Term Paper: Cloning Has Been a Hot

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[. . .] H3: A statistically significant difference will be found between males and females regarding their acceptance or rejection of practices involving human cloning for the treatment of human disease

H30: The null hypothesis will state that no statistically significant difference will be found between males and females regarding their acceptance or rejection of practices involving human cloning for the treatment of human disease.

H4: A statistically significant difference will be found between males and females regarding their acceptance or rejection of practices involving human cloning for non-health related reasons.

H40: The null hypothesis will state that no statistically significant difference will be found between males and females regarding their acceptance or rejection of practices involving human cloning for non-health related reasons.

The four hypotheses being tested will involve the relationship between the two dependent variables on four separate subject matters involving cloning.

The topic of cloning was found to be too general as far as public opinion was concerned. In the literature review public opinion was found to differ according to final purpose of the cloned species. In addition, cloning for human health research, for example, stem cell research, was found to exhibit a different public response than non-health related human cloning. This differentiation in subtopic concerning cloning must be included as a part of this study to eliminate the possibility of an problem with test subjects mis-interpreting what is meant by "Cloning." The same sample population will be used to test all four hypothesis, as this will help to measure gender differences that exist dependent upon the final use of the cloned material.

Delimitations of Study

The primary focus of this study is to explore the factors that may influence the results of public opinions polls concerning cloning issues. There are many demographic issues that could serve to confound the results of the study such as socio-economic status, social issues including religion of the subject, educational status, rural or urban upbringing, amount of knowledge in general about cloning, mass media effects and many other issues. This study will focus on attempting to isolate the issue of gender as a predictor of acceptance or rejection of cloning. This study may be effected by the above issues, or other issues that have not been identified. An attempt will be made to eliminate these variables from the research by carefully selecting a balanced sample population. The sample will be balanced of with an equal number of males and females. The other variables will identified through demographic questions and the final sample population will be of homogeneous demographics made up of both male and female subjects.

The issue of isolating a demographic issue in s survey can be easily accomplished by sample selection. However, this does place a limitation of the scope and applicability of the project. In this case, the study cannot be realistically applied to the general sample population outside the identified demographic group. This is the opposite of the surveys cited in the media, where the dependent variables were not identified. In this case the research cannot be applied to the general population either because it is not known if the study is valid due to sample bias.

This study eliminates the issue of sample bias, but has a limited real scope of applicability. The focus of the research is to answer the question, "Does gender bias exist in the opinions between males and females regarding the cloning issue?" If the results do show that a difference doe exist, then further studies should be conducted to determine if these results are applicable to larger populations or different demographic groups. If no gender differences are found to exist in the sample population then it may be repeated with other demographic groups using the same survey instrument to determine if other differences exist. If gender differences are not found to exist in opinions regarding cloning issues, then media reports on public opinion will have more validity and can be counted on as a more reliable source of information.

Definitions

Cloning - The practice of reproducing an entire living creature of any species from a single cell or very small group of cells by means other than natural reproductive methods of the species

Natural Reproductive Methods - Reproduction that occurs without the aid of a human being in any way. In the case of a human, this definition will include invitro fertilization, intercourse, or any other method where the fetus is implanted into a female uterus and grows there until its live birth.

Cloning of animals for human use - Cloning animals for the purposes of greater food production or the harvest of any other product used by humans for medicine, clothing, food, or any other human need.

Genetically Modified Foods - Shall include food products, either plant or animal that have been artificially modified to produce a genetically superior product. In the case of plants, this will not include those that have been breed by selective pollination. It will only include plants that have been genetically modified by gene-splicing and other such techniques (for example Starlink corn).

Human Cloning for the treatment of human disease - Shall mean the cloning of a human species for the purpose of harvest of a portion of that human for the relief of human disease in another human being. This shall be applicable whether the human clone reaches maturity or not.

Human Cloning for non-health related reasons - shall mean the cloning of human beings for the sole purpose of producing a fully viable, mature, live-born human being, for reasons other than harvest of organs to treat disease.

Literature Review

There have been many public opinion polls conducted in formal and informal settings regarding public opinion concerning cloning. Many of these contain generalizations such as the following found in the April 2001 issue of The Economist, poll last month by Time/CNN found that 67% of people thought that animal cloning was "a bad idea"; 90% opposed human cloning. There were strong majorities even against cloning to produce vital organs to save others (68%) and to help infertile parents to have children (76%): (The Economist, 2001).

This literature review will not concern itself with articles and studies containing generalizations such as these. One will notice that there has been no separation of demographic information and nothing is known of the sample population, including the size. Poorly conducted studies such as this were the inspiration for the design of this study.

Cloning involves many subtle issues such as the disposition of fetuses that result from failed attempts at human cloning. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research have released new guidelines that allow leftover human embryos to be used for medical research. However, it forbids humans to be cloned for this purpose (Smith, 2002). The British however, finds nothing in their law to forbid this practice (Smith, 2002). This demonstrates the wide difference of opinion that exists regarding this issue.

On similar scientific issues, including using animal research, gender differences in the acceptability of the practice were found. A study by Pifer (1996) found that among 10th graders females were more likely to support animal rights and be opposed to animal research than were men. Other studies supported the gender differences on opinions surrounding controversial science issues between males and females (Bailey, 1994 and Herzog, Betchart, & Pittman, 1991.

Buwald (2002) found that in a gender balanced group of New Zealanders an understanding of how scientific decisions are decided resulted in more confidence in science in general. Women engineering students tended to have less confidence in their abilities than did male students (Felder et.al. 1995). This study found that these attitudes ultimately affected their performance. It also discovered several other demographic factors that had an effect on the final results including whether the subject was from a rural or urban setting or their socioeconomic status. Although the subject matter of these studies did not match the topic of this research precisely, the factors that influenced their outcome will be applicable to this research as well.

Methodology

This research will involve the gathering of data concerning the gender differences in of opinions on cloning issues between males and females. It will involve the administration of a survey to both test groups. The differences of the groups will be tested using the Z-test for statistical significance. Descriptive statistical methods will be used to describe differences between the two groups. A p-value of.05 will be used as criteria for accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis for all four of the hypotheses in question.

The most important factor in the design of this study is the selection and classification of the sample population. This will be accomplished by selecting only subjects that meet specific demographic criteria. The sample population will consist of third year students at an academic institution. The students will be asked screening question to determine socioeconomic status, rural or urban upbringing, and other factors. Only those meeting the criteria will be used as test subjects. The survey will be gender… [END OF PREVIEW]

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