” the term attitudes commonly refers to our general evaluation of people,   objects, and issues.”(Fazio, 2008). It is a way for people to understand what our life or living condition will be if one belief or idea is having a huge group of people standing behind and supporting for it. The thoughts of one people may not be the statistic for our proposal, but if a group of people is having the similar idea then we need to consider it as a concern. “the term is refer to the plans, interests, and sympathies of the average individual.” (Thomas, 1918).This is what we could the effects of attitudes. It comes from various of group that people came from. The attitude that I want to examine is the views of abortion by different background peoples. The hypothesis that we will be find out is that we will have one group who is support for the mother to do the abortion without feeling guilty. ” Abortion has always been a significant form of birth control in most of the countries, and currently the replacement of abortion by contraceptive devices is proceeding very slowly.” (Solodnikov,2011) By comparison, we will have another group who will be thinking that it could counts as a murder for the mother who is doing the abortion, as well as the doctor who is actually doing the things.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL OF ABORTION                           3



    Basically the participants will be the student in La Trobe university and who is doing the psychology. We will randomly choose a class of students which is include both male and female, and they are from different  backgrounds. From our guessing, the participants will intend to form two group based on the different thoughts. We will give a scale sheet to each student, it measures an individual’s attitude towards abortion.


     We will be given out 10 questions based on how you thinking with abortions.


     We will be giving the participants five options in terms of how strongly the participants agree or disagree with the statement. We will not allowed the participants consult with others and they will be choose the first answer that comes to the participants’ mind.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL OF ABORTION                           4

PART B: Mean Difference Score for attitudes on smoking marijuana of Males and Females

Gender        N                M                 SD

Males         10               31.00               2.07

Females       10               24.20               1.89

Based on the table above, the data analysis that females is having a higher mean response than males which is mean that they will more likely having a positive attitude towards marijuana than males.

The Independent Samples T Test compares the scores of mean of the two different groups on a given variable. (Susan, 2000)The means of the two groups are not significantly different for Null Hypotheses, and if they are significantly different, then they are Alternate Hypotheses.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL OF ABORTION                           5


Fazio, R.H., & Petty, R. E. (2008). Conceptualizing attitudes. In R. H. Fazio, & R. E. Petty (pp.1-5). Attitudes key readings: Their structure, and consequences. New York: Psychology Press.

Thomas, W. I., & Znaniecki, F. (1918). The Polish peasant in Europe and America. Boston, MA:Badger.

Solodnikov, V.V.,(2011). Social Science Review, Volume 52, Issue 2 (pp.71-93).

Thirstone, L. L. (1928). Attitudes can be measured American Journal of Sociology, 33, 529-544

Susan, A.,(2000). Psychology Department, Wellesley College, 31,2000




People with different backgrounds have different attitudes. Their thought processes are different. The following study describes the attitude of people with different backgrounds towards the issue of abortion. The attitude of people with varying age, sex, religion, etc. are different. In this study, a group of participants were interviewed regarding their opinion about abortion and if women should be given the right to decide. A striking result which was observed was that men in the study were more conservative and quite a few of them believed that women should not be given the right to decide for an abortion. Alongwith this study, the paper also gives an insight regarding the literature on the issue of abortion.





Attitude refers to the evaluative statement concerning an object, person or event. It is a continuous tendency to behave and react in a particular way. There are three basic ways of characterising the attitude. The first is that attitude remains the same till something is done to change it. Secondly, the attitude can be favourable or unfavourable. Thirdly, attitude is directed towards a person’s beliefs.

Attitude can be divided into three basic components. These are Cognitive, Conative and Affective. Cognitive refers to the belief part of the attitude. Conative refers to the emotional aspect, whereas, Affective is the behavioural part of the attitude. The attitudes are basically formed as a manifestation of our inner beliefs. They predict the work behaviour and help one adapt to the work environment. Research has indicated that there are several ways in which attitude is formed. These are our parents, peers, media, etc.

It is very important to measure the attitudes because it helps people to adjust to theirr work environment. It also helps people to maintain their dignity and self- respect. It provides individuals with a platform to express their feelings and it also provides standards and helps people perceive the  world around themselves. At the psychological level the reasons for holding or for changing attitudes are found in the functions they perform for the individual, specifically the functions of adjustment, ego defense, value expression, and knowledge (Katz,D., 1960)


The attitude object chosen for the purpose of this assignment is “The views on abortion by people of different backgrounds”. The Public Health Association Of Australia (PHAA) supports the 2004 WHO statement that the highest priority in relation to unsafe abortion is the prevention of unplanned pregnancies (Abortion in Australia, Public Health Perspective,2005). This is a complex challenge which requires careful planning.However, most of the Australian population beleives that the women should have easy access to abortion services.


The attitude of different sections of the society towards the issue is different. According to a survey done in 2003 by the Australian survey of social attitudes, 81% of the people beleive that women should have a right to choose whether to have an abortion or not (Abortion in Australia, Public Health Perspective,2005). Same kind of results were found in further studies done on this topic. According to the Australian Election survey done in 2001, 58% of the people beleived that women should have ready access to abortion facility (de vaus, 2004). Also, according to Betts, the number of Australians giving support to access to abortion rose from 30% to 50%.


The factors influencing the opinion of the people are income and education. According to Betts, 2004 people with higher income are more supportive of the fact that women should be gits regarding abortion. Another influencing factor is the religion. According to Betts, 2004, people who do not follow any religion are more supportive of the abortion rights of women.

According to a recent study by Marie Stopes International 2004, most of the health professionals beleive that women should have access to abortion services. Another striking finding through research is that most of the health professionals in Australia feel that they do not completely understand the abortion laws.


The reason for the increased number of abortions is the reduction in the number of unplanned pregnancies. The Australian women commonly use contraceptive methods to avoid unplanned pregnancies. However, in cases otherwise, they choose to abort. The use of oral contraceptive pills and condoms are the most common methods used by the Australians. Seing the high level of contraceptive use in Australia, the main reason for unplanned pregnancies is mainly thought to be the failure of the contraceptives (Richters,Grulich et al. 2003).

According to a survey conduvted by the Australian Survey Of Social Attitudes, 36 out of 100 men and 48 out of 100 women beleived that women should be given the right to choose an abortion or nt (Betts, 2004). According to Carter, the males have a conservative attitude towards abortion. Despite the trend towards liberalization, abortion still remains a polarising issue (Bolzendahl & Myers, 2004). According to Cook, Jelen & Wilcox, 1992; Ebaugh & Haney, 1980; Strickler & Danigelis, 2002 and Walzer, 1994, gender studies are poor indicators of the abortion rates. However, according to Craig and O’Brien,1993, men hold slightly more pro-choice views than women.






Participants: The study was conducted with the participants from the La Trobe University. The participants were psychology students. The students were chosen randomly and included both males and females, from varied backgrounds.


Materials: Data sheets were given to the participants, in which they were required to give ratings for the relevant questions. The mean and standard deviations were derived.


Procedure: The participants were given five options to determine how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement. The participants were not allowed to consult with one another and they were encouraged to think carefully before answering.


It was hypothesized that the opinions would broadly fall into two major categories. On this basis, a scale sheet was given which would determine the opinion of the individual, which would in turn fall  into the two broad categories formed.






The answers marked by the participants were analysed and the main idea behind the questions as to “Should women be given the right to choose abortion” was analysed. The observed data is summarised in the table given below:


Gender N M SD
Males 10 31 2.07
Females 10 24.2 1.89


It was found that the standard deviation was higher in case of males than the females. This implies that the females were more inclined towards the fact that more rights should be given to them regarding the abortion decisions.




People with different backgrounds have different attitudes.The attitude is decided by factors like parents, peers and the work environment. It is very difficult to change somebody’s attitude as one tends to grow with it. However, under certain circumstances and proper guidance, it is possible to change one’s attitude.

In this study, a detailed and comprehensive review was done on the issue of abortion. The attitude of different people on the subject was analysed. According to literature, a number of factors influence a person’s attitude towards the issue. These include age, sex, icome, religion, etc. A lot of studies have been done taking into consideration different factors. However, in this study the striking feature that was observed was that men are more conservative than women and most of them believe that women should not be given the right to decide whether they should have an abortion or not. The women, on the other hand feel vice versa. This observation is supported by earlier work done by Craig, O’Brien, etc.

According to me, women should be given rights in deciding whether they want to abort or not. However, in the present study, the number of participants was less, which can be considered as a limitation of the study. However, looking at the earlier reports and the present study, the conclusion about men being more conservative has been made.

From the study, it can be inferred that proper and appropriate contraceptives should be used whenever required. However, in case of emergency, the women should be given full rights to decide what they want to do.


Abortion in Australia, Public Health Perspectives, Public Health Association Of Australia Inc., 3rd ed., 2005.


Betts, K. (2004). Attitudes to abortion in Australia: 1972 to 2003. People and Place. 12(4): 22-28


Bolzendahl, C.I. and Myers, D.J. (2004). Feminist attitudes and support for gender equality:

Opinion change in women and men, 1974-1988. Social Forces, 83: pp. 759-89.


Carter, J. S., Corra, M., and Carter, S.K. (2009). The interaction of race and gender:

Changing gender-role attitudes, 1974-2006. Social Science Quarterly, 90(1): pp. 196-211.


Craig, B. and O’Brien, D. (1993). Abortion and American Politics. Chatham, NJ: Chatham

House Publishers.


Cook, E.A., Jelen T.D. and Wilcox C. (1992). Between Two Absolutes. Boulder, CO: Westview.


de Vaus, D. (2004). Diversity and Change in Australian Families: Statistical Profiles. Australian Institute of Family Studies: Melbourne.


Ebaugh, H. and Haney C. (1980). Shifts in abortion attitudes: 1972-1978. Journal of

Marriage and the Family, 42: pp. 491-99.


General Practitioners: Attitudes to Abortion. (2004). Marie Stopes International: Melbourne.


Katz, D., The Functional Approach To The Study Of Attitudes, Oxford Journals, Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 24, 2, pp. 163- 204.


Richters, J. Grulich, A.E., de Visser, R.O., Smith, A.M.A, & Rissel, C.E. (2003). Sex in Australia: Contraceptive practices among a representative sample of women. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 27(2): 210-216.


Strickler, J. and Danigelis, N.L. (2002). Changing frameworks in attitudes toward abortion.

Sociological Forum, 17: pp. 187-201.


Walzer, S. (1994). The role of gender in determining abortion attitudes. Social Science

Quarterly, 75(3): pp. 687-93.


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