July 26, 2013 at 3:25 PM ET
There's a significant global gender gap when it comes to the United States' use of drones for military strikes, with more women around the world opposing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles than men.
While women in general are "far less likely than men to say that force is sometimes necessary in the pursuit of justice," the "gender difference over drone strikes is unusually large," says the Pew Research Institute in a new report.
In the U.S., of 61 percent of Americans who approve of drone strikes in military situations, 70 percent are men and 53 percent are women, Pew found.
But the gender gap is even greater in other countries "about this signature Obama administration anti-terrorist tool," wrote Bruce Stokes, Pew's director of global economic attitudes, in the report:
In Japan, for example, 41 percent of men approve of drone attacks, compared with just 10 percent of women. Double digit gender gaps are also found in six of the eight EU nations polled, as well as Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea and Uganda.
The Obama administration says it uses military drones to target al Qaeda leaders and senior Taliban officials who are plotting attacks against the U.S. and U.S. troops. But a recent NBC News investigation found that in Pakistan, the CIA didn't always know who it was targeting in using the drones.
Last spring, Pew surveyed people in 39 nations about the U.S. use of drone missile strikes in countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The only three countries where "majorities" support the drone use are Israel, Kenya and the U.S. itself, Pew found.
In France, Germany and Spain, "there are also sharp ideological divisions on this issue, with those on the political right far more supportive than those on the left."