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Thread: Ethics of artificial sex selection

  1. #37

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    Lol sunny I understand the difference. I've grown up surrounded by the LGBT community. I don't like to label is all.


  2. #38

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    Totally agree Kazbah, we have always wanted 4 children whatever the outcome, and having 3 boys automatically makes people think that we are having another to try for a girl. It's so upsetting when people ask this it makes you feel like if you have another boy people would assume that they would be less wanted.
    This is a great thread and really great reading everyone opinions. I just wanted to share my story and feelings so maybe it could shed some light on the other side.

  3. #39

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    PZ, why ask/say "I dont know what to label that?"

  4. #40

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    oh yes. I don't understand that at all, either! I have the 'pigeon pair', so of course I'm done now... ?!!!

    This is s topic that will generate strong opinions, so I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to share yours as well FYM. Also, it's pretty boring when we all agree with each other.

  5. #41

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    Oh, the pigeon pair thing!! Don't even get me started on THAT!!
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  6. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunny09 View Post
    PZ, why ask/say "I dont know what to label that?"
    Because I don't? Are we arguing over semantics? I don't like labels. For fun maybe, but generally no. I see someone who most people would label as Transgender, maybe even they themselves identify that way, I see them as Him or Her depending on what sex they see themselves. Why exactly does it matter? I thought I asked a pretty genuine question, that being, if a child doesn't live up to the stereotype their sexual organs suggest, would one still feel the same about bothering with gender selection?

  7. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinZulu View Post
    I mean, tomboy, then grows up and realises they're male. I don't really know what to label that? Just one example, with the question being, what of they're not what you want from a girl? What if they're like a boy in every other way except their sexual organs?
    That's Transgender. Not something anyone has any control over, as there is no control over personality, sexual preference, fertility or whatever. The child comes as they are, to be raised to be the best person they can be.

    I've always wanted a daughter. I couldnt imagine life without one. But life happens anyway. I never imagined 2 dead sons either.

    I suppose the case that truly distressed me was the family asking to be able to do IVF for a girl. I think it went to court. They had 2 healthy sons. Their daughter was stillborn. They tried again and conceived healthy boy twins, who they aborted because they wanted a girl.

    I can see the argument in favour of IVF sex selection to prevent the termination of babies of an unwanted sex. I'm not going to debate the pros and cons of abortion here at all. Maybe they should be allowed to sex select for a girl. IMO, they need to mourn the baby girl they lost, cherish the children they have alive and learn to live with their grief. Just because we want something, it doesnt mean we're entitled to it, however much the lack hurts us.

  8. #44

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    I know what the differences are. I have a few Trans friends. As kids, we thought they were tomboys. So did they before they realised they weren't girls. Yikes. Am I making no sense? Maybe not. Any who, pretty OT from the OP. does the head meet wall guy still exist?

  9. #45

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    I could never imagine having anything other than boys. Both times I thought I was having boys. Everyone else thought I was having boys.

    I have two girls.

    Now I can't imagine having anything other than girls.

    I do think that we have a certain idea of what our "son" or "daughter" might be like. I imagined my boys to be cheeky, smart yet sensitive and kind to their mother. DD1 is exactly that personality yet in a girl's body . She climbs trees taller than the house, describes things as being "nice and dirty", tells off boys twice her age and winds down the car window to yell hello to people as we're driving around town.

    Tonight the bedtime stories of choice were The Titanic Story (for DD1) and Railroader Magazine (for DD2).

    If I'd had a certain image in my head of what I thought my girls would be like, I think DD1 at least would have turned that on its head.

    To answer the question rather than waffling about my children ... I can't imagine wanting a particular sex sooooooo much that I would be prepared to discard embryos of another sex but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that it shouldn't be allowed. Dunno.

  10. #46

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    Sorry PZ, I was slow in my response. I hadnt read the other posts about gender definitions before I hit submit. Irrespective, I think you asked a relevant question, which is why I labeled this thread the ethics of sex selection. You may choose an embryo with an XY blend and get a female in a male body.

    You cannot select for gender. You can select for sex. Beyond a medical reason, such as haemophilia, is it ethical to do so?

  11. #47

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    Yes! Thank you L&B for wording my question in a hopefully understandable way, perfect You can choose the sex, but you can't choose the gender. What happens if you go through all of that and still have the wrong gender?

  12. #48

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    This is such a touchy subject and one that people who suffer gender disappointment struggle to tell the world.
    I personally could not go through with this as I don't agree with it but I could never judge anyone who wanted to do it.
    I have shared my story in the platinum section before but after having my second son I fel in love withhim but. Also mourned the daughter I didn't have. I still struggle with it when someone has a girl or says they want a boy and get a girl.
    Before it happened to me I never understood how you could feel like this but when It happened it sucked and I fell into a depression. Yes I hope mynextbaby is a girl buti am ok if it's a boy hopefully.
    Pof you want to spend the money go for it, you will never get judgement from me :-)

  13. #49

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    I think I struggle more with the concept of sex selection when a family already has children of one sex and wants the other. Probably because it feels a bit much like they have an image of an ideal girl/boy that they then, subconsciously, put a lot of pressure on to be that child they dreamt of. Sometimes it will work but when it doesn't, I dunno it just feels like to much work for the child.

    However I do know of a woman who feared having a boy so much that she almost terminated her pregnancy just in case it was a male child. At 20 weeks she found out the gender and when it was a boy she dealt with it so badly that she was medicated and in severe emotional distress. When her child was born she eventually fell in love with him, but in her case would it have been better to avoid the risk and sex select? What if she had never bonded and that child had grown up loved only by his father? What if she had aborted, would it have been better then if IVF had guaranteed her a girl for her mental health?

    I guess there are too many what if's in this situation for me to really know what I feel.

  14. #50

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    I think this is a great ethical discussion, and I really see gender selection as an extreme case of our ability to control fertility.

    IVF has the ability to help people control their own fertility in a revolutionary way, and it creates more embryos than are ever used, and helps people conceive babies they would never have conceived otherwise. Its all part of the same continuum for me, and if people can choose to create embyos and only use some and implant others who gets to control that decision? Because somewhere along the line, someone is deciding which embryo to implant: the specialists can look at development, health and chromosomes and ultimately someone is making that call...why not the parents?

    People have tried to control their fertility for a long time, and I know lots of people who have tried natural gender swaying...not that they would abort the other sex, but its a strong preference, so they try all the tricks.

    We as a society cannot control other people's fertility. We cannot tell those on the poverty line to stop having children, or those under educated, or even those with enormous families to stop having children (even if it would be a detriment to the other children...and their ability to have a holiday or piano lessons etc). China has tried very hard to control fertility and it has lead to some terrible examples of infanticide, surrogacy and neglect.

    Children are something that is personal to that couple and that family, and I don't think we can dictate how people either consume IVF, or practice gender selection naturally.

    On the ethics of whether one gender should be more valued than the other, I also think that is personal and people have very complex reasons for wanting children of a particular sex. I think it would benefit those people to have counselling to address those issues, but i also think they have a right to access the same fertility options as anyone else. A healthy baby is obviously the ultimate, but if you could decide to have a particular sex, then why not?

    Kids crying, so hope that all made sense...

  15. #51

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    Default Ethics of artificial sex selection

    It's an interesting read. Currently PG, I don't mind either way right now, as long as I am able to carry a baby to full term, would be great.
    As for the genders, a friend has one of each. DD first, DS second. DS is far more sensitive and placid than DD. Mum often comments and says yes I got one of both but the other way around ITMS. DD is energetic, loves reptiles, mud and riding her bike. DS loves kittens, playing on his scooter outside but hates getting dirty or falling off.

    You never know what you're going to get!! Even when you get it.

    Dear Friend, is more fearful for DD, as being a girl she will require more grooming as she grows, ie appropriate behavior, dressing and general protection skills (she is tall pretty faced blonde blue eyes) As for DS his appearance as he grows will help protect him (he's a solid stocky kid)

    As far a selection, personally I agree with it for a medical reason.
    But also in a modern world, Australia for one, is growing up with new cultures that have a reason for there belief systems, but being in Australia, allows the notion of weaker sexes to change for their cultures. Some cultures, if no restriction to the number of children, they have a preference for which sex comes first. A boy would help the family by working and providing, a girl by cooking, sewing and looking after the parents.
    And in other culture, the notion of having a girl is changing dramatically, so much so it's feared in that country there will be a shift in the future leading to problems later.
    I guess I'm trying to say is being that Australia is growing and changing, it will adapt.

  16. #52

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    I am quite undecided about this. I think there have been a few threads where I have touched on my own inability to quite reconcile the use of ART at all, let alone to gender select.

    I am curious as to how those opposed to gender selection with IVF based on the "nature/natural meant to be"-type arguments reconcile the use of IVF AT ALL if that is the thinking. Why is ok to manipulate the natural process to GET pregnant but not to CHOOSE gender?
    I honestly don't understand that. Surely if we were to leave everything up as nature intended, then IVF and ART avenues are closed off. Surely it follows logically on the same argument that if you were *intended* to be able to reproduce, you would infact, be capable of doing it and therefore have no need for IVF in the first place.

    Like I said, I am undecided about this and the whole IVF thing itself, and I have said it before quite openly, because I am a bit more of a "as nature decides" kind of mindset and *I* myself have trouble reconciling the two...so these are genuine questions, as to what rationale one uses to have both the natural process argument AND accepts IVF use at all. DTMS?

  17. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSlice View Post

    I am curious as to how those opposed to gender selection with IVF based on the "nature/natural meant to be"-type arguments reconcile the use of IVF AT ALL if that is the thinking. Why is ok to manipulate the natural process to GET pregnant but not to CHOOSE gender?
    I honestly don't understand that. Surely if we were to leave everything up as nature intended, then IVF and ART avenues are closed off. Surely it follows logically on the same argument that if you were *intended* to be able to reproduce, you would infact, be capable of doing it and therefore have no need for IVF in the first place.
    In my personal experience and mine only. We wanted a child, we wanted a little human to guide and teach about the world, to see what a child made with our DNA created. We couldnt get pregnant we went to IVF. It didnt work! No matter how much we tried (11 goes and no BFP), our baby just wasnt going to be. If you are already 'fertile' then I guess the reality is that IVF is going to be more 'likely' to work for you than someone who cant get pregnant no matter how much they try. So in a way if you are willing to keep paying the funds out you WILL get that specific gendered child kwim? Where as someone struggling to concieve may NEVER get a child fullstop. Its kinda 'more' guaranteed so imo playing with fate more......this just isnt coming out!!! Does that make sense?? I guess having been on the side of the coin of aching to carry a child, no gender preferred, no care of hair colour, eye colour, as long as its part me and part DH it didnt matter I feel that IVF specifically was designed to assist couples to achieve that not to pick and choose so to speak. I can understand the want of couples wanting one or the other, I really can. I mean it must be incredibly great to even contemplate IVF, because the pain and heartbreak of that is more than anything I have ever experienced (i have miscarried but never lost a child ive held in my arms either). I kept going back because I was determined to get that baby, is that something others will do to get their prefered gender....because it does become an absolute complulsion to get that baby. As has been mention disposal of the other embryos is a whole other ball game but something that doesnt sit well with me either.
    Please dont shoot me down to much

  18. #54

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    One thing that hasnt been touched on is that if it's open slather on gender selection we will inevitably end up with a population that is not balanced in terms of sex. This causes lots of problems.

    It's in Wikipedia so it must be true....

    In addition to the ethical concerns mentioned, issues of demographics arise in societies where social sex selection is common. A society may exhibit a widespread bias towards having children of a specific gender, either due to cultural biases or economic concerns (e.g. male children may be more employable in the future and thus provide more financial support). When combined with frequent social sex selection, this bias may produce a gender imbalance that has undesirable consequences. This phenomenon has been observed in many nations in the Far East, such as India and China, where social sex selection has produced unnaturally high male/female ratios in the population. China's gender imbalance is further increased by the One Child Policy, although applicable only in most urban populations. In these nations, a lack of opportunity for many men to marry is believed to be producing increases in crime, demand for prostitution, mass emigration, and the selling of brides.[23][24]
    Major demographic changes have occurred in China because of sex selection. Chinese government reports show that the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100 (boys:girls), higher in rural areas such as Guangdong and Hainan (130:100) compared to the average of 104:100 in developed countries. It is believed that the ratio would increase further to the point that, by 2020, men of marriageable age would be unable to find mates, resulting in large social problems.[25][26]
    Some nations, such as India, have attempted to curtail these gender imbalances with criminal statutes.[27] In contrast, bioethicist Jacob Appel of New York University has argued that governments should pay couples to choose to have female children.[27] According to Professor Appel, "if female babies [were] worth their weight in rupees and yuan, economic and educational opportunities for girls would soon follow."[27]
    In contrast, actual experience in Western cultures provides no evidence for any degree of gender imbalance from technologies which have long been available and legal - such as selective abortion or preimplantation embryo testing. When used for family balancing indications in such countries as the United States, pre-conceptual sex selection is widely sought without any preferential selection of males. Thus the right of individual families to determine whether or not to balance gender of offspring in their families is not and will not become, in many countries, a demographic issue. Furthermore, in countries where such demographic issues exist because of strong gender preferences in a segment of the population, regulatory and legal control of, without denial of access to, sperm sorting technology can be utilized to provide individuals
    with choices while ensuring that equal numbers of boys and girls are produced for population demographic equality.
    Although problems such as rising crime rates may be associated with high male-female ratios (more males than females), it is not clear that such problems would arise in connection with low male-female ratios (fewer males than females). In addition, cultural practices such as polyamory and polyandry may reduce or eliminate potential problems. Also incentives for emigration of young singles out of gender imbalanced nations into more gender balanced nations, has often been seen as another solution to reduce potential social problems.

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