- Gender difference in attitudes toward the use of animals in research
Research conducted by
Nicole Hilliard, Faculty Advisor: Heidi Ziemer
Case study prepared by
The use of animals in research is a controversial and emotionally charged issue. Personal feelings regarding the use of animals in research vary widely. While many believe that the use of animals in research has been and continues to be essential, others want the practice stopped by cutting off funding or the passing of legislative restrictions. Research on human attitudes toward the use of animals in research has consistently shown systematic differences of opinion with gender differences among the largest.
In this study, a convenience sample of \(34\) University of Houston - Downtown students completed a simple survey that asked their gender and how much they agreed with the following two statements: "The use of animals in research is wrong," and "The use of animals in research is necessary". They rated their agreement with each of these statements on a \(7\)-point scale from strongly disagree (\(1\)) to strongly agree (\(7\)).
Questions to Answer
Is there a gender difference with respect to the belief that animal research is wrong? Is there a gender difference with respect to the belief that animal research is necessary?
This is self-report data. It is possible that the willingness to admit to thinking animal research is wrong or necessary is what differs by gender, not how the participants actually feel.
Descriptions of Variables
|Gender||1 = female, 2 = male|
|Wrong||high scores indicate that the participant believes that animal research is wrong|
|Necessary||high scores indicate that the participant believes that animal research is necessary|
American Association for the Advancement of Science
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- Nickell, D & Herzog, H.A. (1996). Ethical ideology and moral persuasion: Personal moral philosophy, gender, and judgements of pro- and anti-animal research propaganda. Society & Animals, 4(1), 53-64.
- Pifer, L. K. (1996). Exploring the gender gap in young adults’ attitudes about animal research. Society & Animals, 4(1), 37-52.
- Wuensch, K. L. & Poteat, G.M. (1998). Evaluating the morality of animal research: Effects of ethical ideology, gender, and purpose. Journal of Social Behavior & Personality, 13(1), 139-151.