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Identifier 000357596
Title Αυτονομία, ενημέρωση, επιλογή : βιοηθική προσέγγιση των στάσεων και αντιλήψεων για τα γενετικά τροποιοιημένα τρόφιμα
Author Δερμιτζάκη Νεκταρία- Γεωργία
Thesis advisor Πετούση, Βασιλική
Reviewer Βασιλογιάννης, Φίλιππος
Ντούλης, Ανδρέας
Abstract The biotechnological progress, which revealed old and new dilemmas for the relationship between knowledge of science and the social, political and personal human life, contributed to a broad debate on the ethics of life. Among the key issues employed in the scientific and public bioethical debate is the question of autonomy. The modern citizen (and consumer) more than ever, on the one hand is called and on the other hand requires to have and to ensure the possibility of free and autonomous choice, of which information is a component. So starting from the premise that knowledge enhances the freedom of choice and thus autonomy, this paper examines issues of free and autonomous choice related to Genetically Modified Organisms and in particular genetically modified foods. Among biotechnological achievements, genetically modified organisms, especially genetically modified foods are a contentious issue both within the scientific debate and mostly in their socio-political organization and practice. On the issue of GM Foods, and biotechnology in general, even a small search in the bibliography shows differences in evaluative positions and judgments, both in countries and between different applications of biotechnology. Thus, this work, explores the attitudes, opinions and perceptions of Greek university students on genetically modified foods. Based on Mill’s empirical findings and theoretical proposals on autonomy, the basic research question in this work is the degree and extent to which a) knowledge and information on biotechnology in general and in particular GM Foods, b) specific demographic characteristics and c) value judgments about science- nature dipole and the uses of biotechnology are related and affect the evaluation of moral correctness or otherwise of GM Foods production from plants and animals. Methodologically, the research was based on data collected using a structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions grouped into six thematic sections. The answers to most of these questions are coded in a 5-degree Likert scale, the most widely used scale measuring attitudes or opinions in the social sciences. In this survey, the application of questionnaires of attitudes and opinions produces results which, in turn, can lead to conclusions about the independent and free conduct of survey participants and perhaps the general population. Data were collected in a series of visits to Greek Universities and Departments of Schools. The questionnaire in its vi final form was distributed to a sample of 401 students. Analysis of data was performed with statistical package SPSS 15. The variable analyzed as a dependent in this research is the “moral assessment of GM food production”. For this analysis, the following were used as independent variables: a) extent of knowledge on issues of biotechnology and GM foods, b) demographic and wider socio-political characteristics, and c) value judgments as to the science - nature analytical dipole and the uses of genetic modification. The findings of this study showed that knowledge is an extremely important factor in the attitude towards the GM foods. This is illustrated by the analysis of the academic field which together with gender is differentiated in all aspects of knowledge and attitudes about biotechnology, genetic engineering and genetically modified foods. We also have correlations with the educational level of parents, differentiation by gender with women showing more confidence in nature and a stronger rejection of the GM foods than men, and have correlations with the level of the education of the mother on different topics. Gender appears as indicative and important aspect of identity formation. However, as shown by regression analysis the value judgments may play equally or even more important role in shaping attitudes. This is shown when taking into account differences between plants and animals. The modification of plants is more acceptable than that of animals. Moreover in regression analysis, the attitude to animals is beyond the terms of knowledge and has more to do with value systems. Furthermore we note that attitudes towards GM foods coming from animals, dependent upon religiosity. The intensity of religiosity has, like the previous variables, value character. Finally, the participation in NGOs appears firmly in the same position of models for GM foods from plants and from animals. Within this research the expression of free choice and thus the expression of autonomy as understood by Mill is considered in relation to its shaping by many factors that indicate the complexity of the content of knowledge and information.
Language Greek
Issue date 2009
Collection   Faculty/Department--Faculty of Letters--Department of Philosophy & Social Studies--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
Notes Μεταπτυχιακό πρόγραμμα σπουδών Π.Μ.Σ. βιοηθηκής.
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