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Biology and being green: The effect of prenatal testosterone exposure on pro-environmental consumption behaviour


  • Hand, Chris


Differences between men and women in terms of pro-environmental behaviour have been attributed to differences in perceived threats to gender identity; pro-environmental behaviours being viewed as more feminine than masculine. Conversely, if pro-environmental behaviour is framed in terms of competition with peers, men might be expected to engage more than women. This paper explores how far such behaviours are related to a suggested source of gender related attitude/behaviour differences: pre-natal exposure to testosterone and estrogen, employing a suggested biomarker, the ratio of the length of the second and fourth digits of the hand (2D,4D). A stratified sample of UK households containing 880 adults (400 male and 480 female) drawn from the Understanding Society Survey Innovation Panel is used. A small but significant difference between men's and women's environmental behaviour is found whilst greater engagement with pro-environmental behaviour is associated with more masculine ratio in men, but not women.

Suggested Citation

  • Hand, Chris, 2020. "Biology and being green: The effect of prenatal testosterone exposure on pro-environmental consumption behaviour," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 619-626.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:120:y:2020:i:c:p:619-626
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.02.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jūratė Banytė & Laura Šalčiuvienė & Aistė Dovalienė & Žaneta Piligrimienė & Włodzimierz Sroka, 2020. "Sustainable Consumption Behavior at Home and in the Workplace: Avenues for Innovative Solutions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(16), pages 1-24, August.

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