Gendered discourse about climate change policies

Authored by: Janet K. Swim,Theresa K. Vescio, Julia L. Dahl and Stephanie J. Zawadzki

Categories: Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: Climate and Environment
Year: January 2018

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Extending theory and research on gender roles and masculinity, this work predicts and finds that common ways of talking about climate change are gendered. Climate change policy arguments that focus on science and business are attributed to men more than to women. By contrast, policy arguments that focus on ethics and environmental justice are attributed to women more than men (Study 1). Men show gender matching tendencies, being more likely to select (Study 2) and positively evaluate (Study 3) arguments related to science and business than ethics and environmental justice. Men also tend to attribute negative feminine traits to other men who use ethics and environmental justice arguments, which mediates the relation between type of argument and men’s evaluation of the argument (Study 3). The gendered nature of public discourse about climate change and the need to represent ethical and environmental justice topics in this discourse are discussed.