My Senior Independ Study examines students at The College of Wooster’s perception and attitudes towards moral and biological human enhancements. For my study, I conducted a survey asking students to individually read five short scenarios, and then respond to ten accompanying statements. Each scenario detailed an enhancement conducted through the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which would enhance their future child. The survey studied both moral and biological enhancements as well as therapeutic and “liberal” (i.e. freely chosen) enhancements. The first and fourth scenario studied therapeutic enhancements, while the second, third, and fourth focused on “liberal” enhancements. My findings indicate that out of the five scenarios, students at The College of Wooster only accepted the biological, therapeutic enhancement. The participants held “Neutral” opinions towards the other forms of enhancements. To understand my participants response’s, I apply the concepts: collective conscious, ‘normal’ and the ‘pathological,’ biopolitics, neoliberalism, species-being, and the commons to my findings. I believe the information that I gathered in this study could be used to understand the attitudes and perceptions towards a critical demographic which has not been studied in-depth and may be helpful in future discussions in the regulations of techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9.


Tierney, Thomas


Sociology and Anthropology


Social Statistics | Sociology of Culture


Moral and Biological Human Enhancements

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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