Tolerance of frogs and the threats they face

Prokop, P., Medina-Jerez, W., Coleman, J., Fančovičová, J., Özel, M., & Fedor, P. (2016). Tolerance of frogs among high school students: Influences of disgust and culture. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education.

This study explored the perceptions of high school children towards frogs. The study highlights the importance of human attitudes towards amphibian species. The different factors which affect people’s attitudes towards frogs were explored, including family influences, gender, and how levels of disgust can have a negative impact on our willingness to protect certain species.

Researchers interviewed high school students from Chile, Slovakia, South Africa, and Turkey. They assessed each of the pupil’s pathogen disgust levels in regards to different scenarios, such as stepping on dog poop and accidently touching someone’s bloody cut. Respondents then rated these scenarios on a Likert scale, with 1 being not at all disgusting, and 5 being extremely disgusting. Researchers then continued to measure participant’s own disgust levels towards frogs, in which they were asked the question: How much do you consider fogs to be disgusting? This was then followed up by the question: How much do you consider frogs to be important in nature?

Finally, participants were asked about their own tolerance towards frogs, with researchers asking the question: If you have some frogs in your garden, what do you do with them? Researchers found that the participants stated that that they would either kill them, remove them, or accept them in their garden.

A leap in the wrong direction: Pupils opt to remove frogs

Results demonstrated that although only 6% of participants stated that they would kill a frog upon an encounter, 31% still opted for removing them from their gardens altogether. Alongside this, researchers found that parent’s tolerance of frogs had an affect on how their children perceived frogs. Relationships between age and gender was also found, with females and older students displaying higher levels of tolerance towards frogs.

These results suggest that public education about frogs and their habitats may help to alleviate these problems, with parent education potentially being important. By doing this, it is more likely that future generations will have an increased awareness of amphibians, the roles that they play in our ecosystem, and the correct actions to take when encountering them.

World Animal Protection’s view

At World Animal Protection, we believe that all animals, including those considered less charismatic should be protected. Education is critical to help both children and adults understand the importance of animal welfare and the significance of certain species within the environment.