One Italian in two (47%) thinks it right to allow the use of artificial insemination techniques, also by unmarried heterosexual couples, provided external donors are not used (34% would also allow this type of solution for couples). 37% think it right to use the technology to allow single women to have children, and 16% would also extend this to female homosexual couples. The aspect that most concerns those interviewed is the age of the mother: only 14% would allow women over fifty years of age to use artificial insemination to have children.
One Italian in four is totally opposed to the use of artificial insemination, even by married couples and without recourse to donors. Overall, 45% are against donation (heterologous artificial insemination) and 33% in favour, while one Italian in five does not know or does not want to express an opinion on the matter.
The survey was conducted in the first days of September 2002 on a representative sample of 876 Italians over the age of 18.
This survey marks the beginning of a permanent monitor on relations between the public, institutions and scientific research by Observa.
Future surveys will address issues such as nuclear energy and research policies.
Observa is an independent research centre set up as part of POSTER, which intends creating a bridge between scientific research, political decisions and public opinion. The main aims of Observa’s work are to analyse, develop and evaluate solutions for: public participation in scientific, technological, health and environmental contexts; innovative procedures to involve the public in complex decisions and, in general, forms of dialogue between scientists and the wider public.