Gender Differences in Pro-Environmental Intentions: A Cross-National Perspective on the Influence of Self-Enhancement Values and Views on Technology


  • Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Catherine Mobley, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 132 Brackett Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-1325, USA; tel: +1 864 656 3815; e-mail:


While many studies have addressed the complex relationship between gender and environmental constructs, few have attempted to determine just how gender influences environmentalism. We argue that the interaction of gender with other sociocultural variables must be examined. Our study includes two of these variables: technological values and self-enhancement values. Study results indicate that the effect of gender on environmental intentions is moderated by these two variables. This is established in a multicountry study of college students in the United States, Canada, and Germany. In examining willingness to change consumption behaviors, when controlling for self-enhancement or technological values, the gender effect holds only when there are high scores for the other variable. When technological or self-enhancement scores are low, men and women are equally willing to change their intentions. The gender by technology effect was moderated somewhat by country. Thus, gender alone does not function independently in its impact on respondents’ willingness to change consumption behaviors. The study results have implications for future research on the relationship between gender and environmentalism and for environmental education efforts.