Boys are less green than girls

26th September 1997 at 01:00
Teenage boys are less environmentally conscious than girls. Like the girls they care about the destruction of tropical forests, global warming and acid rain. But they are less likely to recycle material and less concerned about animals. They also attach less importance to buying environmentally-friendly goods.

A study by Bob Campbell and Fu-hui Chang of the University of York also suggests that 15 and 16-year-olds in the UK are less worried about the environment than Taiwanese teenagers. But the authors point out that it was the UK boys' more negative attitude towards the environment that accounted for the differences between the two countries.

Campbell and Chang drew their findings from a questionnaire survey of 308 pupils in seven UK schools and 201 pupils in four Taiwanese schools. The survey showed that Taiwanese boys and girls were equally conscious of environmental issues and were more concerned than the British about wastage of water and energy.

But Campbell and Chang add that it is relatively easy to work out why water and energy conservation should be a higher priority in Taiwan. "Water shortages are not uncommon in Taiwan ... In the UK, despite recent droughts, the concern is not so prominent. Similarly, Taiwan has a restricted electricity generation capacity and power reductions or cuts are not unusual. This illustrates the importance of context."

"Young people's attitude towards the environment", by Bob Campbell and Fu-hui Chang, Department of Educational Studies, York University

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