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Companion Animals and Religion: A Survey of Attitudes among Omani Students

In: Society & Animals
Authors:
Erni Gustafsson Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Department of Social Work and Guidance Lillehammer Norway

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Nabil Alawi An Najah National University, Department of English, Faculty of Arts Nablus Palestine

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Per Normann Andersen Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Department of Social Work and Guidance Lillehammer Norway

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Abstract

Prompted by the scarcity of studies on the attitudes of people towards pet (companion) animals in most Arab countries and inspired by their previous research on the attitudes towards animals in Palestine and Norway, the researchers conducted this study to measure the attitudes of university students in Oman with reference to religious observance. A total of 217 students at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman responded to the Pet Attitude Scale (PAS) combined with questions regarding religious observance. The findings revealed somewhat less positive attitudes toward companion animals among the Omani students than the Palestinian students. Despite the general high degree of religious observance among Omani students, the study showed no significant correlation between religiosity and attitudes towards animals among Omani students. Some difficulties connected with the use of self-report questionnaires and the possibilities to investigate attitudes versus actual behavior are also discussed.

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