Background Extant surveys of people's attitudes towards human reproductive cloning focus on moral judgements alone, not emotional reactions or sentiments. This is especially important given that some (especially Leon Kass) have argued against such cloning on the ground that it engenders widespread negative emotions, like disgust, that provide a moral guide.
Objective To provide some data on emotional reactions to human cloning, with a focus on repugnance, given its prominence in the literature.
Methods This brief mixed-method study measures the self-reported attitudes and emotions (positive or negative) towards cloning from a sample of participants in the USA.
Results Most participants condemned cloning as immoral and said it should be illegal. The most commonly reported positive sentiment was by far interest/curiosity. Negative emotions were much more varied, but anxiety was the most common. Only about a third of participants selected disgust or repugnance as something they felt, and an even smaller portion had this emotion come to mind prior to seeing a list of options.
Conclusions Participants felt primarily interested and anxious about human reproductive cloning. They did not primarily feel disgust or repugnance. This provides initial empirical evidence that such a reaction is not appropriately widespread.
- Moral Psychology
- Reproductive Medicine
- Scientific Research
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.