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This study tested a tool that could reveal children’s attitudes toward unpopular nonhuman animals through a content analysis of constructed clipart scenes arranged and described by elementary students. Pictures were analyzed for clipart choices, pictorial themes, themes of attitudes toward nonhuman animals, and other components of verbalized statements. Most (79%) students created scenes showing humans standing surrounded by animals. Boys made more statements concerning weapons, traps, or poison and about performing violent actions against animals than girls. Girls made more statements about liking animals than boys. Ecologistic, naturalistic, humanistic, moralistic, and aesthetic themes (displaying “feminine” attitudes) were more common in the female participants’ verbalizations, while scientistic, utilitarian, dominionistic, negativistic, and neutralistic themes (displaying “masculine” attitudes) occurred more frequently in the male explanations. Both genders exhibited similar levels of “feminine” attitudes, but boys exhibited more “masculine” attitudes than girls.

In: Society & Animals