Thursday, September 07, 2006

Designing Children: For Health or More?

The well-educated are significantly more open to the idea of "designing" babies than the poorly educated, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom; the study had some interesting results including:

* 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.

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