Attitudes of different religions towards breast milk bank: Analysis of 17 countries with data mining

Yıldız M., Gomes R. F., Felix E. O., Ademiju O., Tayyeb M., Noibi T. O., ...More

Women's Studies International Forum, vol.101, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 101
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.wsif.2023.102840
  • Journal Name: Women's Studies International Forum
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, American History and Life, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Gender Studies Database, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Keywords: Attitude, Breast milk bank, Religious belief
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for infants. The establishment of breast milk banks for infants who cannot consume breast milk has always been a subject of debate from the past to the present. Religious orientations and cultures have shaped positive or negative attitudes towards these debates. This study aimed to determine and compare the attitudes towards breast milk banks in different religions. In this cross-sectional study, data were collected from people living in Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Madagascar, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Iran, Mexico, Japan, England, Malaysia, Albania, Libya, Bangladesh, and Indonesia between May 2022 and April 2023. The study was conducted with individuals from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, and other religions. The sample was determined using snowball sampling and the research was carried out with 2714 individuals from different religions who agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected using an Introductory Information Form and a “Questionnaire for Attitudes Towards Breast Milk Bank”. R programming language 4.1.3 was used for regression analysis with machine learning approach and artificial neural networks, and SPSS-25 was used for other statistical analyses. There was a significant difference between the individuals' mean total score on the Questionnaire for Attitudes towards Breast Milk Bank and their religious beliefs (p < 0.05). According to the results of the regression model, which was established to reveal the effect of religious belief on the attitude towards breast milk banks, statistical estimates of the regression model showed that the model was meaningful and applicable (F(5,2708) = 14.749, p = 0.001). Religious belief explained 2.7 % of the total variance in the level of attitudes towards breast milk banks. According to the results of the t-test regarding the significance of the regression coefficient in the regression model, the mean scores regarding the attitude towards breast milk banks were higher among participants from Hinduism (t = 6.971, p < 0.001), Christianity (t = 4.690, p < 0.001), Buddhism (t = 3.442, p < 0.001), and atheism (t = 4.424, p < 0.001) compared to those from Islam (constant). Individuals' attitudes towards breast milk banks differ according to their religions. The most important model in prediction with data mining was K nearest neighbour regression. It was determined that the attitudes of individuals from Islam were more negative than that of individuals from other religions. It is recommended that longitudinal studies be carried out on attitudes towards breast milk banks.