Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37                 www.brill.nl/soanCan Attitudes About Animal Neglect Be Differentiated  ...
22                B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37for the perpetrator of the abuse. Participants also rec...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37           23   It should be noted that these two factors (cruelty and ne...
24                 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37animals to fight; and (d) killing or hurting an animal ...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37            25  Table 1. Items Loading on the Cruelty and Neglect Subscal...
26                 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 1. (cont.)16 How much would it bother you to thi...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37             27                   Table 2. Three Factor Solution for Men ...
28                       B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Factor IIIKilling stockKilling wild animalKillin...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37           29and “encouraging or causing animals to fight one another”; al...
30                 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 3. (cont.)                                      ...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37             31          Table 4. Bivariate Correlations Among Subscales ...
32                          B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 5. (cont.)                             ...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37            33As was the case with men, among women three items relating ...
34                B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37harm—such as leaving an animal in a locked car on a war...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37            35has indicated that attitude-behavior consistency is greates...
36                  B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37suffering. This factor may shed light on the findings o...
B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37                        37Cooke, R., & Sheeran, P. (2004). Moderation of ...
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Can attitudes about animal neglect be diff erentiated

  1. 1. Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 www.brill.nl/soanCan Attitudes About Animal Neglect Be Differentiated From Attitudes About Animal Abuse? Bill C. Henry Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Metropolitan State College of Denver, PO Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217, USA henrybi@mscd.edu Sent 18 July 2008, Accepted 25 September 2008AbstractThe past decade has seen an increase in interest relating to the correlates and determinants ofattitudes about nonhuman animals, especially attitudes about the use or abuse of animals. How-ever, little research has explicitly addressed individual differences in attitudes about the neglectof animals. The current study employs a factor-analytic approach to explore (a) whether attitudesabout animal neglect can be reliably differentiated from attitudes about animal abuse and(b) whether the relationship between attitudes about animal neglect and animal abuse differs asa function of gender. Results indicated that attitudes about abuse and neglect can be reliablydifferentiated among both men and women. However, the structure of these attitudes appears todiffer substantially by sex. This paper discusses theoretical and practical implications of theseresults.Keywordsabuse, animals, attitudes, factor structure, neglectIntroductionRecent decades have seen an increase in interest relating to the correlates anddeterminants of attitudes about nonhuman animals (Knight, Vrij, Cherry-man, & Nunkoosing, 2004; Pagani, Robustelli & Ascione, 2007; Signal &Taylor, 2006). Of particular interest within this area of study are factors relat-ing to attitudes about cruelty toward animals. A variety of studies have exam-ined how various factors influence people’s judgments about cruelty. Forexample, Allen et al. (2002) presented participants with a scenario describingan act of cruelty; within the scenario, the type of animal victimized was varied.In addition, the mood of the participant was manipulated. Results indicatedthat participants in a positive mood-state recommended harsher punishments© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156853009X393747
  2. 2. 22 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37for the perpetrator of the abuse. Participants also recommended harsher pun-ishment when the animal-victim was perceived as being more similar tohumans (primate as compared to reptile), Similarly, Hills and Lalich (1998)found that participants rated perpetrators of animal maltreatment as morecruel if the perpetrators were depicted as being aware—rather than unaware—of an animal’s suffering. Sims, Chin, and Yordon (2007) reported that womenrecommended harsher punishments for acts of animal abuse than did menand that recommended punishments were harsher when the victim was apuppy compared to when the victim was a chicken. While a significant body of research has examined attitudes and beliefsabout cruelty, very little research has addressed attitudes about a related topic:the neglect of animals. One study that did address the difference in attitudesabout cruelty versus neglect was Sims et al. (2007). As described above, Simset al. presented participants with a scenario describing acts of maltreatmentagainst either a puppy or a chicken. In addition, the nature of the maltreat-ment was varied. One set of scenarios described maltreatment as a presumablyneglectful behavior (the animal was described as being “thin and visibly under-weight”); another set of scenarios described the maltreatment as an overt actof cruelty (the animal was described as being “beaten and severely injured”).However, no differences were found in recommendations for punishment as afunction of the nature of the maltreatment. It appeared that in the Sims et al.study, participants were not differentiating between starving an animal andbeating an animal. In contrast, Henry (2006) found that participants did in fact differentiatebetween acts of cruelty and acts that could be interpreted as neglectful. Henryconducted a factor analysis of the Attitudes Toward the Treatment of AnimalsScale (ATTAS), a 23-item scale assessing participants’ responses to a variety oftypes of treatments of animals. The factor analysis revealed three factors emerg-ing from the 23 items of the scale. One factor was labeled “Utilitarian” andreflected differences in peoples’ attitudes about the utilitarian use of animals(using animals for food and clothing). A second factor was labeled “Cruelty”and reflected differences in peoples’ attitudes about the intentional maliciousabuse of animals (intentionally killing or injuring animals). A third factor waslabeled “Caregiving” and reflected differences in peoples’ attitudes about theappropriate care of animals (providing food, water, medical care). Although Henry (2006) labeled this last factor “Caregiving,” an inspectionof the items loading on that factor indicates that a better label might be“Neglect.” In general, the items assessed attitudes about failures to provideminimal levels of care to animals. Thus, within the sample examined by Henry,it appeared that a distinction was being drawn between overt acts of crueltyand behaviors that were considered neglectful.
  3. 3. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 23 It should be noted that these two factors (cruelty and neglect), while dis-tinct, were significantly correlated. Henry (2006) reported that the correlationbetween the Cruelty and Caregiving/Neglect factor was 0.60. In addition, itshould be noted that Henry did not conduct the factor analysis of the ATTASseparately by sex. Thus, potential differences in the factor-structure of atti-tudes among men and women were obscured. The studies reviewed thus far raise a number of intriguing questions. First,do cruelty and neglect of animals really constitute distinct factors? And if so,why? What are the bases upon which people would draw a distinction betweenacts of cruelty and acts of neglect? Second, given the substantial body ofresearch indicating that women are more empathetic toward animals than aremen (Herzog, 2007), do women and men construe the relation between actsof cruelty and acts of neglect differently? The current study sought to use afactor-analytic approach to explore the relation between attitudes about ani-mal cruelty and animal neglect separately by sex.MethodsParticipantsParticipants in this study were 683 students enrolled in sections of Introduc-tion to Psychology. Research participation was a requirement of the course.Of the participants, 333 (48.8%) were men; 350 (51.2%) were women. Themean age of participants was 22.64 years (SD = 6.25) with a range of 17 to 57years. Seventy % of participants identified themselves as White; 13%, His-panic; 15%, Black; 10%, Asian; 4%, American Indian/Alaska Native; 2%,Pacific Islander; and 4%, Other. These percentages sum to more than 100%because participants could identify themselves as members of more than onerace/ethnicity group.MaterialsAttitudes toward the treatment of animals survey (ATTAS). Participants com-pleted the ATTAS as part of a broader study examining human-animal inter-actions. The ATTAS is a 23-item attitude scale used to assess attitudesregarding the treatment of animals (Henry, 2004a, 2004b, 2006). Participantswere asked to indicate the extent to which they would be bothered by thinkingabout a particular type of treatment of an animal. Each item was phrased,“How much would it bother you to think about. . . .” Items assessed a varietyof types of treatment of animals—such as (a) failing to provide adequate food,shelter, or medical care; (b) using animals in medical research; (c) encouraging
  4. 4. 24 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37animals to fight; and (d) killing or hurting an animal for no apparent reason.Items assessed attitudes pertaining to the following: 1. companion animals (pet dogs, cats, and rabbits); 2. domestic stock animals (horses, cows, and pigs); and 3. animals in the wild (deer, rabbit, and squirrel).Participants responded to each item on a 5-point scale ranging from 1-5:“None at all” to “A lot.” Thus, higher scores reflected relatively more discom-fort with the type of treatment specified. As described above, a previous factor analysis of the ATTAS (Henry, 2006)revealed that the items on the survey divided into three subscales: 1. Cruelty (eight items); 2. Utilitarian (eight items); and 3. Caregiving/Neglect (seven items).Because the purpose of this study was to explore the relation between attitudesabout cruelty and attitudes about neglect, only the 15 items relating to crueltyand neglect were analyzed here. Those 15 items are listed in Table 1. The eightitems on the Cruelty subscale assessed individual differences in attitudesregarding the intentional harming of animals for no apparent reason. Highscores on these items reflected discomfort with such acts of pointless harm toanimals. The seven items on the Caregiving/Neglect subscale assessed indi-vidual differences in attitudes regarding a person’s responsibilities for ensuringthe safety and well being of an animal. High scores on these items reflecteddiscomfort with the failure to meet the basic needs of an animal. On the Cruelty items, women (Mean = 4.48, SD = 0.60) scored higherthan did men (Mean = 3.93, SD = 0.77), t (681) = -10.32, p < .01.) Likewise,on the Caregiving/Neglect items, women (Mean = 4.42, SD = 0.53) scoredhigher than did men (Mean = 3.83, SD = 0.73), t (681) = -12.27, p < .01.) Agewas not correlated with scores on either the Cruelty items (r = 0.07, ns) or theCaregiving/neglect items (r = 0.03, ns)ResultsBivariate CorrelationsAs mentioned in the Introduction, one rationale for undertaking these analy-ses was that previous research had revealed strong correlations between scoreson the Cruelty and Caregiving/Neglect subscales of the ATTAS. The same was
  5. 5. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 25 Table 1. Items Loading on the Cruelty and Neglect Subscales of the ATTAS (Henry, 2006)Cruelty 1 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallykilling a domestic stock animal (e.g., horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than for foodor to help the animal because it was hurt, old, or sick? 2 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallykilling a wild animal (e.g., deer, rabbit, squirrel, etc.) other than for food,while hunting, or to help the animal because it was hurt or sick? 3 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallykilling a companion animal (e.g., pet dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) other than to helpthe animal because it was hurt, old or sick? 8 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallyhurting a domestic stock animal (e.g., horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than fortraining, branding, etc? 9 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallyhurting a wild animal (e.g., deer, rabbit, squirrel, etc.)?10 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallyhurting a companion animal (e.g., pet dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) other than fortraining?13 How much would it bother you to think about someone using dogs orcats in research that results in serious injury, illness, or death of the animal?23 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallyencouraging or causing animals to fight one another (e.g., dog fighting, cockfighting, etc.)?Caregiving/Neglect 7 How much would it bother you to think about someone intentionallykilling (i.e., euthanizing) a companion animal or domestic stock animalbecause the owner is unable to care for it (e.g., the person is moving out ofstate and cannot take the animal to their new home.)?11 How much would it bother you to think about someone having sexualcontact with an animal?
  6. 6. 26 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 1. (cont.)16 How much would it bother you to think about someone failing to providemedical care for a companion animal that is clearly injured or ill?17 How much would it bother you to think about someone failing to pro-vide domestic stock animals or companion animals with food or water for24 hours?18 How much would it bother you to think about someone leaving domesticstock animals outside without shelter for 24 hours?19 How much would it bother you to think about someone leaving compan-ion animals outside without shelter for 24 hours?20 How much would it bother you to think about someone leaving a com-panion animal in a locked car with the windows cracked with an outsidetemperature of 70° for one hour?true of scores within this sample. Among men, the correlation between thetwo subscales was r = 0.62 (p < .01); among women, the correlation wasr = 0.51 (p < .01). To further examine the reasons for the substantial overlapbetween the Cruelty and Caregiving/Neglect items, principle components fac-tor-analyses of the 15 items (separately by sex) were conducted.Factor Structure of Neglect and Cruelty Items Among MenThe 15 cruelty and neglect items were entered into a principle componentsfactor analysis with varimax rotation. Factors with eigenvalues greater that1.00 were selected. Three factors emerged, accounting for 58.8% of the vari-ability in responses. Factor loadings for the items are presented in Table 2. InTable 2, factor loadings of .30 or greater are in bold. The items loading oneach of the three factors are presented graphically in Figure 1. A number of things are worth noting in this analysis. First, consistent withthe findings of Henry (2006), items relating to neglect tended to load on aseparate factor more than did items relating to cruelty. Three neglect items inparticular (“leaving domestic stock animals outside without shelter,” “leavingcompanion animals outside without shelter,” and “leaving a companion ani-mal in a locked car”) had very strong loadings on Factor II and weak loadingson Factors I and III. Likewise, three cruelty items in particular (“intentionally killing a domesticstock animal,” “intentionally killing a wild animal,” and “intentionally killing
  7. 7. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 27 Table 2. Three Factor Solution for Men I II III 1 Intentionally killing a domestic stock animal (e.g., .28 .09 .85horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than for food or to help theanimal because it was hurt, old, or sick? 2 Intentionally killing a wild animal (e.g., deer, rabbit, .27 .10 .84squirrel, etc.) other than for food, while hunting, or tohelp the animal because it was hurt or sick? 3 Intentionally killing a companion animal (e.g., pet .12 .15 .80dog, cat, rabbit,etc.) other than to help the animalbecause it was hurt, old or sick? 7 Intentionally killing (i.e., euthanizing) a companion .64 .08 .16animal or domestic stock animal because the owner isunable to care for it (e.g., the person is moving out ofstate and cannot take the animal to their new home.)? 8 Intentionally hurting a domestic stock animal (e.g., .76 .14 .23horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than for training, branding, etc? 9 Intentionally hurting a wild animal (e.g., deer, rab- .77 .09 .22bit, squirrel, etc.)?10 Intentionally hurting a companion animal (e.g., pet .77 .17 .14dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) other than for training?11 Having sexual contact with an animal? .25 .17 .2513 Using dogs or cats in research that results in serious .52 .40 .15injury, illness, or death of the animal?16 Failing to provide medical care for a companion ani- .59 .48 .13mal that is clearly injured or ill?17 Failing to provide domestic stock animals or com- .44 .61 .15panion animals with food or water for 24 hours?18 Leaving domestic stock animals outside without .07 .89 .13shelter for 24 hours?19 Leaving companion animals outside without shelter .08 .86 .09for 24 hours?20 Leaving a companion animal in a locked car with .27 .59 .09the windows cracked with an outside temperature of 70°for one hour?23 Intentionally encouraging or causing animals to fight .52 .30 .25one another (e.g., dog fighting, cock fighting, etc.)?
  8. 8. 28 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Factor IIIKilling stockKilling wild animalKilling companion animal Factor I Euthanizing companion animal Hurting stock Hurting wild animal Hurting companion animal Factor II Research Medical care Food and water Fighting Leaving stock outside Leaving companion animals outside Leaving companion animal in locked car Figure 1. Items loading on Factors I, II, and III (men)a companion animal”) had very strong loadings on Factor III and weak load-ings on Factors I and II. Finally, four items (“euthanizing a companion animalor stock animal,” “intentionally hurting a domestic stock animal,” “intention-ally hurting a wild animal,” and “intentionally hurting a companion animal”)had strong loadings on Factor I and weak loadings on Factors II and III. Thus, in this analysis, men appeared to differentiate between different typesof treatments of animals on the basis of the severity of harm suffered by theanimals. Factor III appears to capture those items in which the animal suffersdeath as a result of an intentional, malicious act. With the exception of theitem relating to euthanizing an animal, Factor I appears to capture those itemsin which the animal is hurt but not killed. It is possible that men were likelyto judge euthanasia less harshly because, even though it involves the death ofthe animal, it lacks the malicious nature of the items loading on Factor III.Factor II appears to capture those items in which there is the possibility ofharm to the animal due to the neglect of the animal but in which the harm isnot immediate. It is worth noting the four items that loaded both on the “harm” factor(Factor I) and the neglect (or “possible harm”) factor (Factor II). Three of theseitems are “failing to provide medical care for a companion animal,” “failing toprovide domestic stock animals or companion animals with food or water,”
  9. 9. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 29and “encouraging or causing animals to fight one another”; all represent situ-ations in which suffering on the animal’s part, though not overtly specified, isa likely outcome,. The fourth item (“using dogs or cats in research that resultsin serious injury, illness, or death”), on the other hand, does specify that theanimal will suffer. It might be that individuals held mixed views on the use ofanimals in research—concerned about the suffering of the animal but, at thesame time, making allowance for the fact that the suffering might be in someway “justified” by the benefits that might result from the research. The results of the three-factor solution suggest that men differentiatebetween acts of cruelty and acts of neglect. However, the men in this samplealso differentiated between behaviors that result in the death of an animaland behaviors that result in injury to an animal. In order to examine howthe “death” and “injury” items grouped together relative to the neglect (or“possible harm”) items, a second principle components factor analysis wasundertaken. In this analysis, items were forced onto only two factors. Resultsare presented in Table 3. As seen in Table 3, all seven of the “death” and“injury” items had loadings greater than .50 on Factor I, with much weakerloadings on Factor II. In contrast, the three neglect items all had loadingsgreater than .60 on Factor II. These results indicate that the “injury” itemswere more strongly related to the “death” items than they were to the neglectitems. Table 3. Two Factor Solution for Men I II 1 Intentionally killing a domestic stock animal (e.g., horse, .81 .04cow, pig, etc.) other than for food or to help the animal becauseit was hurt, old, or sick? 2 Intentionally killing a wild animal (e.g., deer, rabbit, squir- .79 .05rel, etc.) other than for food, while hunting, or to help the ani-mal because it was hurt or sick? 3 Intentionally killing a companion animal (e.g., pet dog, cat, .66 .06rabbit,etc.) other than to help the animal because it was hurt,old or sick? 7 Intentionally killing (i.e., euthanizing) a companion animal .54 .24or domestic stock animal because the owner is unable to care forit (e.g., the person is moving out of state and cannot take theanimal to their new home.)?
  10. 10. 30 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 3. (cont.) I II 8 Intentionally hurting a domestic stock animal (e.g., horse, .66 .32cow, pig, etc.) other than for training, branding, etc? 9 Intentionally hurting a wild animal (e.g., deer, rabbit, squir- .67 .29rel, etc.)?10 Intentionally hurting a companion animal (e.g., pet dog, .60 .37cat, rabbit, etc.) other than for training?11 Having sexual contact with an animal? .33 .2013 Using dogs or cats in research that results in serious injury, .42 .51illness, or death of the animal?16 Failing to provide medical care for a companion animal that .44 .61is clearly injured or ill?17 Failing to provide domestic stock animals or companion .34 .69animals with food or water for 24 hours?18 Leaving domestic stock animals outside without shelter for .05 .8424 hours?19 Leaving companion animals outside without shelter for .04 .8124 hours?20 Leaving a companion animal in a locked car with the win- .19 .62dows cracked with an outside temperature of 70° for one hour?23 Intentionally encouraging or causing animals to fight one .50 .40another (e.g., dog fighting, cock fighting, etc.)?Finally, as a further check on the relation between the “death,” “injury,” and“neglect” items, scales were constructed using factors loadings from the three-factor solution. The four injury items that had loaded clearly on Factor I wereaveraged into an injury scale; the three neglect items that had loaded clearlyon Factor II were averaged into a neglect scale; and the three items that hadloaded clearly on Factor III were averaged into a death scale. The bivariatecorrelations between these scales are presented in Table 4. Consistent with thetwo-factor solution described above, the injury scale was more stronglycorrelated with the death scale (r = 0.49) than it was with the neglect scale(r = 0.36). In addition, the death scale was only moderately correlated with theneglect scale (r = 0.28.) Recall that the original correlation between the crueltyand neglect subscales was r = 0.62.
  11. 11. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 31 Table 4. Bivariate Correlations Among Subscales for Men Death InjuryInjury .49Neglect .28 .36Factor Structure of Neglect and Cruelty Items among WomenThe 15 cruelty and neglect items were entered into a principle componentsfactor analysis with varimax rotation. Factors with eigenvalues greater that1.00 were selected. Three factors emerged, accounting for 56.4% of the vari-ability in responses. Factor loadings for the items are presented in Table 5. InTable 5, factor loadings of .30 or greater are in bold. The items loading oneach of the three factors are presented graphically in Figure 2. Table 5. Three Factor Solution for Women I II IIIIntentionally killing a domestic stock animal (e.g., .87 −.01 −.01horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than for food or to helpthe animal because it was hurt, old, or sick?Intentionally killing a wild animal (e.g., deer, rab- .87 .13 −.03bit, squirrel, etc.) other than for food, while hunt-ing, or to help the animal because it was hurt orsick?Intentionally killing a companion animal (e.g., pet .67 .07 .12dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) other than to help the animalbecause it was hurt, old or sick?Intentionally killing (i.e., euthanizing) a compan- .46 .12 .28ion animal or domestic stock animal because theowner is unable to care for it (e.g., the person ismoving out of state and cannot take the animal totheir new home.)?Intentionally hurting a domestic stock animal (e.g., .64 .14 .37horse, cow, pig, etc.) other than for training, brand-ing, etc?Intentionally hurting a wild animal (e.g., deer, rab- .60 .22 .28bit, squirrel, etc.)?
  12. 12. 32 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37Table 5. (cont.) I II IIIIntentionally hurting a companion animal (e.g., pet .56 .23 .53dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) other than for training?Having sexual contact with an animal? −.01 −.06 .78Using dogs or cats in research that results in serious .37 .26 .44injury, illness, or death of the animal?Failing to provide medical care for a companion .19 .53 .51animal that is clearly injured or ill?Failing to provide domestic stock animals or com- .18 .64 .37panion animals with food or water for 24 hours?Leaving domestic stock animals outside without .10 .83 −.04shelter for 24 hours?Leaving companion animals outside without shelter .13 .83 .21for 24 hours?Leaving a companion animal in a locked car with .05 .62 −.01the windows cracked with an outside temperatureof 70° for one hour?Intentionally encouraging or causing animals to .38 .25 .51fight one another (e.g., dog fighting, cock fighting,etc.)?Factor IKilling stockKilling wild animalKilling companion animalEuthanizing companion animal Factor IIIHurting wild animalHurting stock Hurting companion animal Research Fighting Sexual contact Factor IIMedical care Food and waterLeaving stock outside Leaving companion animals outsideLeaving companion animal in locked car Figure 2. Items loading on Factors I, II, and III (women)
  13. 13. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 33As was the case with men, among women three items relating to neglect (“leav-ing domestic stock animals outside without shelter,” “leaving companionanimals outside without shelter,” and “leaving a companion animal in alocked car”) emerged with strong loadings on Factor II and weak loadings onFactors I and III. However, inconsistent with the findings for men, womenappeared to show less differentiation when evaluating behaviors relating to thedeath or injury of an animal. Of the seven items that loaded on either the“death” or “injury” factor for men, five had strong loadings on Factor I forwomen; the other two had the highest loadings on Factor I with secondaryloadings on Factor III. Thus, women were not differentiating between injuryand death to the same extent that men were. In order to further examine the relation between the cruelty and neglectitems among women, scales were constructed using factor loadings fromthe three-factor solution. The seven death/injury items that had loaded onFactors I or III were averaged into a “cruelty” scale; and the three neglect itemsthat had loaded clearly on Factor II were averaged into a neglect scale. Thebivariate correlations between these scales was r = 0.29, p < .01. Recall that theoriginal correlation between the cruelty and neglect subscales was r = 0.51.DiscussionWhile a substantial body of research has been directed at understanding thedeterminants of attitudes about animals in general and animal abuse in par-ticular, little research has focused on individual differences in attitudes aboutanimal neglect. The current study suggests that attitudes about abuse andneglect can be reliably differentiated among both men and women. However,the structure of these attitudes appears to differ substantially by sex. Among men, the items that were originally viewed as being related to cru-elty (those items relating to the intentional killing or injuring of animals)divided into two factors. It appears that the primary determinant of this dis-tinction is the amount of harm suffered by the animal: Items related to thekilling of animals loaded on one factor, and items related to the injury of ani-mals loaded on a separate factor. Notice that the type of animal involved didnot appear to influence the structure of these factors. Items related to compan-ion animals, domestic stock animals, and wild animals were represented onboth factors. Among men, the greatest area of overlap across factors was found on thoseitems that reflected likely, but not definitive, harm to animals. These items,such as using animals in research or causing animals to fight, loaded both onthe “injury” and the neglect factors. In contrast, items that reflected possible
  14. 14. 34 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37harm—such as leaving an animal in a locked car on a warm day—loaded onlyon the neglect factor. Thus, men appeared to be differentiating between thesevarious behaviors on the basis of the perceived degree of harm suffered by theanimal. The factor structure for women differed somewhat from that for men.Although women differentiated between behaviors that represented explicitharm to animals from those that represented possible harm to animals, theydid not differentiate between death and injury. Further, those items thatbridged the gap between “injury” and neglect among men were more clearlylinked to the cruelty factor among women. Previous research (Herzog, 2007)has indicated that women are more empathetic toward animals than are men.The current research suggests that, not only do men and women differ withregard to their absolute level of empathy, but also that men and women differwith regard to the structure of their attitudes. Women appear to have a broaderscope of what constitutes cruelty than do men. The reason for this sex difference is not immediately apparent and warrantsfurther exploration. One possibility is that the greater differentiation on thepart of men reflects the relatively lower levels of empathy observed amongmen compared to women. Lower levels of empathy may result in men judgingacts of violence differently, depending on the impact on the victim. In con-trast, among women, any act of violence—regardless of the impact on thevictim—may be viewed as essentially the same. This interpretation is consis-tent with the results of Pakaslahti and Keltikangas-Jarvinen (1997). Theseauthors reported that—among a sample of adolescents—when presented withdescriptors of aggressive behaviors, boys were more likely than girls to legiti-mize the aggression by focusing on factors that might “excuse” the aggression.In contrast, regardless of possible extenuating or justifying circumstances, girlswere more likely to view acts of aggression as wrong. Similarly, among chil-dren, Perry, Perry, and Rasmussen (1986) demonstrated that girls perceivedaggression as being more harmful to victims than did boys and anticipatedgreater punishment in response to aggression than did boys. Taken together,these findings suggest that women are likely to have stronger and broadermoral strictures against aggression than do men. These structural differences might be important to the extent that theseattitudes are related to behavior. Thus, it may be that, depending upon theextent of harm they believe an animal will suffer as a consequence, some menmay be willing to engage in certain types of behaviors. This hypothesis impliesthat cruelty-and neglect-related attitudes are indeed predictors of overt behav-ior. An extensive psychological literature has arisen around the question ofattitude-behavior consistency (Crano & Prislin, 2006). For example, research
  15. 15. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 35has indicated that attitude-behavior consistency is greatest when those atti-tudes are relatively strong (Cooke & Sheeran, 2004). Attitudinal characteris-tics such as accessibility, how easily the attitude is brought to mind (Fazio &Williams, 1986) and temporal stability (deCosta, Dibonaventura & Chap-man, 2005) have been shown to predict attitude-behavior consistency. Fur-ther, research has indicated that attitude-behavior consistency is strongestwhen the attitudes are perceived to conform to group norms (Smith, Hogg,Martin & Terry, 2007). Taken together, these findings suggest potentiallyfruitful avenues for future research within the human-nonhuman animalinteraction field. Based on broader social-psychological research, it would beexpected that attitudes toward animals would predict behavior toward animalswhen the attitudes in question were strongly held, of longer duration, andperceived as generally supported within the peer group. A practical implication of this study is that researchers who are investigatingissues relating to animal cruelty need to consider the types of items includedin attitudinal surveys. Surveys that are heavily oriented toward items involvingthe death of an animal may be answered differently by men from surveys ori-ented toward items involving the injury of animals. Further, researchers inves-tigating animal neglect must recognize that men appear to view behaviorsassociated with probable harm to animals differently from how they viewbehaviors associated with possible harm to animals. A researcher who wants toclearly distinguish between cruelty attitudes and neglect attitudes would per-haps want to focus on death-related behaviors to assess cruelty and on possi-ble-harm items to assess neglect. It should be noted that although this study examined the structure of atti-tudes, it did not address the issue of factors that influence the development ofthose attitudes. Further research could assess correlates of individual differ-ences in neglect attitudes. In general, attitudes about animals have been shownto be related to factors such as history of pet ownership (Pagani et al., 2007);demographic characteristics (Signal & Taylor, 2006); and attributions regard-ing animal mind (Knight et al., 2004). However, the extent to which thesefactors influence individual definitions of cruelty and neglect remains unclear.Based on information derived from the current study, it appears that level ofharm (and likelihood of harm) is a significant determinant of the structure ofthese attitudes. Other factors, such as the intentionality of the behavior, also deserve tobe addressed. Recall that Hills and Lalich (1998) found that a perpetrator’slevel of awareness of suffering influenced perceptions of that person: Thosewho were described as being aware of the animal’s suffering were judgedmore harshly than those who were described as being ignorant of the animal’s
  16. 16. 36 B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37suffering. This factor may shed light on the findings of Sims et al. (2007). Simset al. presented participants with a scenario describing acts of maltreatmentagainst either a puppy or a chicken. In one set of scenarios, the maltreatmentwas described as a presumably neglectful behavior (the animal was describedas being “thin and visibly underweight”); in another set of scenarios, the mal-treatment was described as an overt act of cruelty (the animal was described asbeing “beaten and severely injured”). However, no differences were found inrecommendations for punishment as a function of the nature of the maltreat-ment. It is possible that neglect behaviors (failing to provide adequate food foran animal) may be viewed differently, depending on the motivations of thecaregiver (an owner who is unable to provide adequate food because of eco-nomic reasons versus an owner who intentionally withholds food from ananimal). The impact that the perceived intentionality of an act has on howthat act is construed is a topic that deserves further attention. It should be noted that this study is based on factor-analyses of a limited setof items drawn from a single survey. The nature of factor analysis as a statisticalprocedure is that the factors are determined by the items included. Futureresearch utilizing a broader range of cruelty and neglect items would be worth-while for understanding the relations between these sets of attitudes.ConclusionIn summary, the current study demonstrates that cruelty and neglect attitudescan be distinguished among both men and women. However, the structure ofthe cruelty attitudes differs as a function of sex, with men holding a more dif-ferentiated view of the types of behaviors constituting cruelty than do women.The relatively high correlations previously observed between cruelty andneglect attitudes are likely due to those areas of overlap involving behaviorsthat are associated with probable, but not explicit, harm to animals. Whenthose items are removed from the cruelty scales, the correlations between cru-elty and neglect attitudes drop substantially. Future research should explorethe nature of the sex differences in attitude structure, as well as factors influ-encing the scope of behaviors that are defined as cruelty versus neglect acrosssexes.ReferencesAllen, M., Hunstone, M., Waerstad, J., Foy, E., Hobbins, T., Wikner, B., & Wirrel, J. (2002). Human-to-animal similarity and participant mood influence punishment recommendations for animal abusers. Society &Animals, 10, 267-284.
  17. 17. B. C. Henry / Society and Animals 17 (2009) 21-37 37Cooke, R., & Sheeran, P. (2004). Moderation of cognition-intention and cognition-behavior relations: A meta-analysis of properties of variables from the theory of planned behavior. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 159-186.Crano, W., & Prislin, R. (2006). Attitudes and persuasion. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 345- 374.DeCosta Dibonaventura, M., & Chapman, G. (2005). Moderators of the intention-behavior relationship in influenza vaccinations: Intention stability and unforeseen barriers. Psychology & Health, 20, 761-774.Fazio, R., & Williams, C. (1986). Attitude accessibility as a moderator of the attitude-perception and attitude-behavior relations: An investigation of the 1984 presidential election. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 505-514.Hills, A., & Lalich, N. (1998). Judgments of cruelty towards animals. Sex differences and effect of awareness of suffering. Anthrozoös, 11, 142-147.Henry, B. (2004a). The relation between animal cruelty, delinquency, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals. Society & Animals, 12, 185-207.—— (2004b). Exposure to animal abuse and group context: Two factors affecting participation in animal abuse. Anthrozoös, 17, 290-305.—— (2006). Empathy, home environment, and attitudes toward animals in relation to animal abuse. Anthrozoös, 19 (1), 17-34.Herzog, H. A. (2007). Gender differences in human-animal interactions: A review. Anthrozoös, 20 (1), 7-21.Knight, S., Vrij, A., Cherryman, J., & Nunkoosing, K. (2004). Attitudes towards animal use and belief in animal mind. Anthrozoös, 17 (1), 43-62.Pagani, C., Robustelli, F., & Ascione, F. (2007). Italian youths’ attitudes toward, and concern for, animals. Anthrozoös, 20, 275-293.Pakaslahti, L., & Keltikangas-Jarvinen, L. (1997). The relationship between moral approval of aggression, aggressive problem-solving strategies, and aggressive behavior in 14-year-old ado- lescents. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 905-924.Perry, D., Perry, L., & Rasmussen, P. (1986). Cognitive social learning mediators of aggression. Child Development, 57, 700-711.Signal, T. D., & Taylor, N. (2006). Attitudes to animals: Demographics within a community sample. Society & Animals, 14 (2), 147-157.Sims, V., Chin, M., & Yordon, R. (2007). Don’t be cruel: Assessing beliefs about punishments for crimes against animals. Anthrozoös, 20, 251-259.Smith, J., Hogg, M., Martin, R., & Terry, D. (2007). Uncertainty and the influence of group norms in the attitude-behaviour relationship. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 769- 792.

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