to have less variation within the region regardless of the social group to which one belongs. This framework could be applied to understanding cross-national gender differences in pro-environmental behavior. We proposed that the presence of disease stress in a country leads to a smaller gender difference in performing private pro-environmental behavior. With two international survey datasets (ISSP, 2010 and Voice of the People, 2007), we found the expected pattern where the gender difference is smaller in countries that face a higher level of disease stress. We suggest that ecological environment and contextual stresses should be considered as a source of influence in intergroup differences on various issues.
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