Animal Studies Bibliography

Herzog, Jr., Harold A., Nancy S. Betchart, and Robert B. Pittman. 1991. Gender, sex role orientation, and attitudes toward animals. Anthrozoos 4: 184-191.

Previous research has shows considerable gender gaps in attitudes toward, ethical concerns regarding, fear of, knowledge of, and behavior toward animals. What has not been studied, however, is how these differences are produced by gender and sex role factors.

Hypotheses : Both the instrumental (masculine) and the expressive (feminine) dimensions of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) will be related to attitudes toward animal use and animal suffering, willingness to actively help animals in distress, and degree of comfort in touch various species. There will be a positive relationship between concern about animal treatment and degree of comfort with animals.

Independent variables/operational definitions : gender and sex role orientations, measured using BSRI (high on both dimensions is androgynous and flexible, low on both is undifferentiated)

Dependent variables/operational definitions : Animal Attitude Scale--29 Likert-style items assessing tendency to take action to further the welfare of mistreated animals (e.g. stop car to help injured dog, sign petition for animal welfare laws) and ethics about animal treatment (use in research, hunting, etc.); higher scores indicate greater concern for animal welfare; Comfort Scale--how comfortable Rs reported feeling touching 15 species (butterfly, hamster, canary, earthworm, nonpoisonous spider, kitten, toad, duck, horse, harmless snake, mouse, turtle, large dog, chicken, bat), from very comfortable to very uncomfortable; higher scores indicate greater comfort with animals; subscales of positively and negatively perceived animals from the 15

Findings : Gender differences were highly significant on all attitude measures except comfort touching positively perceived animals. Males were less concerned about animal welfare (both in terms of taking action and in ethical views) than were females. Women showed more discomfort touching negatively perceived animals (snakes, etc.). Women's comfort with horses and dogs were significantly higher than males'. There was a strong correlation between willingness to take action to help animals and ethical concern for animals and a moderate positive correlation between comfort with positively and negatively perceived animals. The Animal Attitude Scale and the Comfort scale, surprisingly, did not correlate. The correlation between gender-related variables (gender and 2 BSRI dimensions) and attitude scores was .47. Using the gender-related variables as predictor variables found that the 3 predicted small but significant parts of the variation on willingness to take action, ethics, the overall Animal Attitude Scale, and comfort with negatively perceived animals. Most of these were best predicted by gender and the BSRI Feminine Score. The BSRI Masculine scale was significant for predicting ethical views. The masculine and feminine scores were related to all dependent variables in opposite directions. Gender-related variables did not predict comfort with positively perceived animals. Feminine orientation was associated with greater care for animals and negatively associated with comfort with animals, especially negatively perceived ones. This suggests that nurturance-expressive personality traits are more related to care for animals than are dominance-instrumental ones. Explanations for this difference could include socialization, evolutionary factors, or moral reasoning style. Further research must expand to more diverse populations. Also, since gender variables left 90% of the variance unexplained, much more work must be done.

Sample/population sampled : 144 male and 222 female undergrads from intro. psych. and bio. classes at three North Carolina colleges; vast majority were white and Southern; 42% rural, 37% suburban, 15% urban



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