University students’ views about genetically modified organisms: A case study
AbstractGenetically Modified Organism (GMO) is a popular socio-scientific issue today and views on this issue directly shape people’s behaviors. This study aims to investigate university students’ views about GMOs. A total of 200 university students from different faculties of a state university participated in the study. Face-to-face interviews were made with the participants. The sampling technique of convenience sampling, a purposeful sampling technique, and the maximum variation sampling technique were systematically used together to determine the participants of the study. Data were collected using an interview form developed by the researchers. The study was designed as a holistic single-case study. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and content analysis. NVivo12 software, a qualitative analysis software, was used to organize the data and the analysis results were presented in frequencies and percentages. Excerpts from the themes were also included. The results revealed that the university students’ sources of information regarding the issue are mainly news, social media, and lessons-school. It was nonetheless found that they do not rely on news and social media. They indicated many food products in which GMOs are used, plants in particular. However, they confused situations like growing the aforementioned products in periods different than seasonal periods and using hormones and additives with modifying genetics. The content analysis results showed that the university students’ views were collected under five different themes: Genetically Modified Products, Purposes of GMO Use, GMO’s differences from other products, advantages of GMOs, and damages of GMOs. At the end of the study, the university students’ views were discussed in light of the literature and the related suggestions were given.
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