International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Human Germline Engineering: A Study of Attitudes among Canadian University Students and the American Public
Brock Criger, G. Cynthia Fekken

 Attitudes toward human germline engineering were assessed across four studies. Studies 1 and 2 used participant ratings to develop a coherent set of germline engineering targets. Study 3 showed that in a sample of Canadian students, approval was higher for therapeutic modifications than for enhancing modifications, and higher for modifications targeting physical traits than for those targeting psychological traits. A regression analysis showed that approval related positively to knowledge and Agreeableness, and negatively to perceived risk and female gender. Study 4 replicated the same pattern of approval based on goal and trait type with a sample of American adults, and showed that overall approval correlated positively with level of education and Agreeableness, and negatively with perceived risk, female gender, and Extraversion. These findings provide empirical support for our proposed structure of attitudes toward germline engineering and show that overall approval can be predicted from stable individual differences.

Full text: PDF