Gender differences in perceived risk from different hazard types


Morioka (2014) investigated gender differences in risk perception after the Fukushima nuclear accident by conducting in-depth interviews with residents of Japan. Previous studies showed that, after the Fukushima accident, women in Japan showed greater concern regarding the radiation (Marsh Research, 2011, as cited in Morioka, 2014) and greater number of protective behaviour (e.g. caution toward food and drink, less time spent outside; Ibraki University 2011, as cited in Morioka, 2014). According to Morioka (2014), these results reflect the gendered division of labour and unequal positions of men and woman. Women's' social responsibilities dominantly involve domestic activities and concerns about family and health, while men are viewed as breadwinners for the family (Davidson & Freudenburg, 1996). The social role of men, defined that way, is closely related to the cultural/gender role-related concept of masculinity, which lowers the level of perceived risks (Courtenay, 2000). Also, previous studies have shown that while women tend to perceive nuclear power as a threat to the environment, men tend to see it more as a scientific (technological) issue (Davidson & Freudenburg, 1996). Based on those findings, Morioka (2014) expected to find a lower level of perceived risk in Japanese males than in females.

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