Religious and Genomics/Genetics Beliefs: An Exploratory Study
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The purpose of this study is to provide structure and evidence-based insight into the impact of religious beliefs on public perceptions and U.S. government policies regarding embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). Through a qualitative examination of college students' from various racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds, the definition, interpretation, and conceptualization of the influence of religious beliefs on perceptions regarding embryonic stem cell research were explored. Employing an emergent design, the data collection process encompassed 37 in-depth interviews. From the qualitative data, it was found that the majority of participants in this study believed that ESCR should be conducted and federally funded in the United States, regardless of their religious beliefs. Additionally, participants were able to cite both potential benefits and potential risks of conducting embryonic stem cell research regardless of their religious affiliations. ESCR has great promise for helping to alleviate human disease and suffering, but it is a multifaceted and controversial issue. This study offers a glimpse into the religious and racial/ethnic influences on perceptions regarding ESCR for a sample of college students from various racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.