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[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, Global Programme on AIDS, Social and Behavioral Research Unit, .  p. (WHO File: Data on Social Issues; Report No. 2)The Social and Behavioural Research Unit has prepared its second international inventory of Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour, and Practices surveys. The report reviews 80 projects drawing upon both published and unpublished materials dealing with 7 major study groups: adolescents and young people, the general public, health care workers, homosexual/bisexual men, drug injectors, prostitutes, and other groups. For each of these the inventory classifies the project concerned by selected key features such as when and where it was undertaken, sampling strategy used, and methodology and conclusions. (excerpt)
Paris, France, OECD, 1985. 271 p.The 1985 state of the environment is presented in terms of the progress and concerns, the pressures on, and the responses to the state of the environment. Concern is expressed for the condition of the air, inland water resources, the marine environment, forest resources, wild life resources, solid waste, and noise. The policy agenda is defined and includes past problems identified in 1979 as well as new concerns. The economic and international context in which these problems should be considered is established. The pressures on the environment are reflected in the following sectors: agriculture, energy, industry, and transportation. Responses pertain to the government, enterprises, and the public. The objective is to help member states define, implement, and evaluate environmental policies, and to include environmental concerns decision making. Member countries of the Group on the State of the Environment have 17% of the world's population and account for 69% of the gross domestic product and world trade and 75% of forest product imports. Achievements are identified as reduced urban air pollution by sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide; improved water quality; decreased oil tanker accidents and oil spills; improved management of municipal waste, reduced use of DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury compounds; and improved protection and management of some species of game, flora, and fauna. Progress has been unevenly distributed throughout the member region, by level, problem, and country. Air quality problems pertain to sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons, and carbon dioxide and fluorocarbon emissions. Urban areas are still problematic. Remaining problems for inland waters the marine environment, and for hazardous substances are also identified. Progress has been slow, as has economic growth, but nonetheless environmental policies must be strengthened. New pollution concerns are identified as "new" pollutants, diffuse emission of pollutants, multiple exposure, and cross-media pollution. Natural resource concerns are interdependent with economic development and involve water, land, wildlife, and forest resources. The 3 major longterm risks are related to health, to the environment from industrial accidents, and to the environment from natural disasters. Profound structural changes are ahead. More accurate environmental data is needed based on existing systems and relevant to policy makers. The public is supportive of environmental policy and has a right to know.l
[Attitudes toward the environment: a North / South analysis] Attitudes face a l'environnement: une analyse Nord / Sud.
REVUE TIERS MONDE. 1992 Apr-Jun; 33(130):355-72.The results of public opinion surveys were used to assess the variation in views and attitudes toward the environment among different social strata in several countries. The developed countries have recently become concerned about the disappearance of the rain forests, but mere survival is more of a preoccupation for the majority of Brazilians than damage tot he rain forest. A survey of a representative national sample during the 1989 presidential election indicated that fewer than 10% of Brazilians considered ecological problems among the 3 major national problems. But in a survey to determine which environmental problems in Brazil were considered most serious, burning of the tropical forest was identified by the greatest proportion of respondents, 19%, followed by industrial pollution of rivers and cities, 17%. Surveys in 1990-91 in Great Britain indicated in contrast that some 92% of respondents were in favor of 1 or more measures to limit deterioration of the tropical forest, such as limiting importation of wood from countries not protecting their forests or contributing funds to ecological groups. Opinion surveys in British Columbia, whose main economic activity is forestry, showed that 40% of respondents considered ecological problems to be the most serious, ahead of unemployment, the economy, or social services. But specific questions on clear cutting of forests, preservation of old forest in Vancouver, or pollution controls for the paper industry, which closely affected the local economy, divided opinion and probably demonstrated a desire to protect the environment without too greatly disturbing the local economy. Study of the reactions of developing country populations to environmental problems is difficult because of language and cultural barriers, political instability, war, natural catastrophes, and difficulty of establishing representative samples, among other factors. Results of a study of the opinion of the Maya population of southern Mexico and northern Guatemala on deforestation, land use, and development are expected to appear shortly. A study in Lima identified the proliferation of refuse in the street as the worst ecological problem for 42%, followed by air pollution caused by automotive exhausts for 30%. Only 1% believed disappearance of the rain forest to be the principal problem. The ordering of ecological problems was significantly influenced by social class. A comparison of the views on ecological problems of opinion leaders and the general public was conducted in 1988-89 in 16 countries on 4 continents. In most cases, the opinions of the leaders corresponded to those of the general public. Most respondents in all countries except Saudi Arabia considered their environment of average quality, and a majority believed that the place where they lived had worsening environmental conditions over the past decade. Majorities in all countries except Japan stated they support organizations that protect the environment.
POPULI. 1989 Jun; 16(2):30-7.An explosion of demographic information has taken place in the last 10 years. Yet, the public does not seem to be concerned about population growth. Population must compete with many other issues which have also "exploded." In 1983, an article in the New York Times carried a headline that assumed that the UN had lowered its world population projection for the year 2000. No such downturn actually took place. Other such mistakes are also reported. In 1982, an article in the Christian Science Monitor had a headline that suggested that the population bomb had fizzled. However, it did publish another article stating that the population bomb had not fizzled. However, it did publish another article stating that the population bomb had not fizzled. The public has grown tired of crises. They are inclined to "tune out" the dire predictions of experts. An editorial page article from the Mobil Corporation is an example. Popular opinion on world population growth is the result of a process of what can be gleaned from the mass media. The consistent, accurate dissemination of world demographic pattern information to the public should be a high priority for the field of demographics, but is not. The mechanics of population change should be separated from the effects of that change. The demographic community should impart an understanding of the world situation and how it came about. Among the concepts that are not well understood, but not too complex are the fact that population growth has taken place in developed and developing countries in different ways. Too often population projections are taken too literally. An understanding of the simple arithmetic of population growth is basic to considering the impact of population growth upon countries. Now is the time to increase population understanding. Knowledge of population growth should not be left to demographers alone.
CLINICS IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY. 1986 Mar; 13(1):1-17.Attention is directed to preindustrial and transitional societies to illustrate the great variety of techniques and conditions under which abortion is practiced. The discussion covers changes in abortion status and attitudes through time as well as past and current attitudes in the US. Abortion traditionally has been performed under 2 primary sets of circumstances: the mother (or couple) does not want the pregnancy; or, for a variety of reasons, the pregnancy is deemed unacceptable by the given society, extended family, or a specific family member, usually the husband. Most accounts of abortion deal with its voluntary practice, revealing often the lengths to which women will go to control their fertility in the absence of contraception. Yet, examples exist from both preindustrial and modern societies where the decision to have an abortion is not made by the woman alone but is influenced either wholly or in part by political or cultural factors. Women who want an abortion either have performed the procedures themselves or have sought help from community practitioners, friends, or relative. Abortion techniques are highly varied and include abortifacients, magic, mechanical methods (such as instrumentation, constriction, and insertion of foreign objects into the uterus), heat applied externally, strenuous physical activity, jolts to the body, and starvation. Although abortion is extensively and rather openly practiced in many primitive societies, few groups give it unqualified approval. Cross-culturally, the most prevalent conditions for either approving of or imposing abortion include unmarried status of the mother, adultery, ambiguous paternity, mother's poor health, lactation of the mother, consent of the father, death of the father, rape, incest, and other varieties of illegal union. In Western civilization attitdues vary and have been changing in most cases. As of mid-1982, 10% of the world's population lived in countries where abortion was prohibited under all circumstances and 18% in countries where it was permitted only to save the mother's life. Close to 2/3 of the countries in Latin America, most countries in Africa, most Muslim Countries in Asia, and the 5 European countries of Belgium, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, and Spain belong in these 2 categories. An additional 8% lived in countries that permitted abortion under broad medical grounds. The remaining 64% of the world's population were governed by statutes that either allowed abortion on broad social grounds, such as unmarried status of the mother and financial problems, or permitted it on demand (usually within the 1st trimester). Recent estimates of the number of abortions have ranged up to 55 million, corresponding to an abortion rate of 70/1000 women of reproductive age and to an abortion ratio of 300/1000 known pregnancies. The US liberalized its abortion policy and then subsequently added restrictions at federal, state or local levels. Abortion is 1 of the most divisive issues in the US. Opinions range from disapproval under all circumstances, even to save the mother's life, to approval for any reason, i.e., on demand.