Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jason D. Hans

Abstract

Reproductive technology has extended procreative options to infertile, subfertile, unpartnered, and same-sex-partnered individuals, but this technology is sometimes used in circumstances that may be deemed unreasonable or inappropriate by some people. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of five contextual variables—gender, relationship status, age, and sexual orientation of the individual or couple seeking reproductive assistance, as well as the source of gametes—on attitudes toward the procurement of reproductive services. A multiple-segment factorial vignette was administered to a sample of 257 reproductive-aged respondents. Results indicate that ART is generally viewed as an acceptable procedure by reproductive aged individuals, particularly in normative contexts with regard to age and marital status, but differences between single men and single women using ART services were surprising and the effects of sexual orientation were both complex and unexpected. As reproductive norms and medical advances change over time, ethical questions will continue to arise and be discussed by professionals and lay commentators alike. The findings reported here can inform those discussions, while also generating new research to make sense out of the surprising results.