Document Type

Article

Department

Sociology

Abstract

This study examines attitudes about prevalent issues in genetics and reproduction among the college population. Eighteen interviews were conducted with students at Rhode Island College. Respondents were asked questions about their moral standpoints concerning utilizing genetic engineering for disease control and aesthetic purposes, employing assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), regulation of such procedures, and also about media sources for which they have heard of these topics. Findings suggest that, generally, participants felt that genetic engineering for health issues is permissible, yet reprehensible for the purpose of aesthetically "designing" a baby, though four students (three of which were female) found the enhancement of physical traits enticing. There was overwhelming support, among all respondents, for the usage of ARTs for infertile couples, single women and gay couples. Also, utilizing ARTs to conceive was thought to be acceptable if an individual is a responsible caretaker, and the government should only go as far as to regulate for safety precautions. The most dominant sources of media responsible for the dissemination of information among this population were television and the internet. Results were interpreted in terms of Bourdieu’s theory of capital and Weber’s value-rational action theory.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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