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ERIC Number: EJ939408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Student Attitudes on Animal Sentience and Use of Animals in Society
Phillips, C. J. C.; McCulloch, S.
Journal of Biological Education, v40 n1 p17-24 2005
Cultural differences in students' attitudes towards animals need to be better understood and respected in order to promote tolerance in multicultural biological education. A cross-cultural study was conducted to investigate the beliefs of 425 students of different nationalities on animal sentience and attitudes towards the uses of animals. European students and, to some extent, those from the USA were less likely to condone cruelty to animals on farms than students from Asian countries. Students from Europe had more concern for suffering during life than students from Asia, but there was no difference in the extent of reverence for animal life. Female students had both more concern for animal suffering during life, and a greater concern for the reverence of animal life than males, but there were no gender differences in sentience attributed to the different animal species. Teacher awareness of these cultural and gender differences should engender tolerance towards different students' attitudes to the use of animals in education. The order of sentience across nationalities that was attributed to different species was monkey greater than dog greater than newborn baby greater than fox greater than pig greater than chicken greater than rat greater than fish. Correlations between animal sentience and attitudes towards the uses of animals showed that the students opposing, or advocating constraints on, the use of animals in society attributed more sentience to those animals. This reinforces concern by some students, e.g. of veterinary medicine, about the use of dogs for terminal surgery practicals. It is concluded that teacher recognition of students' perceptions of animal suffering, their reverence for animal life and attribution of sentience to different species is important in ensuring that the use of animals in education is in harmony with the students' beliefs and concerns. (Contains 6 tables, 3 footnotes and 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States