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Gender differences in family communication about organ donation
Unformatted Document Text:  28 Woodwell, 2001) and it is reasonable to associate this general medical aversion with their aversion to organ donation . It is doubtful, however, that any of these factors, can contribute to the creation of a campaign that would increase the number of male donor intendees. Nevertheless, they do provide additional insights that would lead to fruitful research, for it is important to know if they are significant factors, regardless whether they can be put to practical use. How, then, can donation campaigns appeal more directly to males, who are both less likely to advocate donation and, importantly, less likely to share any pro-donation wishes with family members? Can campaigns be developed based on appeals to status and competition? The earlier research on refutational vs. one-sided donation arguments (Ford & Smith, 1991) relates in some ways to a more competitive approach to persuasion, in that refutational approaches to argument are more competitive than are one-sided messages. Recalling the data cited earlier indicating that males make up a higher percentage of the donor pool makes appealing to them both attitudinally and in terms of talking to their family members particularly relevant. While males are not typically oriented toward their bodies in a way that would lead them to comparatively low anxiety levels regarding organ donation, they have been socialized in such a way that they hold themselves accountable to others, particularly their family, even in death. Indeed, the tradition of life insurance marketing can help us to understand the masculine attitude toward organ donation. Those ads assume that a man believes he can support or protect his family after he has died, and they assume that the man experiences anxiety about what will happen to his family after his death. The condition necessary for such ads to work is that the man be able to imagine his family

Authors: Thompson, Teresa., Robinson, James. and Kenny, Wade.
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28
Woodwell, 2001) and it is reasonable to associate this general medical aversion with their
aversion to organ donation
.
It is doubtful, however, that any of these factors, can contribute to the creation of
a campaign that would increase the number of male donor intendees. Nevertheless, they
do provide additional insights that would lead to fruitful research, for it is important to
know if they are significant factors, regardless whether they can be put to practical use.
How, then, can donation campaigns appeal more directly to males, who are both
less likely to advocate donation and, importantly, less likely to share any pro-donation
wishes with family members? Can campaigns be developed based on appeals to status
and competition? The earlier research on refutational vs. one-sided donation arguments
(Ford & Smith, 1991) relates in some ways to a more competitive approach to persuasion,
in that refutational approaches to argument are more competitive than are one-sided
messages. Recalling the data cited earlier indicating that males make up a higher
percentage of the donor pool makes appealing to them both attitudinally and in terms of
talking to their family members particularly relevant.
While males are not typically oriented toward their bodies in a way that would
lead them to comparatively low anxiety levels regarding organ donation, they have been
socialized in such a way that they hold themselves accountable to others, particularly
their family, even in death. Indeed, the tradition of life insurance marketing can help us
to understand the masculine attitude toward organ donation. Those ads assume that a
man believes he can support or protect his family after he has died, and they assume that
the man experiences anxiety about what will happen to his family after his death. The
condition necessary for such ads to work is that the man be able to imagine his family


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