The findings will be presented by Dr Simon Hampton at the BA Festival of Science on Setpember 5.
Dr Hampton and his team at UEA’s School of Social Work and Psychosocial Studies examined what different groups of people in the UK would ‘design into’ their children given the opportunity.
The evidence suggests that there are gender, age and socio-economic class differences in what is deemed desirable and that many prospective parents would be prepared to manipulate their babies in ways that are at odds with moral orthodoxy.
“People assume that the very notion of designer babies stems from the desire of prospective parents for their children to be healthy,” said Dr Hampton.
“However, the picture is complicated by the shifting meaning of ‘healthy’ and confusion about when the manipulation of children’s physical, psychological or social characteristics is legitimate, natural or ethical.”
We are often presented with information and speculation about what reproductive technologies might achieve in the future and with various ethical dilemmas. This new research is among the first to investigate the thoughts and feelings of ordinary prospective parents.
The results of a series of surveys of 100-200 participants included:
- The better educated prospective parents are, the further they are prepared to go to improve their children’s IQ.
- Women interpret certain interventions in child rearing as ‘design acts’ more readily than men.
- People over 50 interpret certain interventions as ‘design acts’ more readily than people under 25.
- Because of ‘parental uncertainty’ - the idea than women know for certain if a child is their’s whereas men do not – men show a significantly greater preference than female parents for their children to inherit their own characteristics.
- Parents see different physical, social and intellectual characteristics as desirable depending on the sex of the child.
- Older women and childless women are significantly more willing to ‘improve’ the physical, social and intellectual characteristics of prospective children? (This can be explained by women seeking to increase their genetic heredity, particularly when their time to reproduce begins to decrease.)
- Both men and women see genetic engineering as acceptable primarily for medical applications.
Press Office | alfa
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy