Most Americans Don’t Have a Problem With Designer Babies

The limits of science are constantly being pushed. But how far can we go? The Pew Research Center investigated the question of genetic modification of embryos by questioning a panel of 2,537 people. And the least we can say is that the subject is divisive!

According to a study led by the Pew Research Center and published at the end of July, the majority of Americans are in favour of genetically modifying embryos, as long as the intervention is made on medical grounds. But according to a study led between 23rd April and 6th May of this year, there are just as many Americans who think that genetically modifying an embryo with the simple aim of improving its intellectual abilities represents an “excessive” use of science.

Yes to correcting genetic anomalies

In this case, 72% are in favour of genetically modifying embryos, and 60% are in favour when the intervention guarantees a decreased risk of serious medical conditions later in the child’s life. On the other hand, there are only 19% who approve of gene modification which aims to improve purely “cosmetic” characteristics, such as IQ. 80% think that this is an example of an “excessive” use of science.

The results varied greatly in accordance with the category of people questioned. The 46% who declared they were in favour of medical gene modification also said they were religious. The percentage became 73% for people with less religious backgrounds. There was also a difference as far as gender was concerned. 65% of men declared themselves in favour of this genetic modification against 54% of women. The same gender division applied when participants were asked their opinion on human embryo research. 43% of men were in favour against only 24% of women.

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