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Gender Selection: Is It Right? Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

Gender Selection: Is it Right?Predicting baby's gender has always been something that some couples think about when they are expecting a new baby. A baby's sex is determined at the time of conception and many couples don't want to wait until the baby's birth to know what they are having. However, there has been intense debate regarding whether it is ethical to use new reproductive technologies for the purpose of selecting the sex of one's child. Those against it have argued that sex selection is playing God by interfering with the natural process of reproduction and also that it harms women because in many countries, there is a bias in favor of having male offspring and sex selection can contribute to this bias.I believe that gender selection is wrong because it could have very serious effects on our country, if not the world. The entire process of gender selection seems unethical in that one technique used for selecting the sex of the baby is termination of pregnancy. In other words, it is abortion, but that is a different ethical issue. There are many other reasons for why it should be banned such as sexism will grow greatly in that area. Gender selection can also lead to many other options that parents might want to choose for their child such as appearance, height, or even intelligence.Historically, sex selection has been practiced more or less successfully and in a number of ways even though some of the rituals might have been somewhat barbaric. The Greeks, for example, thought that tying off the left testicle would produce a male because the male determining sperm were derived from the right testicle (Himmel). Various other methods based on the positioning and timing of the intercourse or special diets have also been thought to work (Patterson). Some believe that foods high in sodium and potassium such as bananas, cherries, tomatoes or even sweet corn tend to favor a male (Patterson). However, there are more effective ways of selecting a child's gender.A number of new technologies have been employed in recent years. The most widely discussed one is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), because it can be 100% effective (Dayal). PGD was developed for patients who were at risk of having children with serious genetic disorders such as hemophilia (Dayal). In the case of sex selection, PGD works as follows: A woman is given medicine so that she can produce many eggs. Once the eggs are mature, they are collected and put in a fertilization lab. By the third day, the embryos are biopsied, or examined for diagnostic purposes, to determine their sex and also whether or not they have genetic diseases. Then the normal embryo with the desired sex is transferred into the uterus (Dayal). However, what is wrong with this process is that the other embryos are just discarded, bringing up the issue of ethicality in gender selection.Advances in genetic technologies have meant that it is possible to directly alter a person's genes. In other words, parents...

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