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20.7: Animal Research

  • Page ID
    2529
  • Skills to Develop

    • Gender difference in attitudes toward the use of animals in research

    animals.jpg

    Research conducted by

    Nicole Hilliard, Faculty Advisor: Heidi Ziemer

    Case study prepared by

    Emily Zitek 

    Overview

    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?

    Design Issues 

    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

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Description of Variables

    Variable Description
    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

    Data Files

    Animals.xls

    References

    • Eldridge, J.J. & Gluck, J.P. (1996) Gender differences in attitudes toward animal research. Ethics & Behavior, 6(3), 239-256.
    • 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.

    Contributor

    • Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study (http://onlinestatbook.com/). Project Leader: David M. Lane, Rice University.