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Sex Differences in Valuations of the Environment?

By Margo Wilson, Martin Daly, Stephen Gordon and Adelle Pratt


Sexual selection theory affords a rationale for predicting that men, especially young men, may be more willing than women to risk harms and to discount the future in the pursuit of short-term gains. These propositions apply to many domains of risky behavior, and it is likely that they apply to decisions involving potential harms to the environment and health hazards as well. Two preliminary studies of university subjects ' responses to hypothetical dilemmas that support the predicted sex difference are described. Important understudied questions are, to what extent reckless risk acceptance may be mitigated by material wellbeing, by marriage, and by parenthood. What do people value in their surroundings? Environmental benefits cover a wide spectrum of pleasures and needs: economic and nutritive, aesthetic and recreational, health and safety. To even enumerate the full range of such benefits and to organize them into some sort of meaningful taxonomy is a formidable challenge, let alone prioritizing them or computing their net worth. Economists have approached the question of the value of environmental goods by simply asking people what they would be willing to pay for them, but this i

Year: 2009
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