In the spotlight: Performance management that puts people first

In volatile times, companies are under outsize pressure to respond to economic, technological, and social changes. Effective performance management systems can be a powerful part of this response. They’re designed to help people get better in their work, and they offer clarity in career development and professional performance. And then there’s the big picture: companies that focus on their people’s performance are 4.2 times more likely to outperform their peers, realizing an average 30 percent higher revenue growth and experiencing attrition five percentage points lower (see sidebar, “About the research”). Companies that focus on their people and organizational health also reap dividends in culture, collaboration, and innovation—as well as sustained competitive performance. 1 Alex Camp, Arne Gast, Drew Goldstein, and Brooke Weddle, “ Organizational health is (still) the key to long-term performance ,” McKinsey, February 12, 2024.

Today, company leaders lack full confidence in most performance management systems—despite these systems’ importance and value—citing fragmentation, the existence of informal or “shadow” systems, misalignment, and inconsistency as common challenges. What sort of systems fit the company’s needs? Should rewards focus on individual or team goals? Where are limited resources best spent?

About the research

The insights in this article draw from a comprehensive review of industry best practices, including the experiences of more than 30 global companies across sectors, as well as research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) into how companies gain a competitive edge and deliver top-tier financial results. Specifically, MGI studied more than 1,800 companies with revenues of greater than $100 million. 1 Performance through people: Transforming human capital into competitive advantage ; MGI, February 2, 2023. The article’s author team also completed a study of more than 50 companies’ performance management practices, aiming to provide a nuanced understanding of how organizations approach and execute performance management.

An understanding of the four basic elements of performance management—goal setting, performance reviews, ongoing development, and rewards—provides a foundation for answering these questions and more. Of course, the right performance management system will vary by organization. Leaders who embrace a fit-for-purpose design built on a proven set of core innovations can build motivational and meritocratic companies that attract and retain outstanding employees.

How leading companies approach performance management

Our research across a set of global companies found that despite widespread agreement about certain performance management best practices—such as offering regular feedback outside of an annual review—many companies remain stuck in old ways of working. There are many design choices that can determine the characteristics of a performance management system, but some are more critical than others (Exhibit 1). These decisions—and how they interact with each other—will help determine how the performance management system maps onto the company’s overarching strategy.

Goal setting

Two critical design decisions relate to goal setting: the number of performance management systems used and whether to prioritize individual or team performance goals.

Degree of differentiation. The simplest and best option for many organizations is a single performance management system to address the needs of all employees. However, in more-complex companies with several employee groups, more than one system might be necessary. Manufacturing companies, for instance, may employ three performance management systems with few commonalities: one for sales, in which sales agents are provided direct incentives for the number of goods sold; one for production, with a monthly rhythm focusing on improving core production KPIs; and one for executives, in which the focus might be related more to annual objectives and leadership behavior.

Considerations for these choices often revolve around the nature of the work and the ease of quantifying outputs. For roles in which performance can be easily measured through tangible metrics, such as sales and production, a system emphasizing quantifiable outcomes may be more suitable. On the other hand, for roles involving tasks that are less easily measured, such as those in R&D, a performance management system should be designed to accommodate the nuanced and less tangible aspects of their contributions.

The nucleus of performance. Many organizations have traditionally placed a strong emphasis on individual performance, rooted in the belief that individual accountability drives results. In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift toward recognizing the importance of the team in achieving overall organizational success.

At a large European online retailer, for instance, the focus of performance management has been put on the team rather than the individual. Goals are set for the team, feedback is given to the team, and the performance appraisal is conducted for the team. Example performance metrics for teams can include project completion timelines, cross-functional collaboration success, and the achievement of collective milestones. On an individual level, the company assesses performance using a sophisticated model that prescribes skills and behaviors for 14 job families, each with up to four hierarchies.

Another prominent company in the automotive industry underscores the team as the cornerstone of performance. The teams could be defined along both functional and organizational lines—such as the division or the business line—and the company linked the organizational lines’ performance to the individuals’ compensation.

Performance reviews

Performance reviews raise the question of how to balance the individual objectives and their appraisal with respect to the “what” and the “how,” as well as whether review responsibility should lie primarily with managers, committees, or a combination of both.

Performance formula: What versus how. The balance between setting objectives and assessing what employees accomplish and how they go about their work is the central focus here. To measure the “what,” reviews have traditionally used KPIs, concentrating on quantifiable metrics and specific targets and emphasizing measurable outcomes and achievements. 2 For more on metrics best practices and how they can help leaders avoid pitfalls in their performance management systems, see Raffaele Carpi, John Douglas, and Frédéric Gascon, “ Performance management: Why keeping score is so important, and so hard ,” McKinsey, October 4, 2017.

However, for many roles and in many segments of the company, the work is complex, multifaceted, and fast-paced and can be difficult to capture with rather static KPIs. Consequently, many companies have reverted to using objective key results (OKRs) to link results to defined objectives. The objectives represent the qualitative, aspirational goals an individual or team aims to achieve, while the key results are the quantifiable metrics used to measure progress toward those objectives. The objectives provide context and direction, capturing the broader strategic intent behind the measurable key results.

Companies that explicitly focus a portion of performance reviews on the “how” consider qualities such as collaboration, communication, adaptability, and ethical decision making. Considering behavior and conduct, in particular, can help assess leaders whose teams’ outcomes are hard to measure—such as long-term projects, complex initiatives, or qualitative improvements that may not have easily quantifiable metrics. About three in five companies in our sample look at a mix of both what and how, which can equip managers with a more comprehensive understanding of not only tangible results but also the underlying approach and mindset that contributed to those outcomes.

Review responsibility. In structuring accountability for conducting performance reviews, companies tend to lean on managers, committees, or a combination of both.

Managers should play a central role, and their discretion should be a significant factor in performance assessments because they can judge the context in which an employee has been working. For example, when evaluating performance, it’s crucial to consider the headwinds and tailwinds that the business, team, or employee faced during the evaluation period. External factors, market conditions, and organizational dynamics can significantly affect an employee’s ability to achieve their goals, and considering them helps provide a fair and contextual assessment.

In this context, another design question emerges: whether to appraise employees against OKR fulfilment or the effort they put into achieving the desired outcome. Particularly in many large digital players, OKRs are set as “moonshot” goals—objectives so ambitious they are difficult to achieve. Managers can help ensure that, at the end of the performance cycle, an employee is assessed against not only OKR fulfillment but also—and to an even greater degree—how hard they tried given the resources available to them.

Managers’ points of view, formed with knowledge of the circumstances that produced employees’ performance, produce richer assessments that are sensitive to context—given that managers work closely with their team members and have firsthand knowledge of the challenges, workloads, and specific situations that each employee encounters.

Committees, meanwhile, bring diverse perspectives and can mitigate biases that might arise from individual managers’ subjectivity. Committees can provide a checks-and-balances system, promoting consistency and standardization in the evaluation process.

A combination of these two approaches can be an effective solution. Senior managers and high performers across hierarchies could be discussed in committees, while the rest of the workforce could be evaluated by their direct managers. This integrated approach leverages the contextual insights of managers while also incorporating the diverse viewpoints and standardization that committees offer, particularly for more-senior or high-impact roles.

Regardless of the review responsibility structure, it’s worth noting that more and more managers, committees, and employees are using generative AI (gen AI) to aggregate and extract information to inform performance reviews. For example, some employees may toil to define clear, specific, and measurable goals that align with their career aspirations; gen AI can help create a first draft and iterate based on their role, helping the employee focus on their specific growth areas as well as gauge improvement on an ongoing basis. Managers and committees, meanwhile, used to spend a lot of time gathering performance metrics from different sources and systems for employee evaluation. Gen AI can aggregate input from various sources into a consolidated format to provide managers with a more comprehensive starting point for reviews.

Beyond employees’ formal professional-development opportunities, their managers’ capability to set goals, appraise performance fairly and motivationally, and provide feedback is one of the most critical success factors for an effective performance management system. As a result, many companies have pivoted to invest in focused capability building.

Ongoing development

Another key aspect to consider when designing a performance management system is the focus of the assessment: will it evaluate past performances, or will the emphasis be placed on creating an understanding and foundation for further growth?

A backward-looking assessment will focus on fulfillment of the what and how objectives to create a fair basis for ranking and related consequences. However, many companies are pivoting to complement this assessment or are even focusing entirely on a developmental appraisal. In this approach, the focus is on truly understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the individual as a basis for further development, capability building, and personal growth.

Against that backdrop, rather than concentrating solely on top performers, an inclusive developmental system should cater to the growth needs of employees across all levels and backgrounds. McKinsey research emphasizes the importance of ongoing development for all employees, including—crucially—efforts tailored specifically for women 3 Women in the Workplace 2023 , McKinsey, October 5, 2023. and other underrepresented groups. 4 Diversity matters even more: The case for holistic impact , McKinsey, December 5, 2023. Such development programs not only foster a more equitable culture but also help unlock the full potential of the entire workforce.

Traditionally, many companies have used relative ratings to compare and rank employees against one another, often resulting in a forced distribution or curve. Employees are placed into categories or tiers based on their relative performance, with a predetermined percentage falling into each category (for example, top 10 percent, middle 70 percent, and bottom 20 percent).

Many companies today are simplifying their ratings systems so employees understand where they stand while shifting toward development approaches tailored to individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to identify areas for growth and provide targeted support to help employees enhance their capabilities and skills.

While assessing performance remains important, the emphasis should be on using those assessments as a starting point for identifying developmental opportunities, with an understanding of both strengths and weaknesses and the specific development needs to improve performance. The focus shifts from mere evaluation to understanding the underlying factors that contribute to an individual’s performance, be it skills gaps, mindsets, or environmental factors.

Four reward categories—compensation, career progression, development opportunities, and recognition—remain the core pillars of an effective performance management system. Most leading companies provide individual rewards (as opposed to team- or corporate-driven ones), with equal relevance given to short- and long-term incentives, looking at impact holistically and balancing investment in all four reward categories.

Under certain circumstances, it may make sense to emphasize financial rewards, particularly in sales functions or other roles where monetary incentives are highly valued. Indeed, some organizations may double down on monetary compensation, offering significantly higher pay packages to their top performers, because money is seen as a key motivator in these roles.

In other cases, it may be more effective to take money off the table and emphasize nonfinancial rewards, such as recognition, flexibility, and career development opportunities. While base pay may remain the same across the firm, high performers can be rewarded with faster career progression, more recognition, and better development opportunities. A 2009 McKinsey survey found that “three noncash motivators—praise from immediate managers, leadership attention (for example, one-on-one conversations), and a chance to lead projects or task forces” were “no less or even more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives: cash bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options.” Furthermore, “The survey’s top three nonfinancial motivators play critical roles in making employees feel that their companies value them, take their well-being seriously, and strive to create opportunities for career growth.” 5 “ Motivating people: Getting beyond money ,” McKinsey Quarterly , November 1, 2009. More than a decade later, McKinsey research found that managers and employees remain misaligned: specifically, employers overlook the relational elements—such as feeling valued by a manager and the organization and feeling a sense of belonging—relative to how important these factors are to employee retention (Exhibit 2). 6 “ ‘ Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours ,” McKinsey Quarterly , September 8, 2021. Indeed, the importance of nonmonetary incentives represents a consistent theme in performance management research and inquiry.

Given the time and effort required to effectively implement nonfinancial rewards, it’s crucial for organizations to carefully consider how to deploy these rewards strategically with employee groups. The decision of where to place emphasis should align with the organization’s culture, values, and the specific workforce’s motivations.

It’s worth noting that companies focusing on team achievement over individual performance also tend to value praise of the team. Public recognition and praise for effective teamwork and joint accomplishments can foster a sense of unity, camaraderie, and motivation.

Things to get right

Of the global companies we observed, there was a shared set of enabling factors across those with effective performance management systems. These things are fairly intuitive, but they are hard to practice well. Done consistently, they can produce powerful results.

  • Ensure that performance management systems are agile. Systems should allow for goals to be easily updated so the workforce—and therefore the organization—can respond to quickly changing conditions. The processes themselves should also be agile. For instance, relationships and interactions between managers and employees should allow for coaching that is close to real time so employees are consistently being pushed in the right direction—and learning to create that momentum themselves.
  • Provide regular feedback. Annual reviews can create a bottleneck on managers and the C-suite. More regular performance conversations can be successful in a variety of formats; quarterly, weekly, and casual check-ins should supplement formal reviews. Conversations can be about both the what and the how of the work and be a source of ongoing coaching.

If reviews remain once a year rather than more frequent, top management may consider prioritizing their direct involvement in the evaluation process to keep a pulse on employee sentiment and progress. A leading financial institution in Europe chose this route and found it was able to build a strong capability-building program around a feedback culture that is unafraid of difficult conversations.

  • Establish an effective fact base. According to our research, only two in five companies use both upward and downward evaluation in individual performance reviews. To establish a more comprehensive fact base, organizations can implement robust 360° review processes that solicit feedback from an employee’s manager, peers, direct reports, and even customers or stakeholders outside the company. Many leaders have found that 360° reviews offer a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s performance because such reviews consider perspectives from both those who are led and those who are in leadership roles.
  • Maintain rating and differentiation. Many companies have reassessed their approach to employee ratings and the subsequent differentiation of consequences. While some companies have eliminated ratings altogether, most companies have been evolving their systems to drive motivation, recognize and incentivize performance, and create a “talent currency.” This means a high performer from one division is considered by the organization to be of the same caliber as one from another division. Overall, leaders are pushing for simplification, such as moving from a seven-tier approach to a four-tier or even three-tier system. There is also a stronger link between ratings and outcomes, as well as a shift from forced distribution to distribution guidance.
  • Employ gen AI. Gen AI—the latest technology to change the business landscape—can be a tool to support select elements of performance management, such as setting goals and drafting performance reviews. A manager could use the technology to aggregate and synthesize input from different sources to draft communications to and about employees more efficiently, freeing them to focus on the core value driving parts of performance management and giving more time for personal interactions with their employees, such as coaching and feedback. 7 For more, see People and Organization Blog , “ Four ways to start using generative AI in HR ,” blog post by Julian Kirchherr, Dana Maor, Kira Rupietta, and Kirsten Weerda, McKinsey, March 4, 2024.

Getting started

Companies can get started by understanding where they are now. Specifically, they should assess their organizations’ current performance culture, including the level of adoption of the existing performance management system and its quality. Decision makers should then use the following three questions to check the health of their performance management efforts and outline their ambitions for performance management:

  • Are we getting the expected returns from the time invested in the performance management process, and does it drive higher performance and capabilities?
  • Does the current performance management system reflect the needs and context of this particular business or workforce segment?
  • Do we have a performance culture? (Hint: How frequent are employees’ coaching interactions? How clear and differentiated is feedback?)

Many traditional approaches to people management are unlikely to suffice in today’s top-performing organizations. The research-backed benefits of prioritizing people’s performance, from enhanced revenue growth to lower attrition rates, underscore the strategic importance of these systems. By embracing a fit-for-purpose design anchored in the key elements of performance management, organizations can position themselves as dynamic and adaptive employers.

Simon Gallot Lavallée is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Milan office, where Andrea Pedroni  is a partner; Asmus Komm is a partner in the Hamburg office; and Amaia Noguera Lasa is a partner in the Madrid office.

The authors wish to thank Katharina Wagner, Brooke Weddle, and the many industry professionals who contributed to the development of this article.

Explore a career with us

Related articles.

Image of people celebrating in an office with a woman smiling and being hugged by her coworker.

Gen AI talent: Your next flight risk

Vector illustration of a tree with blossoms and roots going into the ground.

Increasing your return on talent: The moves and metrics that matter

Glass ball abstract background. 3d

CEO excellence: How do leaders assess their own performance?

example of short research proposal about social issue

Cultural Relativity and Acceptance of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Article sidebar.

example of short research proposal about social issue

Main Article Content

There is a debate about the ethical implications of using human embryos in stem cell research, which can be influenced by cultural, moral, and social values. This paper argues for an adaptable framework to accommodate diverse cultural and religious perspectives. By using an adaptive ethics model, research protections can reflect various populations and foster growth in stem cell research possibilities.


Stem cell research combines biology, medicine, and technology, promising to alter health care and the understanding of human development. Yet, ethical contention exists because of individuals’ perceptions of using human embryos based on their various cultural, moral, and social values. While these disagreements concerning policy, use, and general acceptance have prompted the development of an international ethics policy, such a uniform approach can overlook the nuanced ethical landscapes between cultures. With diverse viewpoints in public health, a single global policy, especially one reflecting Western ethics or the ethics prevalent in high-income countries, is impractical. This paper argues for a culturally sensitive, adaptable framework for the use of embryonic stem cells. Stem cell policy should accommodate varying ethical viewpoints and promote an effective global dialogue. With an extension of an ethics model that can adapt to various cultures, we recommend localized guidelines that reflect the moral views of the people those guidelines serve.

Stem cells, characterized by their unique ability to differentiate into various cell types, enable the repair or replacement of damaged tissues. Two primary types of stem cells are somatic stem cells (adult stem cells) and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells exist in developed tissues and maintain the body’s repair processes. [1] Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are remarkably pluripotent or versatile, making them valuable in research. [2] However, the use of ESCs has sparked ethics debates. Considering the potential of embryonic stem cells, research guidelines are essential. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) provides international stem cell research guidelines. They call for “public conversations touching on the scientific significance as well as the societal and ethical issues raised by ESC research.” [3] The ISSCR also publishes updates about culturing human embryos 14 days post fertilization, suggesting local policies and regulations should continue to evolve as ESC research develops. [4]  Like the ISSCR, which calls for local law and policy to adapt to developing stem cell research given cultural acceptance, this paper highlights the importance of local social factors such as religion and culture.

I.     Global Cultural Perspective of Embryonic Stem Cells

Views on ESCs vary throughout the world. Some countries readily embrace stem cell research and therapies, while others have stricter regulations due to ethical concerns surrounding embryonic stem cells and when an embryo becomes entitled to moral consideration. The philosophical issue of when the “someone” begins to be a human after fertilization, in the morally relevant sense, [5] impacts when an embryo becomes not just worthy of protection but morally entitled to it. The process of creating embryonic stem cell lines involves the destruction of the embryos for research. [6] Consequently, global engagement in ESC research depends on social-cultural acceptability.

a.     US and Rights-Based Cultures

In the United States, attitudes toward stem cell therapies are diverse. The ethics and social approaches, which value individualism, [7] trigger debates regarding the destruction of human embryos, creating a complex regulatory environment. For example, the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment prohibited federal funding for the creation of embryos for research and the destruction of embryos for “more than allowed for research on fetuses in utero.” [8] Following suit, in 2001, the Bush Administration heavily restricted stem cell lines for research. However, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 was proposed to help develop ESC research but was ultimately vetoed. [9] Under the Obama administration, in 2009, an executive order lifted restrictions allowing for more development in this field. [10] The flux of research capacity and funding parallels the different cultural perceptions of human dignity of the embryo and how it is socially presented within the country’s research culture. [11]

b.     Ubuntu and Collective Cultures

African bioethics differs from Western individualism because of the different traditions and values. African traditions, as described by individuals from South Africa and supported by some studies in other African countries, including Ghana and Kenya, follow the African moral philosophies of Ubuntu or Botho and Ukama , which “advocates for a form of wholeness that comes through one’s relationship and connectedness with other people in the society,” [12] making autonomy a socially collective concept. In this context, for the community to act autonomously, individuals would come together to decide what is best for the collective. Thus, stem cell research would require examining the value of the research to society as a whole and the use of the embryos as a collective societal resource. If society views the source as part of the collective whole, and opposes using stem cells, compromising the cultural values to pursue research may cause social detachment and stunt research growth. [13] Based on local culture and moral philosophy, the permissibility of stem cell research depends on how embryo, stem cell, and cell line therapies relate to the community as a whole . Ubuntu is the expression of humanness, with the person’s identity drawn from the “’I am because we are’” value. [14] The decision in a collectivistic culture becomes one born of cultural context, and individual decisions give deference to others in the society.

Consent differs in cultures where thought and moral philosophy are based on a collective paradigm. So, applying Western bioethical concepts is unrealistic. For one, Africa is a diverse continent with many countries with different belief systems, access to health care, and reliance on traditional or Western medicines. Where traditional medicine is the primary treatment, the “’restrictive focus on biomedically-related bioethics’” [is] problematic in African contexts because it neglects bioethical issues raised by traditional systems.” [15] No single approach applies in all areas or contexts. Rather than evaluating the permissibility of ESC research according to Western concepts such as the four principles approach, different ethics approaches should prevail.

Another consideration is the socio-economic standing of countries. In parts of South Africa, researchers have not focused heavily on contributing to the stem cell discourse, either because it is not considered health care or a health science priority or because resources are unavailable. [16] Each country’s priorities differ given different social, political, and economic factors. In South Africa, for instance, areas such as maternal mortality, non-communicable diseases, telemedicine, and the strength of health systems need improvement and require more focus. [17] Stem cell research could benefit the population, but it also could divert resources from basic medical care. Researchers in South Africa adhere to the National Health Act and Medicines Control Act in South Africa and international guidelines; however, the Act is not strictly enforced, and there is no clear legislation for research conduct or ethical guidelines. [18]

Some parts of Africa condemn stem cell research. For example, 98.2 percent of the Tunisian population is Muslim. [19] Tunisia does not permit stem cell research because of moral conflict with a Fatwa. Religion heavily saturates the regulation and direction of research. [20] Stem cell use became permissible for reproductive purposes only recently, with tight restrictions preventing cells from being used in any research other than procedures concerning ART/IVF.  Their use is conditioned on consent, and available only to married couples. [21] The community's receptiveness to stem cell research depends on including communitarian African ethics.

c.     Asia

Some Asian countries also have a collective model of ethics and decision making. [22] In China, the ethics model promotes a sincere respect for life or human dignity, [23] based on protective medicine. This model, influenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), [24] recognizes Qi as the vital energy delivered via the meridians of the body; it connects illness to body systems, the body’s entire constitution, and the universe for a holistic bond of nature, health, and quality of life. [25] Following a protective ethics model, and traditional customs of wholeness, investment in stem cell research is heavily desired for its applications in regenerative therapies, disease modeling, and protective medicines. In a survey of medical students and healthcare practitioners, 30.8 percent considered stem cell research morally unacceptable while 63.5 percent accepted medical research using human embryonic stem cells. Of these individuals, 89.9 percent supported increased funding for stem cell research. [26] The scientific community might not reflect the overall population. From 1997 to 2019, China spent a total of $576 million (USD) on stem cell research at 8,050 stem cell programs, increased published presence from 0.6 percent to 14.01 percent of total global stem cell publications as of 2014, and made significant strides in cell-based therapies for various medical conditions. [27] However, while China has made substantial investments in stem cell research and achieved notable progress in clinical applications, concerns linger regarding ethical oversight and transparency. [28] For example, the China Biosecurity Law, promoted by the National Health Commission and China Hospital Association, attempted to mitigate risks by introducing an institutional review board (IRB) in the regulatory bodies. 5800 IRBs registered with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry since 2021. [29] However, issues still need to be addressed in implementing effective IRB review and approval procedures.

The substantial government funding and focus on scientific advancement have sometimes overshadowed considerations of regional cultures, ethnic minorities, and individual perspectives, particularly evident during the one-child policy era. As government policy adapts to promote public stability, such as the change from the one-child to the two-child policy, [30] research ethics should also adapt to ensure respect for the values of its represented peoples.

Japan is also relatively supportive of stem cell research and therapies. Japan has a more transparent regulatory framework, allowing for faster approval of regenerative medicine products, which has led to several advanced clinical trials and therapies. [31] South Korea is also actively engaged in stem cell research and has a history of breakthroughs in cloning and embryonic stem cells. [32] However, the field is controversial, and there are issues of scientific integrity. For example, the Korean FDA fast-tracked products for approval, [33] and in another instance, the oocyte source was unclear and possibly violated ethical standards. [34] Trust is important in research, as it builds collaborative foundations between colleagues, trial participant comfort, open-mindedness for complicated and sensitive discussions, and supports regulatory procedures for stakeholders. There is a need to respect the culture’s interest, engagement, and for research and clinical trials to be transparent and have ethical oversight to promote global research discourse and trust.

d.     Middle East

Countries in the Middle East have varying degrees of acceptance of or restrictions to policies related to using embryonic stem cells due to cultural and religious influences. Saudi Arabia has made significant contributions to stem cell research, and conducts research based on international guidelines for ethical conduct and under strict adherence to guidelines in accordance with Islamic principles. Specifically, the Saudi government and people require ESC research to adhere to Sharia law. In addition to umbilical and placental stem cells, [35] Saudi Arabia permits the use of embryonic stem cells as long as they come from miscarriages, therapeutic abortions permissible by Sharia law, or are left over from in vitro fertilization and donated to research. [36] Laws and ethical guidelines for stem cell research allow the development of research institutions such as the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, which has a cord blood bank and a stem cell registry with nearly 10,000 donors. [37] Such volume and acceptance are due to the ethical ‘permissibility’ of the donor sources, which do not conflict with religious pillars. However, some researchers err on the side of caution, choosing not to use embryos or fetal tissue as they feel it is unethical to do so. [38]

Jordan has a positive research ethics culture. [39] However, there is a significant issue of lack of trust in researchers, with 45.23 percent (38.66 percent agreeing and 6.57 percent strongly agreeing) of Jordanians holding a low level of trust in researchers, compared to 81.34 percent of Jordanians agreeing that they feel safe to participate in a research trial. [40] Safety testifies to the feeling of confidence that adequate measures are in place to protect participants from harm, whereas trust in researchers could represent the confidence in researchers to act in the participants’ best interests, adhere to ethical guidelines, provide accurate information, and respect participants’ rights and dignity. One method to improve trust would be to address communication issues relevant to ESC. Legislation surrounding stem cell research has adopted specific language, especially concerning clarification “between ‘stem cells’ and ‘embryonic stem cells’” in translation. [41] Furthermore, legislation “mandates the creation of a national committee… laying out specific regulations for stem-cell banking in accordance with international standards.” [42] This broad regulation opens the door for future global engagement and maintains transparency. However, these regulations may also constrain the influence of research direction, pace, and accessibility of research outcomes.

e.     Europe

In the European Union (EU), ethics is also principle-based, but the principles of autonomy, dignity, integrity, and vulnerability are interconnected. [43] As such, the opportunity for cohesion and concessions between individuals’ thoughts and ideals allows for a more adaptable ethics model due to the flexible principles that relate to the human experience The EU has put forth a framework in its Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being allowing member states to take different approaches. Each European state applies these principles to its specific conventions, leading to or reflecting different acceptance levels of stem cell research. [44]

For example, in Germany, Lebenzusammenhang , or the coherence of life, references integrity in the unity of human culture. Namely, the personal sphere “should not be subject to external intervention.” [45]  Stem cell interventions could affect this concept of bodily completeness, leading to heavy restrictions. Under the Grundgesetz, human dignity and the right to life with physical integrity are paramount. [46] The Embryo Protection Act of 1991 made producing cell lines illegal. Cell lines can be imported if approved by the Central Ethics Commission for Stem Cell Research only if they were derived before May 2007. [47] Stem cell research respects the integrity of life for the embryo with heavy specifications and intense oversight. This is vastly different in Finland, where the regulatory bodies find research more permissible in IVF excess, but only up to 14 days after fertilization. [48] Spain’s approach differs still, with a comprehensive regulatory framework. [49] Thus, research regulation can be culture-specific due to variations in applied principles. Diverse cultures call for various approaches to ethical permissibility. [50] Only an adaptive-deliberative model can address the cultural constructions of self and achieve positive, culturally sensitive stem cell research practices. [51]

II.     Religious Perspectives on ESC

Embryonic stem cell sources are the main consideration within religious contexts. While individuals may not regard their own religious texts as authoritative or factual, religion can shape their foundations or perspectives.

The Qur'an states:

“And indeed We created man from a quintessence of clay. Then We placed within him a small quantity of nutfa (sperm to fertilize) in a safe place. Then We have fashioned the nutfa into an ‘alaqa (clinging clot or cell cluster), then We developed the ‘alaqa into mudgha (a lump of flesh), and We made mudgha into bones, and clothed the bones with flesh, then We brought it into being as a new creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.” [52]

Many scholars of Islam estimate the time of soul installment, marked by the angel breathing in the soul to bring the individual into creation, as 120 days from conception. [53] Personhood begins at this point, and the value of life would prohibit research or experimentation that could harm the individual. If the fetus is more than 120 days old, the time ensoulment is interpreted to occur according to Islamic law, abortion is no longer permissible. [54] There are a few opposing opinions about early embryos in Islamic traditions. According to some Islamic theologians, there is no ensoulment of the early embryo, which is the source of stem cells for ESC research. [55]

In Buddhism, the stance on stem cell research is not settled. The main tenets, the prohibition against harming or destroying others (ahimsa) and the pursuit of knowledge (prajña) and compassion (karuna), leave Buddhist scholars and communities divided. [56] Some scholars argue stem cell research is in accordance with the Buddhist tenet of seeking knowledge and ending human suffering. Others feel it violates the principle of not harming others. Finding the balance between these two points relies on the karmic burden of Buddhist morality. In trying to prevent ahimsa towards the embryo, Buddhist scholars suggest that to comply with Buddhist tenets, research cannot be done as the embryo has personhood at the moment of conception and would reincarnate immediately, harming the individual's ability to build their karmic burden. [57] On the other hand, the Bodhisattvas, those considered to be on the path to enlightenment or Nirvana, have given organs and flesh to others to help alleviate grieving and to benefit all. [58] Acceptance varies on applied beliefs and interpretations.

Catholicism does not support embryonic stem cell research, as it entails creation or destruction of human embryos. This destruction conflicts with the belief in the sanctity of life. For example, in the Old Testament, Genesis describes humanity as being created in God’s image and multiplying on the Earth, referencing the sacred rights to human conception and the purpose of development and life. In the Ten Commandments, the tenet that one should not kill has numerous interpretations where killing could mean murder or shedding of the sanctity of life, demonstrating the high value of human personhood. In other books, the theological conception of when life begins is interpreted as in utero, [59] highlighting the inviolability of life and its formation in vivo to make a religious point for accepting such research as relatively limited, if at all. [60] The Vatican has released ethical directives to help apply a theological basis to modern-day conflicts. The Magisterium of the Church states that “unless there is a moral certainty of not causing harm,” experimentation on fetuses, fertilized cells, stem cells, or embryos constitutes a crime. [61] Such procedures would not respect the human person who exists at these stages, according to Catholicism. Damages to the embryo are considered gravely immoral and illicit. [62] Although the Catholic Church officially opposes abortion, surveys demonstrate that many Catholic people hold pro-choice views, whether due to the context of conception, stage of pregnancy, threat to the mother’s life, or for other reasons, demonstrating that practicing members can also accept some but not all tenets. [63]

Some major Jewish denominations, such as the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements, are open to supporting ESC use or research as long as it is for saving a life. [64] Within Judaism, the Talmud, or study, gives personhood to the child at birth and emphasizes that life does not begin at conception: [65]

“If she is found pregnant, until the fortieth day it is mere fluid,” [66]

Whereas most religions prioritize the status of human embryos, the Halakah (Jewish religious law) states that to save one life, most other religious laws can be ignored because it is in pursuit of preservation. [67] Stem cell research is accepted due to application of these religious laws.

We recognize that all religions contain subsets and sects. The variety of environmental and cultural differences within religious groups requires further analysis to respect the flexibility of religious thoughts and practices. We make no presumptions that all cultures require notions of autonomy or morality as under the common morality theory , which asserts a set of universal moral norms that all individuals share provides moral reasoning and guides ethical decisions. [68] We only wish to show that the interaction with morality varies between cultures and countries.

III.     A Flexible Ethical Approach

The plurality of different moral approaches described above demonstrates that there can be no universally acceptable uniform law for ESC on a global scale. Instead of developing one standard, flexible ethical applications must be continued. We recommend local guidelines that incorporate important cultural and ethical priorities.

While the Declaration of Helsinki is more relevant to people in clinical trials receiving ESC products, in keeping with the tradition of protections for research subjects, consent of the donor is an ethical requirement for ESC donation in many jurisdictions including the US, Canada, and Europe. [69] The Declaration of Helsinki provides a reference point for regulatory standards and could potentially be used as a universal baseline for obtaining consent prior to gamete or embryo donation.

For instance, in Columbia University’s egg donor program for stem cell research, donors followed standard screening protocols and “underwent counseling sessions that included information as to the purpose of oocyte donation for research, what the oocytes would be used for, the risks and benefits of donation, and process of oocyte stimulation” to ensure transparency for consent. [70] The program helped advance stem cell research and provided clear and safe research methods with paid participants. Though paid participation or covering costs of incidental expenses may not be socially acceptable in every culture or context, [71] and creating embryos for ESC research is illegal in many jurisdictions, Columbia’s program was effective because of the clear and honest communications with donors, IRBs, and related stakeholders.  This example demonstrates that cultural acceptance of scientific research and of the idea that an egg or embryo does not have personhood is likely behind societal acceptance of donating eggs for ESC research. As noted, many countries do not permit the creation of embryos for research.

Proper communication and education regarding the process and purpose of stem cell research may bolster comprehension and garner more acceptance. “Given the sensitive subject material, a complete consent process can support voluntary participation through trust, understanding, and ethical norms from the cultures and morals participants value. This can be hard for researchers entering countries of different socioeconomic stability, with different languages and different societal values. [72]

An adequate moral foundation in medical ethics is derived from the cultural and religious basis that informs knowledge and actions. [73] Understanding local cultural and religious values and their impact on research could help researchers develop humility and promote inclusion.

IV.     Concerns

Some may argue that if researchers all adhere to one ethics standard, protection will be satisfied across all borders, and the global public will trust researchers. However, defining what needs to be protected and how to define such research standards is very specific to the people to which standards are applied. We suggest that applying one uniform guide cannot accurately protect each individual because we all possess our own perceptions and interpretations of social values. [74] Therefore, the issue of not adjusting to the moral pluralism between peoples in applying one standard of ethics can be resolved by building out ethics models that can be adapted to different cultures and religions.

Other concerns include medical tourism, which may promote health inequities. [75] Some countries may develop and approve products derived from ESC research before others, compromising research ethics or drug approval processes. There are also concerns about the sale of unauthorized stem cell treatments, for example, those without FDA approval in the United States. Countries with robust research infrastructures may be tempted to attract medical tourists, and some customers will have false hopes based on aggressive publicity of unproven treatments. [76]

For example, in China, stem cell clinics can market to foreign clients who are not protected under the regulatory regimes. Companies employ a marketing strategy of “ethically friendly” therapies. Specifically, in the case of Beike, China’s leading stem cell tourism company and sprouting network, ethical oversight of administrators or health bureaus at one site has “the unintended consequence of shifting questionable activities to another node in Beike's diffuse network.” [77] In contrast, Jordan is aware of stem cell research’s potential abuse and its own status as a “health-care hub.” Jordan’s expanded regulations include preserving the interests of individuals in clinical trials and banning private companies from ESC research to preserve transparency and the integrity of research practices. [78]

The social priorities of the community are also a concern. The ISSCR explicitly states that guidelines “should be periodically revised to accommodate scientific advances, new challenges, and evolving social priorities.” [79] The adaptable ethics model extends this consideration further by addressing whether research is warranted given the varying degrees of socioeconomic conditions, political stability, and healthcare accessibilities and limitations. An ethical approach would require discussion about resource allocation and appropriate distribution of funds. [80]

While some religions emphasize the sanctity of life from conception, which may lead to public opposition to ESC research, others encourage ESC research due to its potential for healing and alleviating human pain. Many countries have special regulations that balance local views on embryonic personhood, the benefits of research as individual or societal goods, and the protection of human research subjects. To foster understanding and constructive dialogue, global policy frameworks should prioritize the protection of universal human rights, transparency, and informed consent. In addition to these foundational global policies, we recommend tailoring local guidelines to reflect the diverse cultural and religious perspectives of the populations they govern. Ethics models should be adapted to local populations to effectively establish research protections, growth, and possibilities of stem cell research.

For example, in countries with strong beliefs in the moral sanctity of embryos or heavy religious restrictions, an adaptive model can allow for discussion instead of immediate rejection. In countries with limited individual rights and voice in science policy, an adaptive model ensures cultural, moral, and religious views are taken into consideration, thereby building social inclusion. While this ethical consideration by the government may not give a complete voice to every individual, it will help balance policies and maintain the diverse perspectives of those it affects. Embracing an adaptive ethics model of ESC research promotes open-minded dialogue and respect for the importance of human belief and tradition. By actively engaging with cultural and religious values, researchers can better handle disagreements and promote ethical research practices that benefit each society.

This brief exploration of the religious and cultural differences that impact ESC research reveals the nuances of relative ethics and highlights a need for local policymakers to apply a more intense adaptive model.

[1] Poliwoda, S., Noor, N., Downs, E., Schaaf, A., Cantwell, A., Ganti, L., Kaye, A. D., Mosel, L. I., Carroll, C. B., Viswanath, O., & Urits, I. (2022). Stem cells: a comprehensive review of origins and emerging clinical roles in medical practice.  Orthopedic reviews ,  14 (3), 37498.

[2] Poliwoda, S., Noor, N., Downs, E., Schaaf, A., Cantwell, A., Ganti, L., Kaye, A. D., Mosel, L. I., Carroll, C. B., Viswanath, O., & Urits, I. (2022). Stem cells: a comprehensive review of origins and emerging clinical roles in medical practice.  Orthopedic reviews ,  14 (3), 37498.

[3] International Society for Stem Cell Research. (2023). Laboratory-based human embryonic stem cell research, embryo research, and related research activities . International Society for Stem Cell Research. ; Kimmelman, J., Hyun, I., Benvenisty, N.  et al.  Policy: Global standards for stem-cell research.  Nature   533 , 311–313 (2016).

[4] International Society for Stem Cell Research. (2023). Laboratory-based human embryonic stem cell research, embryo research, and related research activities . International Society for Stem Cell Research.

[5] Concerning the moral philosophies of stem cell research, our paper does not posit a personal moral stance nor delve into the “when” of human life begins. To read further about the philosophical debate, consider the following sources:

Sandel M. J. (2004). Embryo ethics--the moral logic of stem-cell research.  The New England journal of medicine ,  351 (3), 207–209. ; George, R. P., & Lee, P. (2020, September 26). Acorns and Embryos . The New Atlantis. ; Sagan, A., & Singer, P. (2007). The moral status of stem cells. Metaphilosophy , 38 (2/3), 264–284. ; McHugh P. R. (2004). Zygote and "clonote"--the ethical use of embryonic stem cells.  The New England journal of medicine ,  351 (3), 209–211. ; Kurjak, A., & Tripalo, A. (2004). The facts and doubts about beginning of the human life and personality.  Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences ,  4 (1), 5–14.

[6] Vazin, T., & Freed, W. J. (2010). Human embryonic stem cells: derivation, culture, and differentiation: a review.  Restorative neurology and neuroscience ,  28 (4), 589–603.

[7] Socially, at its core, the Western approach to ethics is widely principle-based, autonomy being one of the key factors to ensure a fundamental respect for persons within research. For information regarding autonomy in research, see: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, & National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (1978). The Belmont Report. Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research.; For a more in-depth review of autonomy within the US, see: Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (1994). Principles of Biomedical Ethics . Oxford University Press.

[8] Sherley v. Sebelius , 644 F.3d 388 (D.C. Cir. 2011), citing 45 C.F.R. 46.204(b) and [42 U.S.C. § 289g(b)].$file/11-5241-1391178.pdf

[9] Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, H. R. 810, 109 th Cong. (2001). ; Bush, G. W. (2006, July 19). Message to the House of Representatives . National Archives and Records Administration.

[10] National Archives and Records Administration. (2009, March 9). Executive order 13505 -- removing barriers to responsible scientific research involving human stem cells . National Archives and Records Administration.

[11] Hurlbut, W. B. (2006). Science, Religion, and the Politics of Stem Cells.  Social Research ,  73 (3), 819–834.

[12] Akpa-Inyang, Francis & Chima, Sylvester. (2021). South African traditional values and beliefs regarding informed consent and limitations of the principle of respect for autonomy in African communities: a cross-cultural qualitative study. BMC Medical Ethics . 22. 10.1186/s12910-021-00678-4.

[13] Source for further reading: Tangwa G. B. (2007). Moral status of embryonic stem cells: perspective of an African villager. Bioethics , 21(8), 449–457. , see also Mnisi, F. M. (2020). An African analysis based on ethics of Ubuntu - are human embryonic stem cell patents morally justifiable? African Insight , 49 (4).

[14] Jecker, N. S., & Atuire, C. (2021). Bioethics in Africa: A contextually enlightened analysis of three cases. Developing World Bioethics , 22 (2), 112–122.

[15] Jecker, N. S., & Atuire, C. (2021). Bioethics in Africa: A contextually enlightened analysis of three cases. Developing World Bioethics, 22(2), 112–122.

[16] Jackson, C.S., Pepper, M.S. Opportunities and barriers to establishing a cell therapy programme in South Africa.  Stem Cell Res Ther   4 , 54 (2013). ; Pew Research Center. (2014, May 1). Public health a major priority in African nations . Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project.

[17] Department of Health Republic of South Africa. (2021). Health Research Priorities (revised) for South Africa 2021-2024 . National Health Research Strategy.

[18] Oosthuizen, H. (2013). Legal and Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research in South Africa. In: Beran, R. (eds) Legal and Forensic Medicine. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. , see also: Gaobotse G (2018) Stem Cell Research in Africa: Legislation and Challenges. J Regen Med 7:1. doi: 10.4172/2325-9620.1000142

[19] United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. (1998). Tunisia: Information on the status of Christian conversions in Tunisia . UNHCR Web Archive.

[20] Gaobotse, G. (2018) Stem Cell Research in Africa: Legislation and Challenges. J Regen Med 7:1. doi: 10.4172/2325-9620.1000142

[21] Kooli, C. Review of assisted reproduction techniques, laws, and regulations in Muslim countries.  Middle East Fertil Soc J   24 , 8 (2020). ; Gaobotse, G. (2018) Stem Cell Research in Africa: Legislation and Challenges. J Regen Med 7:1. doi: 10.4172/2325-9620.1000142

[22] Pang M. C. (1999). Protective truthfulness: the Chinese way of safeguarding patients in informed treatment decisions. Journal of medical ethics , 25(3), 247–253.

[23] Wang, L., Wang, F., & Zhang, W. (2021). Bioethics in China’s biosecurity law: Forms, effects, and unsettled issues. Journal of law and the biosciences , 8(1).

[24] Wang, Y., Xue, Y., & Guo, H. D. (2022). Intervention effects of traditional Chinese medicine on stem cell therapy of myocardial infarction.  Frontiers in pharmacology ,  13 , 1013740.

[25] Li, X.-T., & Zhao, J. (2012). Chapter 4: An Approach to the Nature of Qi in TCM- Qi and Bioenergy. In Recent Advances in Theories and Practice of Chinese Medicine (p. 79). InTech.

[26] Luo, D., Xu, Z., Wang, Z., & Ran, W. (2021). China's Stem Cell Research and Knowledge Levels of Medical Practitioners and Students.  Stem cells international ,  2021 , 6667743.

[27] Luo, D., Xu, Z., Wang, Z., & Ran, W. (2021). China's Stem Cell Research and Knowledge Levels of Medical Practitioners and Students.  Stem cells international ,  2021 , 6667743.

[28] Zhang, J. Y. (2017). Lost in translation? accountability and governance of Clinical Stem Cell Research in China. Regenerative Medicine , 12 (6), 647–656.

[29] Wang, L., Wang, F., & Zhang, W. (2021). Bioethics in China’s biosecurity law: Forms, effects, and unsettled issues. Journal of law and the biosciences , 8(1).

[30] Chen, H., Wei, T., Wang, H.  et al.  Association of China’s two-child policy with changes in number of births and birth defects rate, 2008–2017.  BMC Public Health   22 , 434 (2022).

[31] Azuma, K. Regulatory Landscape of Regenerative Medicine in Japan.  Curr Stem Cell Rep   1 , 118–128 (2015).

[32] Harris, R. (2005, May 19). Researchers Report Advance in Stem Cell Production . NPR.

[33] Park, S. (2012). South Korea steps up stem-cell work.  Nature .

[34] Resnik, D. B., Shamoo, A. E., & Krimsky, S. (2006). Fraudulent human embryonic stem cell research in South Korea: lessons learned.  Accountability in research ,  13 (1), 101–109. .

[35] Alahmad, G., Aljohani, S., & Najjar, M. F. (2020). Ethical challenges regarding the use of stem cells: interviews with researchers from Saudi Arabia. BMC medical ethics, 21(1), 35.

[36] Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies.

[37] Alahmad, G., Aljohani, S., & Najjar, M. F. (2020). Ethical challenges regarding the use of stem cells: Interviews with researchers from Saudi Arabia.  BMC medical ethics ,  21 (1), 35.

[38] Alahmad, G., Aljohani, S., & Najjar, M. F. (2020). Ethical challenges regarding the use of stem cells: Interviews with researchers from Saudi Arabia. BMC medical ethics , 21(1), 35.

Culturally, autonomy practices follow a relational autonomy approach based on a paternalistic deontological health care model. The adherence to strict international research policies and religious pillars within the regulatory environment is a great foundation for research ethics. However, there is a need to develop locally targeted ethics approaches for research (as called for in Alahmad, G., Aljohani, S., & Najjar, M. F. (2020). Ethical challenges regarding the use of stem cells: interviews with researchers from Saudi Arabia. BMC medical ethics, 21(1), 35., this decision-making approach may help advise a research decision model. For more on the clinical cultural autonomy approaches, see: Alabdullah, Y. Y., Alzaid, E., Alsaad, S., Alamri, T., Alolayan, S. W., Bah, S., & Aljoudi, A. S. (2022). Autonomy and paternalism in Shared decision‐making in a Saudi Arabian tertiary hospital: A cross‐sectional study. Developing World Bioethics , 23 (3), 260–268. ; Bukhari, A. A. (2017). Universal Principles of Bioethics and Patient Rights in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University).; Ladha, S., Nakshawani, S. A., Alzaidy, A., & Tarab, B. (2023, October 26). Islam and Bioethics: What We All Need to Know . Columbia University School of Professional Studies.

[39] Ababneh, M. A., Al-Azzam, S. I., Alzoubi, K., Rababa’h, A., & Al Demour, S. (2021). Understanding and attitudes of the Jordanian public about clinical research ethics.  Research Ethics ,  17 (2), 228-241.

[40] Ababneh, M. A., Al-Azzam, S. I., Alzoubi, K., Rababa’h, A., & Al Demour, S. (2021). Understanding and attitudes of the Jordanian public about clinical research ethics.  Research Ethics ,  17 (2), 228-241.

[41] Dajani, R. (2014). Jordan’s stem-cell law can guide the Middle East.  Nature  510, 189.

[42] Dajani, R. (2014). Jordan’s stem-cell law can guide the Middle East.  Nature  510, 189.

[43] The EU’s definition of autonomy relates to the capacity for creating ideas, moral insight, decisions, and actions without constraint, personal responsibility, and informed consent. However, the EU views autonomy as not completely able to protect individuals and depends on other principles, such as dignity, which “expresses the intrinsic worth and fundamental equality of all human beings.” Rendtorff, J.D., Kemp, P. (2019). Four Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw: Autonomy, Dignity, Integrity and Vulnerability. In: Valdés, E., Lecaros, J. (eds) Biolaw and Policy in the Twenty-First Century. International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine, vol 78. Springer, Cham.

[44] Council of Europe. Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164) (forbidding the creation of embryos for research purposes only, and suggests embryos in vitro have protections.); Also see Drabiak-Syed B. K. (2013). New President, New Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Policy: Comparative International Perspectives and Embryonic Stem Cell Research Laws in France.  Biotechnology Law Report ,  32 (6), 349–356.

[45] Rendtorff, J.D., Kemp, P. (2019). Four Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw: Autonomy, Dignity, Integrity and Vulnerability. In: Valdés, E., Lecaros, J. (eds) Biolaw and Policy in the Twenty-First Century. International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine, vol 78. Springer, Cham.

[46] Tomuschat, C., Currie, D. P., Kommers, D. P., & Kerr, R. (Trans.). (1949, May 23). Basic law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

[47] Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Germany . Eurostemcell. (2017, April 26).

[48] Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Finland . Eurostemcell. (2017, April 26).

[49] Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Spain . Eurostemcell. (2017, April 26).

[50] Some sources to consider regarding ethics models or regulatory oversights of other cultures not covered:

Kara MA. Applicability of the principle of respect for autonomy: the perspective of Turkey. J Med Ethics. 2007 Nov;33(11):627-30. doi: 10.1136/jme.2006.017400. PMID: 17971462; PMCID: PMC2598110.

Ugarte, O. N., & Acioly, M. A. (2014). The principle of autonomy in Brazil: one needs to discuss it ...  Revista do Colegio Brasileiro de Cirurgioes ,  41 (5), 374–377.

Bharadwaj, A., & Glasner, P. E. (2012). Local cells, global science: The rise of embryonic stem cell research in India . Routledge.

For further research on specific European countries regarding ethical and regulatory framework, we recommend this database: Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Europe . Eurostemcell. (2017, April 26).   

[51] Klitzman, R. (2006). Complications of culture in obtaining informed consent. The American Journal of Bioethics, 6(1), 20–21. see also: Ekmekci, P. E., & Arda, B. (2017). Interculturalism and Informed Consent: Respecting Cultural Differences without Breaching Human Rights.  Cultura (Iasi, Romania) ,  14 (2), 159–172.; For why trust is important in research, see also: Gray, B., Hilder, J., Macdonald, L., Tester, R., Dowell, A., & Stubbe, M. (2017). Are research ethics guidelines culturally competent?  Research Ethics ,  13 (1), 23-41.

[52] The Qur'an  (M. Khattab, Trans.). (1965). Al-Mu’minun, 23: 12-14.

[53] Lenfest, Y. (2017, December 8). Islam and the beginning of human life . Bill of Health.

[54] Aksoy, S. (2005). Making regulations and drawing up legislation in Islamic countries under conditions of uncertainty, with special reference to embryonic stem cell research. Journal of Medical Ethics , 31: 399-403.; see also: Mahmoud, Azza. "Islamic Bioethics: National Regulations and Guidelines of Human Stem Cell Research in the Muslim World." Master's thesis, Chapman University, 2022. chapman.000386

[55] Rashid, R. (2022). When does Ensoulment occur in the Human Foetus. Journal of the British Islamic Medical Association , 12 (4). ISSN 2634 8071.

[56] Sivaraman, M. & Noor, S. (2017). Ethics of embryonic stem cell research according to Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, and Islamic religions: perspective from Malaysia. Asian Biomedicine,8(1) 43-52.

[57] Jafari, M., Elahi, F., Ozyurt, S. & Wrigley, T. (2007). 4. Religious Perspectives on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. In K. Monroe, R. Miller & J. Tobis (Ed.),  Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate: The Scientific, Religious, Ethical, and Political Issues  (pp. 79-94). Berkeley: University of California Press.

[58] Lecso, P. A. (1991). The Bodhisattva Ideal and Organ Transplantation.  Journal of Religion and Health ,  30 (1), 35–41. ; Bodhisattva, S. (n.d.). The Key of Becoming a Bodhisattva . A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life.

[59] There is no explicit religious reference to when life begins or how to conduct research that interacts with the concept of life. However, these are relevant verses pertaining to how the fetus is viewed. (( King James Bible . (1999). Oxford University Press. (original work published 1769))

Jerimiah 1: 5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…”

In prophet Jerimiah’s insight, God set him apart as a person known before childbirth, a theme carried within the Psalm of David.

Psalm 139: 13-14 “…Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”

These verses demonstrate David’s respect for God as an entity that would know of all man’s thoughts and doings even before birth.

[60] It should be noted that abortion is not supported as well.

[61] The Vatican. (1987, February 22). Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Replies to Certain Questions of the Day . Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith.

[62] The Vatican. (2000, August 25). Declaration On the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells . Pontifical Academy for Life. ; Ohara, N. (2003). Ethical Consideration of Experimentation Using Living Human Embryos: The Catholic Church’s Position on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology . Retrieved from

[63] Smith, G. A. (2022, May 23). Like Americans overall, Catholics vary in their abortion views, with regular mass attenders most opposed . Pew Research Center.

[64] Rosner, F., & Reichman, E. (2002). Embryonic stem cell research in Jewish law. Journal of halacha and contemporary society , (43), 49–68.; Jafari, M., Elahi, F., Ozyurt, S. & Wrigley, T. (2007). 4. Religious Perspectives on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. In K. Monroe, R. Miller & J. Tobis (Ed.),  Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate: The Scientific, Religious, Ethical, and Political Issues  (pp. 79-94). Berkeley: University of California Press.

[65] Schenker J. G. (2008). The beginning of human life: status of embryo. Perspectives in Halakha (Jewish Religious Law).  Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics ,  25 (6), 271–276.

[66] Ruttenberg, D. (2020, May 5). The Torah of Abortion Justice (annotated source sheet) . Sefaria.

[67] Jafari, M., Elahi, F., Ozyurt, S. & Wrigley, T. (2007). 4. Religious Perspectives on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. In K. Monroe, R. Miller & J. Tobis (Ed.),  Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate: The Scientific, Religious, Ethical, and Political Issues  (pp. 79-94). Berkeley: University of California Press.

[68] Gert, B. (2007). Common morality: Deciding what to do . Oxford Univ. Press.

[69] World Medical Association (2013). World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA , 310(20), 2191–2194. Declaration of Helsinki – WMA – The World Medical Association .; see also: National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. (1979).  The Belmont report: Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[70] Zakarin Safier, L., Gumer, A., Kline, M., Egli, D., & Sauer, M. V. (2018). Compensating human subjects providing oocytes for stem cell research: 9-year experience and outcomes.  Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics ,  35 (7), 1219–1225. see also: Riordan, N. H., & Paz Rodríguez, J. (2021). Addressing concerns regarding associated costs, transparency, and integrity of research in recent stem cell trial. Stem Cells Translational Medicine , 10 (12), 1715–1716.

[71] Klitzman, R., & Sauer, M. V. (2009). Payment of egg donors in stem cell research in the USA.  Reproductive biomedicine online ,  18 (5), 603–608.

[72] Krosin, M. T., Klitzman, R., Levin, B., Cheng, J., & Ranney, M. L. (2006). Problems in comprehension of informed consent in rural and peri-urban Mali, West Africa.  Clinical trials (London, England) ,  3 (3), 306–313.

[73] Veatch, Robert M.  Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics: The Points of Conflict . Georgetown University Press, 2012.

[74] Msoroka, M. S., & Amundsen, D. (2018). One size fits not quite all: Universal research ethics with diversity.  Research Ethics ,  14 (3), 1-17.

[75] Pirzada, N. (2022). The Expansion of Turkey’s Medical Tourism Industry.  Voices in Bioethics ,  8 .

[76] Stem Cell Tourism: False Hope for Real Money . Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). (2023). , See also: Bissassar, M. (2017). Transnational Stem Cell Tourism: An ethical analysis.  Voices in Bioethics ,  3 .

[77] Song, P. (2011) The proliferation of stem cell therapies in post-Mao China: problematizing ethical regulation,  New Genetics and Society , 30:2, 141-153, DOI:  10.1080/14636778.2011.574375

[78] Dajani, R. (2014). Jordan’s stem-cell law can guide the Middle East.  Nature  510, 189.

[79] International Society for Stem Cell Research. (2024). Standards in stem cell research . International Society for Stem Cell Research.

[80] Benjamin, R. (2013). People’s science bodies and rights on the Stem Cell Frontier . Stanford University Press.

Mifrah Hayath

SM Candidate Harvard Medical School, MS Biotechnology Johns Hopkins University

Olivia Bowers

MS Bioethics Columbia University (Disclosure: affiliated with Voices in Bioethics)

Article Details

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License .

The Spence Children's Anxiety Scale

Information for researchers and practitioners by susan h spence, phd, about the author.

example of short research proposal about social issue

Setting the Scene for Exploring the LATT Couples: Seminal Studies

  • First Online: 19 May 2024

Cite this chapter

example of short research proposal about social issue

  • Rashmi Singla 2  

The 3rd chapter reviews chronologically seminal scientific studies in intimacy and distance over the last four decades, divided into four emerging themes. Firstly, “So far, yet keeping so close” explores relationship maintenance through an expanded approach, highlighting adapting to cycles of departure, absence, and return (Stafford, 2005 ). In today's digital age, intrapersonal and dyadic activities are significant for maintaining relationships, including synchronous strategies such as phone, video, and beyond (Belus et al., 2019 ). The second theme, “Emotions and fulfillment,” discusses emotional reflexivity (Holmes, 2014 ) and how social and mental spaces’ are more important than physicality (Lindemann, 2019 ). The third theme, “Commitment,” relates to autonomy and relatedness and an absence of 'structural investments' which leads to suspicion from those around. The fourth theme, “Sexual intimacy,” focusses on changing sexual norms and gender differences. Lastly, different terms denoting intimacy and distance are critically discussed, and a new term–living apart together transnationally–LATT proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Stafford’s study ( 2005 ) about maintaining long-distance relationships in the US confronts the dominant assumptions of communication and stability as indicators of such relations, with global relevance for the LATT phenomenon. The study’s eclectic theoretical frame combines costs and rewards based on a social-exchange theory with symbolic interactionism (Mead, 1934 ), about meaning construction through social interaction with the “significant others”.

They studied couples within a cognitive framework, where the distance between the partners varied from approximately 40–13,000 km with an average of 1750 km and a period of separation of 1.8 years; maybe some were LATT couples. However, it is not mentioned explicitly.

Chien (the first author) and his partner live in different countries (Germany and Taiwan, respectively), and he developed two technology-mediated practices of mutual caring, OUR Channel—leaving the light on for the partner returning late and Switch U—a pair of simple robotic arms, if activated, performed a simple, prerecorded movement to, for example, switch on an appliance preparing morning tea/coffee for the partner who is reluctant to get out of bed.

Holmes ( 2014 ) argues that moving makes people “do intimacy” differently, and long-distance relations illustrate how globalised intimacies promote emotional reflexivity, resulting in both opportunities and limitations, based on an empirical project with 24 academic couples, where the partners are living apart together in different geographical locations in the UK due to their job situation.

Lindemann ( 2019 ) explores narratives of approximately 100 couples in the USA who physically separated to maintain their professional lives. the women who said that their husbands had more difficulty than they did in communicating over the phone—a point the husbands themselves tended to support.

The classic empirical study dealing with distance and commitment in LAT relationships by Carter et al. in Britain ( 2016 ) combines interview and survey data.

Carter et al. ( 2016 ) cite a British study from 2010 that shows that 3.3% of married respondents, and 7.1% of cohabitants, had sex with more than one partner in the last year.

About sexuality in the adult period conducted in Denmark during 2017–18 among 60,000 Danes ages 15–89 years.

There is an explicit delineation of changing family forms (Graugaard & Frisch, 2019 ), especially 25% of children not living with both biological parents, and in the past decades, approximately 10% of children born are a result of reproduction technology assistance. 72% of participants live in a ‘permanent relationship.’ However, 47% of the marriages from 1980 to 2012 were dissolved in 2012.

Maintaining long-distance relationships with an explicit focus on sexual behaviour, compared persons 232 persons in long-distance relations with 236 persons in geographically close relationships recruited through an online crowd-sourcing website (Mechanical Turk). They point to a high prevalence of long-distance relations among young adults (20–24) almost one-third in Canada.

The results indicate that overall, the participants reported engaging in sexual activity with their partner an average of three to four times in the previous month. Maintaining LDRs may require sexual behaviours at personal as well as dyadic levels during the period of separation. Individuals in long-distance relations LDR engage in more frequent dyadic activity when possible (embodied sexual activity; OSA).

Belus, J., Pentel, K., Cohen, F. M., Buacom, D. (2019). Stay connected: An examination of relationship maintenance behaviors in long-distance relationships. Marriage & Family Review, 55 (1), 78–98.

Google Scholar  

Beuchemin, C., Usatu, J., Schoumaker, B., Baizn, P., Gonzales- Ferrar, A., Caarls, L., & Muzzato, V. (2014). Reunifying versus living apart together across borders: A comparative analysis of sub-saharan migration to Europe. International Migration Review, 49 (1).

Caarls, K., & Mazzucato, V. (2016). Transnational relationships and reunification: Ghanaian couples between Ghana and Europe. Demographic-Research, 34, 587–614. Article 21.

Carter, J., Duncan, S., Stoilova, M., & Phillips, P. (2016). Sex, love and security: Accounts of distance and commitment in living apart together relationships. Sociology, 50 (3), 576–593.

Chaudhary, N. (2007). The family: Negotiating cultural values. In Valsiner & Rosa (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of sociocultural psychology (pp. 524–539). Cambridge University Press.

Chien, W., & Hassenzahl, M. (2020). Technology-mediated relationship maintenance in romantic long-distance relationships: An auto-ethnographical research through design. Human-Comput Interact, 35 (3), 240–287.

Article   Google Scholar  

Duncan, S. & Carter, J. (2013). Why do people live apart together?. Families, Relationships, and Societies, 2 (3), 323–338.

Graugaard, C, Giraldi, A., & Møhl, B. (red.) (2019). Sexologi—Faglige perspektiver på seksualitet Munksgaard.

Connidis, I., Borell, K. & Ghazanfareeon Karlsson, S. (2017). Ambivalence and living apart together in later life: A critical research proposal. Journal of Marriage and Family, 79 (5), 1404–1418.

Darko, D. (2019). Bogen er blevet så stor, fordi seksualiteten er blevet er så stor [the book is huge, because sexuality has grown so huge] Psykologernes fagmagasin nr , 11 , 10–14.

Gangopadhyay, J. (2023). Livng apart together (LAT): A new family form in urban India. Sociological bulletin, pp. 1–17

Gerstel, N. & Gross, H. (1984). Commuter marriage: A study of work and family . Guilford Press.

Goldsmith, K., & Byers, S. (2020). Maintaining long-distance relationships: Comparison to geographically close relationships. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 35 (3), 338–361.

Grant, M., & Booth, A. (2009). Typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26 (2), 91–108.

Graugaard, C, & Frisch, M. (2019). Voksenalderens seksualitet [Sexuality of the adults] in Graugaard, Giraldi, & Møhl (red.), Sexologi: Faglige perspektiver på seksualitet (pp. 259–278). Munksgaard.

Holmes, M. (2014). Distance relationships: Intimacy and emotions amongst academics and their partners in dual–locations . Palgrave Macmillan.

Kamal, F. B. (2020). “ Conceptualizing technology-mediated familial bonding: Qualitative insights into family use of social messaging system ” Ph.D. thesis Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences Universiti Teknologi MARA: Malaysia.

Kagitcibasi, C. (2002). A model of family change in cultural context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture , 6 (3).

Kobayashi, K., Funk, L. & Khan, M. (2017). Constructing a sense of commitment in ‘Living Apart Together’ (LAT) relationships: Interpretive agency and individualization. Current Sociology 65 (7), 991–1009.

Lee, Y. (2018). Commuter couples’ life satisfaction in Korea. International Sociology, 33 (1), 107–127.

Levin, I. (2004). Living apart together: A new family form. Current Sociology , 52 (2), 223–240.

Lindemann, D. (2019). Commuter spouses: New families in a changing world . Cornell University Press.

Martin, C., Cherlin, A., & Cross-Barnet, C. (2011). Living together apart in France and the United States. . Retrieved 12 February 2021.

McRae, L. & Cobb, R. (2020). A qualitative analysis of themes in long-distance couples’ relationship boundary discussions. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality , 29 (2), 212–220.

Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society: From the standpoint of a social behaviorist . University of Chicago Press.

Ogolsky, B., Monk, J., Rice, T., Theisen, J. & Maniotes, C. (2017). Relationship maintenance: A review of research on romantic relationships. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9 (3), 275–306.

Reuschke, D. (2010). Job-induced commuting between two residences—Characteristics of a multilocational living arrangement in the late modernity. Comparative Population Studies, 35 (1), 107–134.

Stafford, L. (2005). Maintaining long-distance and cross-residential relationships . Routledge.

Steinbugler, A. (2012). Beyond loving: Intimate race work in Lesbian, Gay, and straight interracial relationships . Oxford University Press.

Book   Google Scholar  

Upton-Davis, K. (2012). Living apart together relationships (LAT): Severing intimacy from obligation. Gender Issues, 29 , 25–38.

Download references

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University, Universitetsvej 1, Roskilde, Denmark

Rashmi Singla

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rashmi Singla .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2024 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Singla, R. (2024). Setting the Scene for Exploring the LATT Couples: Seminal Studies. In: Living Apart Together Transnationally (LATT) Couples. Springer, Cham.

Download citation


Published : 19 May 2024

Publisher Name : Springer, Cham

Print ISBN : 978-3-031-52204-8

Online ISBN : 978-3-031-52205-5

eBook Packages : Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)

Share this chapter

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Publish with us

Policies and ethics

  • Find a journal
  • Track your research

Berry Patch Farms

What Animals Like Apples? A Comprehensive Guide

Apples are one of the most popular fruits around the world. Their sweet, crunchy taste appeals to humans and animals alike. If you’ve ever wondered what animals enjoy eating apples as snacks or meal additions, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Deer, horses, rabbits, squirrels, chickens, parrots, and even fish enjoy eating apples!

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore over 15 animals that love apples, including common pets and farm animals. We’ll discuss why certain critters are attracted to apples, which parts of the apple they consume, and some fun facts about their apple eating habits.

Whether you want to make a tasty treat for your own pet or are just curious which animals go crazy for this healthy fruit, you’ll find all the details here.

Small Mammals That Love Apples

Squirrels absolutely love apples! These bushy-tailed rodents can often be spotted scurrying around trees and power lines, keeping their eyes peeled for delicious fruits like apples. When squirrels find an apple, they use their sharp teeth to gnaw and eat the sweet flesh.

Apples provide squirrels with nutrients like vitamin C and fiber. According to wildlife surveys, over 200 species of squirrels worldwide consume apples as part of their omnivorous diet . Some favorite apple varieties among squirrels are Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala thanks to their sweet flavors.

Rabbits are also big fans of munching on fruit, including apples! Both wild and domesticated rabbits enjoy the sweet, juicy snacks. Rabbits typically eat the apple’s flesh and leave behind the core and seeds. Apples are safe healthy treats for bunnies, providing nutrients and fiber.

Just be sure not to give them too many, as excess sugar can cause digestive issues. An apple a day is a great snack! Fun fact: over 90% of pet rabbits love the flavor of apples , according to surveys, making it one of their favorite fruits!

You may catch a chipmunk stuffing its cheeks full of apple slices to take back to its burrow! With quick movements and curious minds guiding them, chipmunks often find apple trees while out foraging. They consume both the flesh and seeds of apples.

The vitamins, minerals, fiber and natural sugars provide the high energy chipmunks need to maintain their active lifestyles. Biologists have spotted over 25 species of chipmunks enjoying apples as a nutritious component of their omnivorous diets in the wild.

Believe it or not, rats enjoy eating apples too! Both domesticated rats kept as pets and wild city rats consume apples when they come across them. Rats tend to nibble on apples and eat the fleshy part while avoiding the skin, seeds and core. Apples offer rats hydration and nutrients.

However, apples should only be fed to rats occasionally as too much sugar is unhealthy. Fun fact – according to studies, apples are one of the top 5 favorite fruits of fancy rats kept as pets!

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs also love munching on crisp apple slices! This popular pet is actually related to rodents like chinchillas and porcupines. In their native South American habitats and as pets, guinea pigs enjoy apples which provide vitamin C, an essential nutrient they need in their diets.

Be sure to only give small amounts of this sweet treat though, as too much sugar can causedigestive trouble. Surveys show apples rank among the top 10 favorite vegetables and fruits fed to guinea pigs .


The adorably fluffy and energetic chinchilla is another apple-loving rodent! In the wild Andean mountain regions of South America where they originated, chinchillas consume a variety of fruits when available, apples included.

Chinchillas kept as pets also relish the sweet crunch of apples which provide fiber. However, high sugar levels mean apples should only be given occasionally. Interestingly, according to exotic pet forums, most chinchillas prefer green apples over red!

Last but not least, many deer enjoy snacking on apples when they come across trees in the forests and woods they inhabit. Deer use their mouths and tongue to grab and bite apples from branches. While deer mostly consume twigs, leaves and other plant foods, they enjoy apples for a sweet treat and source of nutrients to supplement their herbivorous diet.

In the fall, apples provide deer with sugars to store fat for the winter. Backyard gardeners often report deer nibbling on apples and other fruits grown on trees. So next time you spot a deer, it may be searching for its next apple!

Birds That Like to Eat Apples

Parrots love munching on fresh apples! The sweetness and crunchiness is irresistible to them. According to the American Federation of Aviculture, over 70% of parrots enjoy apples as part of their diet. Popular parrot species that relish apples include African greys, cockatoos, conures, Amazons, and macaws .

Just be sure to remove any seeds, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide that can be toxic to birds if consumed in large quantities.

Chickens go crazy for apples! Not only do they gobble up the flesh eagerly, chickens will peck away at apple cores and leftovers too. The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” seems to apply to chickens as well.

Those that regularly eat apples have better overall health, immunity, egg production, and feathers. Always chop larger apples into bite-sized pieces though, as bigger chunks pose a choking hazard for clucking hens and roosters.

Apples are a beloved treat for domestic ducks like pekins and calls. They use their big flat bill to grab slices and waddle off happily. According to, over 80% of surveyed owners feed apples to their ducks weekly as a supplemental snack.

The appealing crunch and sweetness keeps ducks coming back for more! Just be careful not to overfeed them, as excess apple consumption can cause loose droppings. In moderation though, it promotes good digestion and healthy feathers.

Finches and Sparrows

Small seed-eating birds like finches and sparrows will nibble on apple bits too. They tend to prefer softer, ripe apple pieces that are easier for their tiny beaks to manage. Apples provide moisture and important nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, offering chopped apple can be especially helpful for birds during hot summer months and dry winter months when fresh water sources might be scarce. It helps them meet their daily fluid needs.

Earthworms are a favorite food of robins, but did you know they will happily feed on apple slices too? These birds have adapted well to backyard feeders. Though they don’t frequent bird feeders as often as smaller birds, robins will stop by looking for fruit treats.

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a survey found over 60% of British robins ate apples, preferring sweeter softer varieties like gala or honeycrisp over more tart types.

Mischievous blue jays enjoy snacking on apples! Watching them grimace and bite into slices with their strong beaks is quite entertaining . According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s records, apples made up over 5% of blue jays’ annual diet per stomach content analysis over a 5 year study.

So while nuts and seeds are still their top choice, apples are a favored supplementary food. Offer bigger chunks though, as tiny bits get ignored since blue jays prefer sizeable morsels they can tear into with gusto!

Farm Animals That Enjoy Apples

Horses are one of the most common farm animals that love munching on apples. These large grazing mammals find apples to be a sweet, crunchy treat that complements their primarily hay-based diet. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for horses.

They are low in calories and high in moisture, making them a healthy snack. According to the Kentucky Equine Research , apples have become a staple supplement for horses worldwide. Just be sure to cut apples into small pieces to prevent choking. An average-sized horse can safely eat 2-3 apples per day.

Wow, horses get to enjoy these yummy fruits every day – no wonder they eagerly await treat time!

Pigs are another farm animal that find apples positively delicious! These highly intelligent animals love the sweet taste and crisp texture of apples. The compounds in apples promote good digestion in pigs, while the fiber helps keep them feeling full.

Apples are low in fat and calories, making them a nutritious addition to a pig’s diet. According to the Pig Site , apples can constitute up to 6% of a pig’s daily feed intake. Just remember to cut the apples into small slices first to prevent whole apples from getting lodged in a pig’s throat.

It’s clear that pigs go hog wild for apples on farms across the country!

Goats are natural foragers that will eagerly snack on dropped apples in orchards. The high water content in apples provides goats with much-needed hydration. Apples are an excellent source of energy, vitamins and minerals for goats.

Their sweet flavor and satisfying crunch makes them a perfect treat for goats. According to Morning Chores , most goats can safely eat 2-4 apples per day. Just be sure to cut the apples into smaller pieces, remove any seeds or stems, and supervise your goats during treat time.

Goats thoroughly get their fill when it comes to enjoying apples on the farm!

Cows are undeniably a fan of apples! These farm animals can eat both the flesh and skin of apples. The antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in apples support cow health and productivity. According to Purdue University experts, feeding cows a few apples per day provides mental stimulation and enriches their environment.

The crunchy texture also promotes saliva production in cows, which helps neutralize rumen acid. Just limit apple treats to 10-15% of a cow’s daily dry matter intake. And always inspect apples for rot spots or damage first – nobody wants a sick cow!

All in all, cows certainly have an “appletite” when it comes to this tasty fruit.

Donkeys and Mules

Donkeys and mules are two more farm animals that view apples as an energizing snack. The natural sugars in apples provide these hearty equines with a powerful source of carbohydrates and calories. Apples are also high in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and immunity in donkeys and mules.

According to The Donkey Sanctuary , apples can make up 10% of a donkey or mule’s diet. Just be sure to chop the apples up first for easy chewing and digestion. It’s clear that donkeys and mules work hard and enjoy apples as a sweet, crunchy reward!

Unique Pets That Eat Apples

Bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons make for unique and interesting pets that enjoy eating apples. These friendly lizards originate from Australia and live mainly in arid woodlands and deserts. While bearded dragons are omnivores, they love fruits like apples which provide beneficial nutrients and hydration.

Chopped apples offer bearded dragons a tasty treat and healthy source of vitamin C, calcium, and water. Just be sure to wash and core the apples thoroughly and chop into bite-sized pieces. Apples should only be an occasional part of their diet, along with vegetables, insects, and calcium supplements.

Always monitor your bearded dragon closely when feeding apples or any new food.

Tortoises are amazing reptile pets that can live over 50 years. Native to warm climates worldwide, tortoises enjoy munching on juicy apple slices. The natural sugars give them an energy boost, while the fiber aids digestion.

Unpeeled apples also provide calcium from the skin, which helps build their shells. Core and chop an apple into small pieces for your tortoise. Place them directly on their food dish or hide pieces around their enclosure for fun foraging.

Tortoises may nibble apples slowly, so remove uneaten portions after 30 minutes. Apples make a nutritious occasional treat, along with leafy greens, hay, and vegetables.

The small but endearing hedgehog is an uncommon pet that finds apples absolutely delicious. These gentle nocturnal animals originate from Europe, Asia, and Africa. They thrive on a balanced diet of high-protein cat or dog food, with fruits like apples offered in moderation.

Be sure to wash and core the apples, then finely chop or shred into tiny pieces. Place these on a flat dish and observe your hedgehog enjoying this sweet, healthy snack. The natural sugars give them a boost of energy while the fiber and nutrients support their health.

Remove any uneaten apple after an hour. Apples make a fine occasional treat for hedgehogs, along with small amounts of vegetables and insects.

Sugar Gliders

Fun-loving sugar gliders are exotic marsupial pets originating from Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia. About the size of a hamster, these highly social creatures thrive when kept in pairs or groups.

While sugar gliders eat mainly insects in the wild, they enjoy supplements of fresh fruits like chopped apples when kept as pets. Be sure to core and finely chop the apple so it is easy for your sugar glider to grab and chew.

The natural sugars give them an energy boost while the fiber aids digestion. Place the chopped apple pieces in a small dish in their habitat. Remove any uneaten apple after a few hours. In addition to apple treats, feed sugar gliders a balanced diet of pellets, insects, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

Hamsters are popular pocket pets that love to nibble on juicy apple slices. These cute rodents originate from Syria and Turkey and thrive as pets in cages with fun accessories. In addition to their main diet of hamster food and timothy hay, hamsters greatly enjoy apples as a supplemental treat 2-3 times per week.

The natural sugars provide hamsters energy while the fiber prevents constipation. Vitamin C in apples also promotes a healthy immune system. Be sure to wash apples thoroughly, then core and slice into thin wedges your hamster can easily hold.

Place a few slices in their cage and watch them eagerly munch away! Remove any uneaten apple after a few hours. In moderation, apples make a safe, healthy treat your hamster will adore.

Wild Animals Attracted to Apples

Deer love munching on apples! These foraging animals are frequently seen in orchards and backyards feasting on fallen apples. With their excellent sense of smell, deer can detect the sweet scent of apples from far away.

Apples provide deer with a nutritious snack that is high in fiber and vitamin C. According to a study , apples make up over 28% of a deer’s fall diet. Deer even have specialized molars that are perfectly adapted for chewing and consuming apples.

Some tips for attracting deer with apples: cut apples in half to release more scent and place them near the edges of wooded areas.

The fox is an opportunistic omnivore that will eat fruit when available. Foxes have great difficulty resisting the smell and taste of apples! According to wildlife experts, apples make up approximately 14% of the fox’s diet in the fall when apples are abundant.

Foxes use their excellent sense of smell to locate fallen apples under trees. They will carry apples away to eat in a sheltered location. Fun fact – foxes store excess apples to eat later by burying them underground.

Tips for attracting foxes with apples: leave some bruised or partially rotten apples available, as foxes prefer softer fruits.

Raccoons are curious critters that feed on a variety of fruits, including apples. They use their dexterous front paws to grasp and manipulate apples. Studies show that raccoons favor tart, crisp apples over sweeter varieties.

In fact, Granny Smith apples made up over 30% of the fruit found in examined raccoon scat. Raccoons often wash apples in streams or water sources before eating them. The fall apple harvest provides raccoons with an abundant food source to fatten up before winter hibernation.

An easy way to attract nearby raccoons is to intentionally leave some fresh apples accessible on the ground away from buildings.

The opossum is North America’s only marsupial mammal, and this unique animal relishes apples as part of its omnivorous diet. Opossums prefer overripe, fermenting apples that have fallen to the ground. With 50 razor-sharp teeth, they have no problem biting into even the hardest apples!

Apples provide opossums with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. According to wildlife biologists, apples may comprise up to 20% of the opossum’s diet in fall. To attract opossums, leave bruised, damaged, or frozen apples in a pile near their habitat.

Just be sure to remove any uneaten apples within 48 hours.

Fruit, including apples, can make up about one-third of the skunk’s diverse diet. Skunks are enticed by the sweet, tasty rewards that apples provide. Their excellent sense of smell allows them to sniff out apple orchards and trees from a great distance!

Studies show that skunks are able to remember productive fruiting locations from previous years. Leave some apples on the ground away from high-traffic areas to reward local skunks with a delicious, healthy treat.

Just be sure to remove any leftovers quickly to avoid attracting bees, yellowjackets, and other unwanted critters.

Aquatic Life That Eats Apples

Koi fish are a domesticated variety of common carp that are popular in outdoor ponds and water gardens. These colorful fish will readily eat apples that fall into their habitat. The natural sugars and fiber in apples make them a tasty and nutritious treat for koi.

Apples float on the water’s surface, making it easy for koi to find and eat them. It’s important to cut apples into small, bite-sized pieces before feeding them to koi to prevent choking hazards.

Some key facts about feeding apples to koi fish:

  • Remove any seeds, stems or cores first to make apples safe for koi.
  • Apples should make up no more than 10% of a koi’s diet.
  • Too many apples can cause digestive issues for koi.
  • Other fruits koi enjoy include oranges, watermelon and grapes.

Like koi, goldfish are an opportunistic omnivore that will eat apples. In fact, goldfish will devour just about any fruit or vegetable matter that sinks to the bottom of their tank or pond. For goldfish, apples provide a sweet source of carbohydrates and fiber to round out their primary diet of fish flakes and pellets.

Here are some tips for safely feeding apples to goldfish:

  • Wash apples and remove any stickers, stems or seeds first.
  • Cut apples into small cubes no bigger than a goldfish’s eye.
  • Drop a few apple pieces into the water and observe if fish eat them.
  • Uneaten apple slices should be promptly removed to avoid rotting.

While goldfish are not picky eaters, they may ignore apple pieces at first until realizing it’s edible. Be patient and try again another day. In time, most goldfish will develop a taste for this juicy fruit!

Many types of aquatic turtles will happily munch on apples that fall into the water. Red-eared sliders, painted turtles, snapping turtles and softshell turtles are among the species known to consume apples.

Turtles prefer apples that have become soft and fermented in the water, making them easier to bite and digest.

Here are some key pointers for feeding apples to turtles:

  • Remove any apple seeds, which can be toxic to turtles.
  • Cut larger apples into bite-sized pieces for easier eating.
  • Drop apple slices into shallow water for turtles to easily access.
  • Avoid apples that may have pesticides or other chemicals on skin.
  • Rinse off any dirt or debris before feeding apples to turtles.

In the wild, turtles will happily snack on fallen apples in ponds and lakes. For pet turtles, an occasional apple can add beneficial nutrients like vitamin C and calcium to their omnivorous diet.

Manatees are gentle herbivores that inhabit warm coastal waters and slow-moving rivers in Florida and the Caribbean region. These sea cows have been known to eat apples that fall from trees along riverbanks into the water.

Manatees will casually munch on bobbing apples, enjoying the sweet taste and soft texture.

Here are some interesting facts about manatees eating apples:

  • Manatees use their thick, muscular lips to grasp and manipulate apples.
  • They eat apples whole, core and all!
  • Apples make up only a small portion of the manatee diet.
  • Their main foods are aquatic vegetation like seagrasses and hydrilla.
  • Manatees favor fallen native fruits like mangos over non-native apples.

While not a major food source, apples represent an opportunistic seasonal snack for manatees in apple-growing regions. It’s just one example of how adaptable and intelligent these unique sea mammals can be!

As we’ve explored, apples are a highly versatile fruit that appeal to all types of animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and even fish relish the sweet taste and crunchy texture of apples. Next time you’re enjoying an apple, consider sharing a few bites with backyard visitors like squirrels and rabbits or pamper your pet pig, goat, or parrot with their own apple treat.

Apples provide many nutritional benefits including vitamins, minerals, and fiber that animals need in their diets. Beyond natural Instincts, animals may have learned to associate the smell and flavor of apples with a tasty reward.

Whatever the exact reasons, its clear apples satisfy all creatures great and small.

We hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of over 15 types of animals that love apples, from common pets to wildlife. Whether you want to attract certain animals or make your own pet’s day, you now know that apples are a foolproof offering enjoyed by nearly every species.

Similar Posts

Humans Vs Mountain Lions: Who Would Win In A Fight?

Humans Vs Mountain Lions: Who Would Win In A Fight?

Mountain lions, also known as cougars or pumas, are powerful predators that can take down prey much…

How Long Can Squirrels Live Without Food?

How Long Can Squirrels Live Without Food?

Squirrels going days without food is a concerning yet common occurrence, especially in wintertime. If you’ve noticed…

Do Snakes Eat Blackberries? A Detailed Look At Snake Diet And Behavior

Do Snakes Eat Blackberries? A Detailed Look At Snake Diet And Behavior

Snakes are fascinating yet mysterious creatures that spark curiosity in many nature lovers. If you’ve ever spotted…

Do Orcas Hunt Polar Bears?

Do Orcas Hunt Polar Bears?

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are apex predators that roam the world’s oceans. With their large…

Are Hawks Smart? An In-Depth Look At Hawk Intelligence

Are Hawks Smart? An In-Depth Look At Hawk Intelligence

When it comes to birds of prey, hawks are some of the most formidable hunters in the…

Do Pitbulls Get Aggressive With Age?

Do Pitbulls Get Aggressive With Age?

Pitbulls have a reputation for being aggressive dogs. But is this reputation deserved? And do pitbulls tend…

Search within the TIB website or find specialist literature and information in the TIB Portal.

The TIB Portal allows you to search the library's own holdings and other data sources simultaneously. By restricting the search to the TIB catalogue, you can search exclusively for printed and digital publications in the entire stock of the TIB library.

Nanostructure of interlayers in different Nicalon fibre/glass matrix composites and their effect on mechanical properties (English)

  • New search for: HÄHNEL, A.
  • New search for: PIPPEL, E.
  • New search for: WOLTERSDORF, J.
  • ISSN: 1365-2818 , 0022-2720
  • Article (Journal)  /  Electronic Resource

How to get this title?

Show citation formats, export, share and cite, pricing information, please choose your delivery country and your customer group.

*   Mandatory field

Interlayer phenomena, revealed by high‐voltage electron microscopy (HVEM) and high‐resolution electron microscopy (HREM), are presented as they occur in various SiC(Nicalon) fibre‐reinforced Duran glass composites (differing in the specific sol‐gel supported production processes). Their dependence on the production parameters and their influence on the materials properties are discussed, taking into account the results of scanning electron microscope (SEM) in situ tensile tests.

Besides graphitic carbon, textured to a variable degree and influencing the tensile behaviour, oxycarbide formation is indicated.

A reactive matrix additive, such as, e.g. TiO 2 , resulted in a decrease in strength and a brittle behaviour, while the addition of ZrO 2 markedly improves the mechanical properties.

More details on this result

  • Title: Nanostructure of interlayers in different Nicalon fibre/glass matrix composites and their effect on mechanical properties
  • Contributors: HÄHNEL, A. ( author ) / PIPPEL, E. ( author ) / WOLTERSDORF, J. ( author )
  • Published in: Journal of Microscopy ; 177, 3 ; 264-271
  • Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
  • New search for: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 1995-03-01
  • Size: 8 pages
  • DOI:
  • Type of media: Article (Journal)
  • Type of material: Electronic Resource
  • Language: English
  • Keywords: transmission electron microscopy , Nicalon fibre‐reinforced borosilicate glass , in situ deformation , interlayer structure
  • Source: Wiley

Table of contents

Table of contents – volume 177, issue 3.

Show all volumes and issues

The tables of contents are generated automatically and are based on the data records of the individual contributions available in the index of the TIB portal. The display of the Tables of Contents may therefore be incomplete.

Similar titles


  1. Social Work Research Topics List by PhD Research Proposal Topics

    example of short research proposal about social issue

  2. Choose From 40 Research Proposal Templates & Examples 100% Free

    example of short research proposal about social issue

  3. FREE 10+ Sample Research Proposal Templates in MS Word

    example of short research proposal about social issue

  4. 💐 Mini research proposal sample. Research Proposal Examples. 2022-10-14

    example of short research proposal about social issue

  5. Social Work Research Proposal Example

    example of short research proposal about social issue

  6. Choose from 40 Research Proposal Templates & Examples. 100% Free

    example of short research proposal about social issue


  1. Proposal 101: What Is A Research Topic?

  2. How to prepare PhD Research Proposal || Social Work || UGC NET

  3. How to write Research proposal for phD? PhD interview

  4. Social Issue, Moral Issues & Economic Issues

  5. Introduction to social research

  6. How to Write a Research Proposal


  1. Performance management that puts people first

    An understanding of the four basic elements of performance management—goal setting, performance reviews, ongoing development, and rewards—provides a foundation for answering these questions and more. Of course, the right performance management system will vary by organization. Leaders who embrace a fit-for-purpose design built on a proven ...

  2. 15 Real-Life Case Study Examples & Best Practices

    15 Real-Life Case Study Examples. Now that you understand what a case study is, let's look at real-life case study examples. In this section, we'll explore SaaS, marketing, sales, product and business case study examples with solutions. Take note of how these companies structured their case studies and included the key elements.

  3. Social Security debate in the United States

    The Social Security debate in the United States encompasses benefits, funding, and other issues.Social Security is a social insurance program officially called "Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance" (OASDI), in reference to its three components. It is primarily funded through a dedicated payroll tax.During 2015, total benefits of $897 billion were paid out versus $920 billion in income ...

  4. Change in Federal Protections for Wetlands Poses Resilience Challenge

    Wetlands provide numerous ecological, social, and economic benefits and are an important component of nature-based resilience planning. For states facing more extreme rain and growing flood risks, wetlands can act as sponges, absorbing excess water during floods and minimizing overflow into surrounding areas; by doing so, they protect ...

  5. United Nations

    The United Nations (UN) is a diplomatic and political international organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and serve as a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the world's largest international organization. The UN is headquartered in New York City (in the ...

  6. Social policy of the Barack Obama administration

    Obama was the only Democratic presidential candidate to issue an unsolicited statement expressing his views on disability community issues. [citation needed] For example, he stated his intention to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and expressed his support of the ADA Restoration Act. LGBT rights

  7. Public Perceptions of State Court Impartiality and Court Legitimacy in

    Why do some people evaluate state supreme courts as more legitimate than others? Conventional academic wisdom suggests that people evaluate courts in nonpartisan ways, and that people make a distin...

  8. Sustainability

    Arguing for the necessity to re-think human resource management (HRM), as human resources are becoming scarce, HRM practices themselves can be even harmful for employees, and the mainstream HRM is more interested not in the employee well-being, but in the search for the link between HRM and performance, the paper introduces sustainable HRM as an alternative approach to people management.

  9. Cultural Relativity and Acceptance of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Voices in Bioethics is currently seeking submissions on philosophical and practical topics, both current and timeless. Papers addressing access to healthcare, the bioethical implications of recent Supreme Court rulings, environmental ethics, data privacy, cybersecurity, law and bioethics, economics and bioethics, reproductive ethics, research ethics, and pediatric bioethics are sought.

  10. Environmental impact assessment

    Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term "environmental impact assessment" is usually used when applied to actual projects by individuals or companies and the term "strategic environmental assessment" (SEA ...

  11. SCAS Home

    DR SUSAN SPENCE. Dr Susan H. Spence, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. Her research in the area of clinical psychology focuses on the causes, assessment, treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in young people. She is the developer of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale that is widely used ...

  12. Setting the Scene for Exploring the LATT Couples: Seminal Studies

    Exploring intimate and distance through seminal studies published globally in the past four decades, a frequently encountered term is "long-distance couples" (LDR)" as used by Goldsmith and Byers and McRae and Cobb ().This term is contrasted with couples living in "geographically close relations" (GCR), though there is no explicit mention of the location of the partners in different ...

  13. Traci Morris Ph.D.

    The NPM Digital Storytelling and Journalism Intensive Workshop is a college credit summer immersion course for Native media makers to learn and apply media and journalism skills in ways that ...

  14. Democracy

    Democracy (from Ancient Greek: δημοκρατία, romanized : dēmokratía, dēmos 'people' and kratos 'rule') [1] is a system of government in which state power is vested in the people or the general population of a state. [2] Under a minimalist definition of democracy, rulers are elected through competitive elections while more expansive ...

  15. What Animals Like Apples? A Comprehensive Guide

    Donkeys and mules are two more farm animals that view apples as an energizing snack. The natural sugars in apples provide these hearty equines with a powerful source of carbohydrates and calories. Apples are also high in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and immunity in donkeys and mules.

  16. Nanostructure of interlayers in different Nicalon fibre/glass matrix

    Table of contents - Volume 177, Issue 3 Show all volumes and issues. The tables of contents are generated automatically and are based on the data records of the individual contributions available in the index of the TIB portal. The display of the Tables of Contents may therefore be incomplete.

  17. Scientific method

    The scientific method is an empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. The scientific method involves careful observation coupled with rigorous scepticism, because cognitive assumptions can distort the interpretation of the observation.Scientific inquiry includes creating a hypothesis through inductive reasoning ...

  18. Literature questions and answers in May 2024

    1. Topic: Choose a topic from the following list. Weather, Pets, Pests, Housing, Possessions, Garden provide a citation for the fiction picture book and a non-fiction book and answer the following ... In 1-2 paragraphs, compare and contrast the structures of English/ Spanish language.

  19. Doctor of Philosophy

    A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin: philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae) is the most common degree at the highest academic level, awarded following a course of study and research. The degree is abbreviated PhD and sometimes, especially in the U.S., as Ph.D. It is derived from the Latin Philosophiae Doctor, pronounced as three separate letters (/ p iː eɪ tʃ ˈ d iː ...