Decline in ethical concerns about reproductive technologies among a representative sample of US women

Arthur L. Greil, Kathleen S. Slauson-Blevins, Karina M. Shreffler, Katherine M. Johnson, Michelle H. Lowry, Andrea R. Burch, Julia McQuillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Public awareness and utilization of assisted reproductive technology has been increasing, but little is known about changes in ethical concerns over time. The National Survey of Fertility Barriers, a national, probability-based sample of US women, asked 2031 women the same set of questions about ethical concerns regarding six reproductive technologies on two separate occasions approximately 3 years apart. At Wave 1 (2004–2007), women had more concerns about treatments entailing the involvement of a third party than about treatments that did not. Ethical concerns declined between Wave 1 and Wave 2, but they declined faster for treatments entailing the involvement of a third party. Ethical concerns declined faster for women with greater levels of concern at Wave 1. Initial ethical concerns were higher, and there was less of a decline in ethical concerns for women with higher initial levels of religiosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-805
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • biotechnology
  • ethics
  • genetic and reproductive technologies

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