Gender Difference in the Health Risk Perception of Radiation from Fukushima in Japan: The Role of Hegemonic Masculinity


Morioka, Rika. 2014. “Gender Difference in the Health Risk Perception of Radiation from Fukushima in Japan: The Role of Hegemonic Masculinity.” Social Science & Medicine 107 (April): 105–12. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.014.

Author: Rika Morioka


This paper presents the preliminary findings of gender difference in the perception of radiation risk in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. In-depth interviews were conducted with the residents of Fukushima and other parts of Japan in November 2011 and July 2012. Compared to mothers, fathers in general expressed less concern for radiation. Fathers prioritized their responsibilities as the breadwinner for their families and saw radiation risk as a threat to economic stability and masculine identity. As a result, mothers' health concerns were dismissed, and they were prevented from taking preventive actions. The social norms in the dominant institutions such as corporations and the government influenced men's perception of radiation risk. The findings illustrate the importance of sociocultural context in which meanings of health risk are constructed.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Health Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2014

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at