China represents the third largest economy and the highest level of national carbon dioxide emissions when compared to other nations across the globe. Yet, little social science research has focused on the environmentally oriented behaviors of Chinese nationals, key to understanding levels of environmental impact. This study examines, in China, gender differences in environmentally oriented behaviors, environmental knowledge, and general environmental concern. Making use of path analyses, we identify a pattern of gender differences similar to common findings in the West: women demonstrated greater participation in environmental behaviors inside of the home (e.g., recycling), while outside of the home (e.g., environmental organization donations) no gendered patterns were exhibited. However, Chinese women expressed lower levels of concern than men—a finding opposite of most Western studies. Also distinct from other settings, in China, higher levels of knowledge regarding environmental issues did, indeed, translate into pro-environmental behaviors—thereby not exhibiting the knowledge-behavior gap demonstrated elsewhere.
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The New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) Scale was originally developed by Dunlap and Van Liere in 1978 and has 12 items measuring three aspects of the NEP, “limits to growth,” “anti-anthropocentrism,” and “balance of nature.” Dunlap and colleague revised this scale in 2000. The new version includes 15 items and adds measures for two additional aspects, “human exemptionalism” and “possibility of eco-crisis”.
Normally such a situation would call for a confirmatory factor analysis. However, with only three data points each, these items are not suitable for confirmatory factor analysis (see Bollen 1989). Similarly, the ten items of environmental knowledge are also not suitable.
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Xiao, C., Hong, D. Gender differences in environmental behaviors in China. Popul Environ 32, 88–104 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-010-0115-z
- Environmental behavior
- Environmental knowledge
- Environmental concern
- Chinese General Social Survey