Would you have your fetus genetically tested?

By Razib Khan | December 27, 2011 12:22 pm

There’s a variable in the GSS, GENESELF, which asks:

Today, tests are being developed that make it possible to detect serious genetic defects before a baby is born. But so far, it is impossible either to treat or to correct most of them. If (you/your partner) were pregnant, would you want (her) to have a test to find out if the baby has any serious genetic defects?

This is relevant today especially. First, the technology is getting better and better. Second, couples are waiting longer to start families. Unfortunately this question was only asked in 1990, 1996, and 2004. But on the positive side the sample sizes were large.

I decided to combine 1990 and 1996 into one class. Also, I combined those who were very liberal with liberals, and did the same for conservatives. For political party ideology I lumped strong to weak identifiers. For intelligence I used WORDSUM. 0-4 were “dull,” 5-7 “average,” and 8-10 “smart.” For some variables there weren’t results for the 1990s.

The biggest surprise for me is that there wasn’t much difference between the 1990s and 2004. The second biggest surprise was that the differences between demographics were somewhat smaller than I’d expected, and often nonexistent. Below is a barplot and table with the results.

 

Yes to fetal genetic tests by demographic
Demographic 1990s 2004
Male 69 67
Female 68 65
White 67 65
Black 79 72
Hispanic * 71
Less than HS 72 67
High School 68 65
Junior College 64 69
Bachelor 71 65
Graduate 69 71
Protestant 69 65
Catholic 62 63
Jewish 95 78
No Religion 78 69
Dull 74 71
Average 65 65
Smart 71 66
Liberal 80 77
Slight Liberal 70 64
Moderate 70 69
Slight Conservative 68 66
Conservative 59 52
Democrat 73 74
Independent 69 67
Republican 65 58
Yes to abortion on demand 80 75
No to abortion on demand 61 56
Bible Word of God 63 61
Bible Inspired Word 68 65
Bible Book of Fables 82 75
Evolution definitely true * 81
Evolution probably true * 70
Evolution probably not true * 67
Evolution definitely not true * 58

 

 

 

 

  • http://www.parhasard.net/ Aidan Kehoe

    Wow, what changed among the Jews in that time?! Maybe the issue was more on their minds when children were born regularly among them with Tay-Sachs.

  • http://www.scribd.com/doc/74944514/ Robert Dole

    Was geschah mit den Juden?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #1, small sample size. but i reported it because jews tend to be very positive on all “pro-family planning” questions.

  • http://emilkirkegaard.com Emil

    Nise to see peeple suport eugeniks, eeven tho it is kalled somthing els today. I wud hav expekted lower valus and larjer diferenses between groups.

  • ackbark

    I think it’s that more people are realizing that if they have their fetus tested and it has something not right about it they’d have to make a decision about aborting it.

    And testing it like that on your own volition sort of brings it into the family, more so than if a doctor were to just give you the bad news.

  • Marleen Susman

    I’m not familiar with this database. Can you explain why N=55,000 but only 4,466 people responded to this question?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #6, some questions are asked only to a subset.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT

RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »