Tarry for the Nonce

October 27, 2005

Sex, Please.

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 3:15 pm

In the United States, the precedent has been set to allow parents to select gender:

A clinical trial into the effects of allowing couples to choose the sex of their babies has been given the go-ahead at a US fertility clinic . . .

Fertility clinics already use a technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select healthy embryos if a child has a high risk of inheriting a genetic disease, but the technique can also be used to select the sex of embryos for couples having IVF treatment. In many countries, including Britain, using PGD for family balancing is banned . . .

Francoise Shenfield, a member of the ethcis committee of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology at University College London Hospital, said selecting sex for social reasons should never be permitted.

“If you believe in equality as enshrined in international human rights, it’s illogical to allow social sex selection. It necessarily means that one sex is preferable to the other for that couple,” Dr Shenfield said.

If this happened in China, of course, human rights groups would be up in arms, but I guess our American ethics committees consider themselves too inherently “enlightened” to be subject to the same pitfalls.

In this case, I am ethically opposed to double standards.



  1. See, there are plenty of times we agree!

    Comment by Jess Olson — October 31, 2005 @ 11:33 am

  2. I don’t think comparing China to The U.S. is valid as people in this country aren’t having widespread abortions in order to have a son.

    Comment by Howard R — November 1, 2005 @ 3:51 pm

  3. I agree with Howard. While it might be ethically troubling to maintain that one sex could possibly be more preferable over another – it is certainly not like China, where late-term/post-birth abortions are committed.

    Frankly if the Chinese could choose – at least that would prevent needless deaths. Then of course, there would be no women. And we all know what happens when there are not enough women for men to date/mate (makes shooting noises). Not that it’s not happening in China already….

    Comment by Ed — November 1, 2005 @ 9:52 pm

  4. Catchy title. Will this kind of stuff happen at religious ed next time?

    Comment by Brian — November 3, 2005 @ 6:33 pm

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