Exploring the gender gap and the impact of residential location on environmental risk tolerance

Marc D. Weiner, Timothy D. MacKinnon, Michael R. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


To explore the effects of the gender gap and differences in residential location on environmental risk tolerance, we analyze data from the US general population and from households living with 50 miles of a US nuclear facility. We hypothesize that a potentially hazardous facility in close proximity to a residential community generates a constant risk signal that conditions and desensitizes that local population, causing the gender gap to converge and causing overall higher risk tolerance levels. We find support for this "context matters" hypothesis, i.e., that in environmentally stressed communities, the gender gap does converge, and males and females exhibit approximately equal levels of risk tolerance greater than those in non-stressed communities. We conclude that when modeling environmental risk tolerance both gender and place of residence should be considered potentially meaningful explanatory variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


  • Environmental risk tolerance
  • Gender gap
  • Priming experiment
  • Residential location effect
  • Stressed location

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