Individual and context factors determine gender-specific behaviour: the case of school milk in Germany
A German federal research was established to analyse determinants on school milk demand. Among those, individual factors, like children’s eating habits, attitudes, preferences and socio-economic variables were considered but also contextual factors like attitudes and habits of class teachers and school variables were regarded; and more, price effects on demand were derived via a price experiment. As girls order significantly less school milk than boys this paper aims to analysis gender-specific decisions. In the analysis, a database is used in which individual order information are merged with survey results concerning pupils, parents, class teachers, school principals and school milk managers of the sampled schools. A multilevel analysis is applied, because included explanatory variables of gender-specific school milk orders can be assigned to different groups (individual, class, school, price phase) in which the independence of variable distributions may be hampered; whereas equations are established as ordinary logistic function. Estimates for both genders comprise individual factors affecting positively the school milk orders like e.g., the provision of school milk free of charge, or when pupils think that `milk tastes good´ and contextual factors such as their class teachers’ involvement. Gender-specific distinctions cover e.g., the fact that male pupils have a higher probability to order school milk and react to price incentives. Concerning the context variables, boys react to teachers and principal attitudes. In contrast, with girls prices have a very limited impact, but their parents and teachers are regarded as role models. Girls prefer more choices in product differentiation. These results indicate gender-specific programs integrating their family and teachers, and a wider range of product choices.
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