Research based mainly on non-national samples reports a greater affinity for animal rights among women than men, and proposes a greater relational role orientation among women that emphasizes caring for others to explain this difference. Using a recent national sample comprised of 11% African American and 89% white American respondents, we find that a relational role orientation fails to account for women’s greater support of animal rights. It does provide minor help in distinguishing animal rights advocates from nonadvocates, but only among women and only on one of two measures of animal rights support. We conclude by proposing women’s structural locations as well as the interplay between these locations and women’s role socialization as alternate explanations for gender differences in affinity for animal rights.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 2, 2008
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