The Virginia Commonwealth University Life Science Center has released the results of the VCU Life Sciences Survey and I thought I’d share some of the interesting results.
The most surprising result of the survey is that 80% of surveyed adults favor making genetic testing â€œeasily available to all who want it,â€ similar to values in 2001 and 2004.Â Donâ€™t tell this to the New York and California Departments of Health!
The Benefits Outweigh the Risks
54% of adults believe that the benefits of genetic testing outweigh the risks, while 25% believe that the risks outweigh the benefits.Â Itâ€™s interesting to see the education breakdown of this question.Â 44% of people with a high school degree or less believe that benefits outweigh risks, compared to 67% of people with a college degree or more.Â And 29% of people with a high school degree or less believe that risks outweigh benefits, compared to 20% of those with a college degree or more.
Nature vs. Nurture
So which is stronger â€“ our genetic inheritance or our lifestyle/environment?Â 57% of respondents believe that â€œour environment and living practicesâ€ are â€œa more important influence on peopleâ€™s behavior, while 27% believe that it is â€œthe genes we inherit.â€Â The respondents were also asked how scientists would respond to the same question.Â They believed that 42% of scientific experts would say that our genes are a more important influence and 39% would say that our environment and living practices are more influential.