Choose the Gender of Your Child

A fertility clinic in Virginia is advertising a new technique
that will allow Americans to choose whether their child is male or
female. Marcy Darnovsky, reporting for Alternet, writes
that the technique, called MicroSort, allows parents to choose the
gender either for ‘prevention of genetic diseases’ — selecting for
an X-linked or Y-linked condition — or for what the clinic, the
Genetics & In-Vitro Fertilization Institute (GIVF), calls
‘family balancing.’

Darnovsky notes significant ethical issues surrounding the idea
of sex-selection. Most important is the possibility of a quick
digression from sex-selection into trait selection: a
consumer-based genetic eugenics that could increase sexism, put
children at risk, and weaken disability rights. Such technology, if
it should spread to South and East Asian countries, where the
societal preference for males is already pronounced, could
aggravate already severe problems for women.

Ethical issues aside, there is a great deal of money at stake:
OrbiMed Advisors, an asset management firm, estimated the U.S.
market at ‘between $200 million and $400 million.’ Thus, GIVF is
going ahead with aggressively marketing sex selection for parents
looking to choose.
Joel Stonington

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Sex
Selection Goes Mainstream

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