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Gender and Disasters

  • By: Patric R. Spence & Kenneth Lachlan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

In general, women are more likely to plan for and evacuate during a disaster than men. Women tend to perceive disaster situations or threats more seriously than men, thereby heightening their perceptions of risk, especially if a family member is in potential harm. Women are also more likely to respond to incentives to evacuate (factors that increase the probability that a threatened individual will comply with evacuation warnings), and this is hypothesized to promote planning.

Gender Differences in Seeking Information

Differences based on gender have emerged in information-seeking after disasters. These differences appear to indicate a pattern that could be potentially useful, such as for risk message creation and broadcast. After September 11, 2001, research revealed that radio and television were perceived as most useful to women. ...

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