Does gender correlate with the importance sportspeople give to protecting the environment?

A survey conducted under the GreenCoach Erasmus+ funded project to staff, players and fans of 5 UEFA Football clubs found that female reponsants care more about protecting the environment than their male fellow respondents.

A survey conducted to 1900 respondents in five countries (Belgium, France, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden) and by the national UEFA Federation representatives in each country was conducted as part of the EU Erasmus+ funded project GreenCoach during the summer of 2020.

While more than 15 questions were surveyed, this article pays special attention to the relation between gender and the importance that the respondents gave to protecting the environment.

To be more specific, the data takes into account the following answers:

  • (1) importance to protect the environment,

  • (2) importance to fight climate change,

  • (3) football should take care of environmental protection in the same way it takes care of other issues (e.g. racism),

  • (4) if I know that a football match is environmentally friendly, I will be happier to attend it.

The respondents had to choose between 4 possible answers: Totally disagree, disagree, indifferent, agree, totally agree. Finally, one should note that the surveys were mostly and largely answered by staff, players, player´s relatives or football fans.

The data in graphs

In order to give a comprehensive outlook at the answers, we hereunder present the data in graphs where values range from 1 (totally agree) to -1 (totally disagree).

As it can be noted, overall, repondants believe that it is important to protect the environment and tackle climate change. Most importantly they also believe that football should take care of the environment the same way it takes care of other issues such as racism.

As a first overview this is important because the graphs could present negative values if reponsants did not agree or completely disagree with the questions they faced.

Focussing on the answers between genders, respondents who identify as females agree more than males on the need to protect the environment, tackle climate change and with the idea that football should take more responsibility to face these challenges.

People who do not identify within this binomium or that prefer not to answer this question are the ones that seem to agree more with the questions posed. This is with the exception of the one that asks whether football should take more care about the proposed issues.

Despite the answers, one should note that these were a large minority accounting only the 0,7% of respondents.

While these answers are only representative of 5 UEFA-linked staff, fans and players, they show a clear tendency where people who identify as females care more about the environment than males.

This is also true for the reported level of happiness when attending a football match that is environmentally friendly. Males tend to report being indifferent on that matter more than females who on average agree more.