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Attitudes of Romanian Pet Caretakers towards Sterilization of Their Animals: Gender Conflict Over Male, but Not Female, Companion Animals

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Abstract:

Sterilization of companion animals is in most cases an expression of the caretaker's will. However, little is known about caretakers' attitudes toward pet sterilization in general—these can influence their decision to sterilize their own animals. Three hundred and twelve Romanian caretakers of non-sterilized companion animals (194 women and 118 men) were surveyed before the implementation of a pet management program in Transylvania, the North-Western part of Romania. The caretakers were administered a questionnaire that gathered demographic data and measured their general attitude toward pet sterilization and their attitude toward the sterilization of their own pet (male or female). Questionnaires were filled in by caretakers of 202 dogs and 110 cats. Romanian pet owners showed an overall level of slight disagreement toward the sterilization of companion animals. Gender-biased attitudes of the Romanian caretakers toward the sterilization of their own pets emerged only when the sex of the animals was taken into consideration, regardless of the type of pet. Romanian men disagreed with neutering male pets while Romanian women were more likely to agree with neutering male pets. No gender difference was detected regarding the spaying of female pets, with both genders showing a slight level of disagreement. The results are discussed from sociological, anthropological, and evolutionary perspectives.

Keywords: ATTITUDES; GENDER CONFLICT; PET MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS; PET STERILIZATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175303710X12682332910097

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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