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Gender perspective on the factors predicting recycling behavior: Implications from the theory of planned behavior.

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to assess the role of some socio-psychological attributes in explaining recycling behavior of Turkish university community from a gender perspective within the context of the theory of planned behavior with an additional variable (past experience). The recycling behavior of whole sample, females and males, has been examined in 3 sessions -depending on the arguments that explain gendered pattern of private and public environmental behavior and sticking to the fact why females' stronger environmental values, beliefs, and attitudes do not translate consistently into greater engagement in public behavior. As a result of model runs, different variables shaping intention for behavior have been found, namely perceived behavior control for females and past behavior for males. Due to the low percent of the variance in explaining recycling behavior of females, they have been identified as the ones who do not carry out intentions (non-recyclers). Since intentions alone are capable of identifying recyclers accurately but not non-recyclers, there may be other factors to be considered to understand the reason for females not carrying out the intentions. The results of descriptive statistics supported the identification by attitudes toward recycling. Female attitudes were innate (recycling is good, necessary, useful and sensitive), whereas those of males were learnt (recycling is healthy, valuable and correct). Thus, it has been concluded that males' intention for recycling is shaped by their past behavior and the conclusion is supported by males having learnt attitude toward recycling whereas females' lack of intention for recycling is shaped by their perceived behavior control and is supported by their innate attitude for recycling. All in all, the results of the present study provide further support for the utility of the TPB as a model of behavioral prediction and concur with other studies examining the utility of the TPB in the context of recycling.