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Revista Bioética

Print version ISSN 1983-8042


SOUZA, Joseth Filomena de Jesus  and  SHIMIZU, Helena Eri. The social representation of animals and bioethics of protection: subsidies to build up humanitarian education. Rev. Bioét. [online]. 2013, vol.21, n.3, pp.546-556. ISSN 1983-8042.

This study aims to identify the social representations that elementary school children from a public school in Brasilia, Federal District do about animals. Four focus groups were conducted with elementary school children, and the data were interpreted in the light of bioethics of protection, which argues that moral patients that are either harmed or vulnerable to damage must be protected. The study considers that it is relevant to know the social representations of students about the animals to support effective educational measures, which will help prevent the continued instrumental value assigned to animals. The data show that this representation is based on affection and empathy for dogs and cats, and elective speciesism, related to some species. The finding is that children tend to follow a socially connoted classification, indicating the need to adopt educational measures to further break the anthropocentric pattern that guides human relationships with other species.

Keywords : Animals; Bioethics; Education; Social representation theory.

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