Health

Would you have your fetus genetically tested?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanDec 27, 2011 5:22 PM

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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

Demographic1990s2004

Male6967

Female6865

White6765

Black7972

Hispanic*71

Less than HS7267

High School6865

Junior College6469

Bachelor7165

Graduate6971

Protestant6965

Catholic6263

Jewish9578

No Religion7869

Dull7471

Average6565

Smart7166

Liberal8077

Slight Liberal7064

Moderate7069

Slight Conservative6866

Conservative5952

Democrat7374

Independent6967

Republican6558

Yes to abortion on demand8075

No to abortion on demand6156

Bible Word of God6361

Bible Inspired Word6865

Bible Book of Fables8275

Evolution definitely true*81

Evolution probably true*70

Evolution probably not true*67

Evolution definitely not true*58

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