Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Public Understanding of Science, 2016. 17 pp. doi: 10.1177/0963662515625402


Copyright © 2016 Arthur L. Greil, Kathleen S. Slauson-Blevins, Karina M. Shreffler, Katherine M. Johnson, Michelle H. Lowry, Andrea R. Burch, and Julia McQuillan. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


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.