"Environmental sensitivity (Chawla, 1998) - "a predisposition to take an interest in learning about the environment, feeling concern for it, and acting to conserve it on the basis of formative experience" is an integrative construct which characterizes persons' general pro-environmental orientation (environmentalism). It can be operationalized through various indicators (environmental awareness, interest in environment, environmental concern, emotional involvement etc.). Determinants of environmental sensitivity include cultural, socio-structural, group-level and individual factors. Both mother language and gender are among the determinants of the relative position of a person in the concrete socio-cultural symbolic landscape, which shape his/her socialization towards certain attitudes and beliefs. Zelezny et al. (2000) explain consistent gender differences in environmentalism with different role expectations and socialization traditions for men and women. According to Kalof et al (2002) gender differences in environmentalism reflect real and symbolic asymmetry between categorical groups in the society. Subordinate groups tend to be more environmentally sensitive and express stronger beliefs and attitudes associated with environmentalism due to their greater vulnerability and having less power. Valuing altruism, solidarity, common resources and public goods is therefore significant for them.Th paper has two aims: 1) to compare the profiles of environmental sensitivity among 2 cultural communities (Estonians and local non-Estonians and 2) to analyze gender differences in environmentalism as moderated by culture. In our study the hypothesis of asymmetry (Kalof et al., 2002) is tested along 2 dimensions: language (Estonian as the dominant language) and gender (supposed male dominance). According to the hypothesis, subdominant social groups express greater environmental sensitivity compared to the dominant groups. The context: Estonia is a small (population 1, 4 m) country with low density of population (31 p/sq km). Compared to other industrialized countries it has relatively well preserved natural environment (forests cover nearly 50% of its territory). Natural environments (landscapes) have cultural significance. Due to the recession of industrial and agricultural production the level of human environmental impact has diminished. The standard of living is relatively low. Estonian ethnic stereotype includes environmental sensitivity as a component, traditions of rural sustainable lifestyle are partly preserved. Majority of non-Estonians live in the cities and have less practical contacts with the nature. The data is based on a national survey. The sample (N=987) represents age, sex and territorial distribution of the population of Estonia. Self-administered questionnaires in Estonian and Russian languages were used. Multi-item measures of environmental sensitivity were grouped into the following blocks: attitudes and beliefs concerning natural environment (e.g. emotional involvement with nature, perceived restorative qualities of forest, biospheric values), attitudes and beliefs concerning environmental protection issues (e.g. several scales of environmental concern, NEP scale) and attitudes towards environmentally responsible activities (e.g. behavior intentions, perceived social norm, knowledge of environmental consequences, self-reported habitual behavior). In addition, several psychological measures and the short version of Schwartz's value scale (SVS) were used. All measures are based on previously validated scales. Comparison of various indices of environmental sensitivity among Estonians and Russian speaking non-Estonians shows that these groups have different profiles. Estonians are characterized by a more rational and pragmatic attitude towards nature. They are more anthropocentric, regarding nature as a resource. Environmental problems are more often treated from the viewpoint of technological optimism. Estonians believe more in the effectiveness of individual pro-environmental measures and are more ready to overcome barriers to pro-environmental activities. When controlling for the effect of place of residence (urban-rural), there were no difference in the frequency of habitual pro-environmental behaviors between the groups. Non-Estonians are characterized by a more emotional relation to nature, they experience more intensely the restorative quality of nature, they are less pragmatic and more idealistic in their beliefs concerning man-environment relations, they are more ready to act pro-environmentally. On the whole, the profile of environmental sensitivity of Estonians is more concrete, pragmatic and practical, among non-Estonians it is relatively abstract, emotional and idealistic. Hypothesis of greater overall environmental sensitivity of non-Estonians was not confirmed. Men and women had also different patterns of environmental sensitivity. As hypothesized, gender differences among Estonians were more pronounced than among non-Estonians. Theoretical implications of the results will be discussed."