Gendered Decision-Making Practices in Alaska's Dynamic Mountain Environments? A study of Professional Mountain Guides.

Author:

Walker, E. & Latsuo, E.

Editor:

First

Date:

2015

Region:

North America

Theme:

Gender and Other Natural Hazards

Language:

English

Publisher:

Elsevier

Full Harvard Reference:

Walker, E. & Latsuo, E. (2015). Gendered Decision-Making Practices in Alaska's Dynamic Mountain Environments? A study of Professional Mountain Guides. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism 13. p18-22.

This study focuses on the gendered decision-making practices of mountain guides in Alaska, who’s decisions in a high risk and unpredictable environment have life-or-death consequences. Walker and Latosuo carried out a survey on the mountain guides working on Denali (the highest peak in North America) to better understand the influence of an individual's gender identity on their decision-making and risk tolerance. Results show that while there is no statistical difference between the personal risk tolerance levels of male and female Denali guides, but female backcountry partners are perceived to have a lower risk tolerance. The study’s results suggest that the guides are potentially susceptible to the ‘gender heuristic gap’, meaning that if a male and female guide are working together, the male guide may rely on the female guide to speak up when encountering risky situations.