The Debate : Gender Selection Pros and Cons

18b52763b9Gender selection technologies are here to stay. But is it a “slippery slope” to social, ethical and environmental decline as some critics claim? Or is it simply a matter of reproductive choice, of making happy balanced families? Will it become a technology that so few will use that it won’t interfere with nature’s natural selection process? Or will the opposite occur?

Selection Opponents Say . . .

With gender selection, we are basically creating “designer babies.”

Gender selection technology facilitators are “playing God” by not leaving family balancing conception to nature

Gender selection is a form of gender discrimination.

Parents who use the technology will have unusually high expectations for certain stereotypical aspects of a particular gender that may not be met. (e.g., a girl might like rough sports and hate wearing dresses; a boy may hate football and contact sports

Couples who undergo IVF-PGD are basically “rejecting” embryos of the opposite sex.

Sex Selection Proponents Say . . .

At present, no other human characteristic is being selected, or can be chosen using assisted reproductive technology — not eye color, intelligence, height, sports ability, etc.

Gender selection technology provides family balancing, giving parents the joy of raising both boys and girls. Also, even if sex selection technology is legal in many countries, very likely not enough families will use it to significantly change the natural sex ratio.

No one is getting hurt with gender selection.

Fewer babies will be conceived within a family in what sometimes is a futile quest for a particular gender (e.g., having boy after boy, or girl after girl).

The leftover embryos after PGD can be used the same as embryos left over after any IVF cycle —they can be frozen for future attempts, donated for adoption by infertile couples, donated for research or discarded

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So those are the key advantages and concerns in sex selection pros and cons. For additional information on gender selection pros and cons go to Ethical Issues.