What Do American's Want to Have Happen to Their Bodies After They Die?

‚Äč A Study Conducted By:
Lysander, Lizzy, Cole, Justin, Julia, Jessica

Main Survey Question: What do most Americans want to happen to their body after they die?
- Follow up Question: Why would you want this to happen to your body.
Categories: Cremation, Burial, Science, Other.
- Reasons Why? Environmental, Money, Religion, Family, Other.
Age Groups Surveyed: Peers(teens high school age), 20-40, 40+.


Cremation
Burial
Science
Other
Peers
12
12
3
2
Environmental
5



Money




Religion

5


Family
3
5


Other
4
2
3
2





20-40
8
4
7
7
Environmental
3



Money
3



Religion

2


Family


2

Other
2
2
5
7





40+
7
14
0
2
Environmental
4



Money

2


Religion
2
5


Family
1
5


Other
4
2

2


Totals-

Cremation
Burial
Science
Other
Peers
12
12
3
2
20-40
8
4
7
7
40 and Above
7
14
0
2
Totals
27
30
10
11



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Hypothesis -

We think that our data will support the conclusion that the younger age set, (high school age), will be more likely to choose cremation because it is a relatively new advancement in post-mortem treatment and is becoming more widely accepted as a modern alternative to burial. We also think that this will hold true for the 20-40 year old's. However, we think that those surveyed who are above the age of 40 will choose burial. We think that their reasons for doing so will be closely tied to religious concepts and beliefs that we believe are more common among the older members of American society. We think that these people are also more likely to have a family and therefore concern themselves with what will happen to them after they die in the context of their children and grandchildren.

Mt. Vernon Cemetery

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Procedure -

Each group member will survey 5 people of each age group so that we can have an appropriately representative sample, with a total of 90 people surveyed.

We made sure to survey all different types of people, both at school and outside of school. Because of the way we divided our data by age, creating a totally random sample would be very difficult, but we did our best.

We asked each participant what they would like to happen with their bodies after they died. We then asked them why they felt that way, and whether factors like family, religion, price, the environment or something else similar to that influenced their decision.

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Conclusion


Burials are the most popular choice but cremation was a really close second. We were wrong in guessing that the younger generations would choose cremation because our peer age leaned more to choosing burial. But, we were right in our hypothesis because the 20-40 age group preferred cremation over being buried like we had predicted. We also were correct in foreseeing that the oldest generations would choose burial.


Statistics -

There are approximately 470,915 cremations a year in North America

According to the US Census Bureau, "In general, at a rate of approximately 2 to 1 over cremation, most
veterans indicate plans for an in-ground casket burial"


In 2008, more than 45% of the deceased in California were cremated

The current cremation process poses a threat to the environment because of the fossil fuels used that adds to current green house gases. Burial can also pose an environmental concern because of the embalming fluids used, like formaldehyde. Recently a new alternative has been developed that produces similar results to cremation without the damage to the environment, called Bio Cremation.

Some of our weirdest answers -

One of Jessica's friends told us that he wanted to be cryogenicly frozen and then sometime in the future be cloned.

Liz's dad literally wants to be shot into space.

Julia's mom wants to be cremated, and then either have her ashes put into jewelry to wear or even put into ink to be tattooed on her family's bodies.

What the experimenters think -

Liz wants to be donated to science as a cadaver for medical school students.

Julia wants to be cremated and have her ashes spread to places where she wasn't able to see during her lifetime.

Jessica wants to be cremated like Julia, but then have her ashes spread at her favorite places.

Lysander wants to be preserved, if he's famous by then, like Lenin so that future generations can come see him.

Cole wants to be the next Ice Man, found at the top of Mount Everest by his buddy Lysander.

Justin wants to be donated to science, so that one day students will learn using his remains.