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To examine the relationship among gender, sex role orientation, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals, 144 male and 222 female college students were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, a Likert-scale questionnaire designed to assess attitudes toward animal welfare issues, and a measure of perceived comfort touching animals of a variety of species. There were significant gender differences on all of the animal-related measures with the exception of self-reported comfort touching positively perceived animals. Gender and the expressive (feminine) dimension of sex role orientation accounted for a significant proportion of the variation in attitudes toward animal welfare issues and comfort with other species. Correlations between the masculine and feminine dimensions of sex role orientation were related in opposite directions on all animal attitude measures.


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