Animal Studies Bibliography

Floyd, H. Hugh, William B. Bankston, and Richard A. Burgesion. 1986. An examination of the effects of young adults social experience on their attitudes toward hunting and hunters. Journal of Sport Behavior 9: 116-130.

The extent of support and opposition to hunting is unclear, but a 1979 study estimated that 1/4 of the American public opposed, 1/4 supported and the other half were in-between. Previous (unpublished) research has found significant sex differences and rural-urban differences, and there have been mixed results of occupational differences. Socialization is one of the major ways we form values and attitudes. This occurs especially through reference groups, primarily parents in your early years and peer groups later.

Hypotheses : (1) Males, rural residents, blue collar family members, and extensive primary group affiliation will be associated with high rates of hunting participation. (2) Males will have more positive attitudes toward hunting and hunters and will have more general and hunt-specific wildlife knowledge. (3) Rural residents will score higher on all 4 DVs. (4) People from blue collar families will score higher on all 4 DVs. (5) Hunters will score higher than non-hunters on all 4 DVs. (6) People with high primary group affiliation with hunting will score higher on all 4 DVs.

Independent variables/operational definitions : Sex; city size (< 2500, 2500 to 25,000, 25,000 or more, or New Orleans metro area); father's occupation (blue collar, skilled crafts, managerial-clerical, professional); extent of primary group affiliation with hunting (whether each of 8 people--father, mother, sibling, friend, etc.--hunts or did while subject was growing up: 0-4 = low, 5-8 = high).

Dependent variables/operational definitions : attitudes toward hunting, attitudes toward hunters (both indexes); general knowledge of wildlife ecology, hunt-specific knowledge of wildlife ecology (both the number of correct responses to relevant questions; for the latter e.g. hunting for sport has led to the extinction of some wildlife species; the hunting of game animals reduces their likelihood of starvation and disease)

Findings : The number of subjects in the sample who hunted was 2.5 times the national average and was greater in every category of sex, city size, and occupation. Women in the sample hunted 4 times more than they do nationally, and urban people 3 times more. 71% of males and 33% of females hunted. An inverse relationship was found between city size and hunting participation. Hunting participation increased for each increase in family and friends' participation. There was no noticeable effect of father's occupation on hunting participation. Sex, city size, and primary group affiliation together accounted for 25% of the variation. This supports a model identified by previous literature with hunting participation as an intervening variable. Extent of primary group affiliation and participation in hunting significantly affected attitudes toward hunting. Sex, city size, and father's occupation had no significant effect on attitudes. Although not statistically significant, it is interesting to note that males had more positive attitudes toward hunting than females, but the difference disappeared after controlling the other variables. Also interestingly, while rural residents scored higher than the mean and New Orleans residents scored lower, one controls were added, they reversed positions, with New Orleans residents the most positive of all about hunting. Thus sex and residence area differences in hunting attitudes are not actually there. City size, participation in hunting, and primary group affiliation affected attitudes toward hunters, while sex and father's occupation had not effect. Participation and group affiliation explained the most. Contrary to predictions, approval of hunters increased with increased city size. Again, there is a supressor relationship between city size and attitudes, and a spurious one with sex and attitudes. City size, participation, and primary group affiliation were significantly associated with general wildlife knowledge, while sex and father's occupation were not. New Orleans residents and others in cities of over 25,000 had greater wildlife knowledge than people from less populous cities, and participation and high primary group affiliations produced more knowledge. Participation and primary group affiliation were associated with hunt-specific wildlife knowledge, and none of the other variables produced significant relationships. The more positive attitudes found in this study than in others suggest that because of the greater than average participation in hunting in the area, a general acceptance of the values may have occurred. It appears that attitudes toward hunting and hunters are explained by socialization and integration into the hunting subculture rather than demographic characteristics.

Sample/population sampled : 415 students in intro. sociology classes at 3 universities in Southeastern Louisiana. 60% female.



Visit the Michigan State University Homepage Return to the Animal Studies Homepage