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TOPIC:

<b>The future is now</b>

11
dizfactor
08-21-2003
03:54 PM ET (US)
i'm generally in favor of this sort of thing, but on a broader level i do worry about people over-selling the role of genes in child development and it leading to weird pressure being put into the parent-child relationship.

the relationship of genotype to phenotype is complex, especially where it relates to human behavior. if someone pays $Xthousand to have a kid who is genetically engineered to be the next Mozart, and then, for whatever reason, the early childhood development environmental cues just aren't there to stimulate the baby in such a way that that genetic potential is actualized, or if the kid just isn't ultimately interested in music, i can see it becoming an ugly situation. "you have to be good at music. we *paid* for you to be good at music." as a large-scale social phenomenon, it could be very unhealthy.

however, i think that the solution to that is deepening parent's understandings of the complexities of genetics and development and working to change their expectations, not banning the technology.
10
marcus
08-16-2003
01:39 AM ET (US)
Honestly I really don't have a problem with this. I think the selection of boys versus girls here would be about equal. The West esential does not have the gender preference problems that India and China have. I know that this technology will be used in those countries to not have what they consider useless daughters, but that is more of a cultural problem, not an inherent evil of gender selection technology. I think it is a site better than the current method in India of getting an ultrasound and aborting girls. I know a family with four sons and if they want to make sure their fifth child is a daughter using gender selection then they have every right to. To comment on the not selecting a daughter "so she won't have my genetic disease" statement by the originator of this discussion: When it comes to genetic disease that can be influenced by gender selection, the vast majority of the time we would be talking about Y chromosone linked diseases. This means that overwhelmingly the statement would be I don't want to have a boy so he won't have my genetic disease. Like most things technology is not evil it is how it is used which determines its morality. This technology gives people choice and that choice can be good or bad. Inda and China will ultimately reap what they sow if they choose badly for to long, because it's really hard to get married and have kids when there are twice as many men as women in your nation. There are gonna be alot of very frustrated men over there, but maybe it will help them relize that a healthy society is passed on equality of the sexes both in status and numbers. I always find it amazing that when it comes to reproductive and genetic technology left wing ludites and right wing bible thumpers walk hand in hand.
9
Zix
08-08-2003
01:09 AM ET (US)
> Fewer orphaned baby girls in China

Orphaned? So they're killing the *parents* now?
8
Brian CarnellPerson was signed in when posted
08-05-2003
10:52 PM ET (US)
"Choosing a child's gender would make a difference in the abortion rate in countries where one gender is favored over another, as well as in cases where for medical reasons it's better to have one gender over another. This obviously opens up a whole new can of worms, and let's just face it, I was being snarky."

But it is a fascinating topic. If people were saying "I'm against abortion, so sex selective abortions are wrong" that would be one thing and rather dull. But when the message is "I don't have any problem per se with abortion, but we shoudld ban ads that would result in abortions whose motives I disagree with" then we're entering some really weird territory.

If pre-viable fetuses have no interests, of what moral import is it at all if a woman decides to abort one because it is male/female, black/white, hasshort/tall gene, etc.?
7
Jenn ShrevePerson was signed in when posted
08-05-2003
07:34 PM ET (US)
Choosing a child's gender would make a difference in the abortion rate in countries where one gender is favored over another, as well as in cases where for medical reasons it's better to have one gender over another. This obviously opens up a whole new can of worms, and let's just face it, I was being snarky.
6
chico haas
08-05-2003
04:35 PM ET (US)
I'm not sure how designing a child would impact the abortion rate. Most abortions are performed to terminate an unplanned pregnancy. Designing a child is completely about planning.
5
Paul SpinradPerson was signed in when posted
08-05-2003
02:45 PM ET (US)
I think it's pretty easy to do. Girl sperm weighs more than boy sperm (since the X weighs more than the Y), so they centrifuge the semen to separate it.
4
Brian CarnellPerson was signed in when posted
08-05-2003
09:46 AM ET (US)
"This technology isn't being used wisely or well.
 Ads such as this, are against the law in India and other Asian countries for a reason, too few female babies are being born."

Yes, in India it is much better to have those female infants born so they can then die from diarrhea-related complications at twice the rate of male infants. Or just plain murdered (a recent study found 3/4 of infants in India who died from "sudden, unexplained caues" were female. Imagine that.)

BTW, the sex ratio at birth in India as a whole is barely above the sex ratio for the entire world -- you really have to go to China to find just plain nutty sex ratios (i.e. some parts where the sex ratio is estimated at 140 boys for every 100 girls).
3
LW
08-04-2003
11:03 PM ET (US)
In response to antiabortionists take on a technology like this, I would guess few we be opposed to it so long as it doesn't involve the destruction of fertilized eggs.
2
K
08-04-2003
08:57 PM ET (US)
This technology isn't being used wisely or well.
 Ads such as this, are against the law in India and other Asian countries for a reason, too few female babies are being born. In many cases women are forced by the husbands or in-laws to have the tests done and abort any female.
These ads target immigrants of the countries where this procedure is outlawed.
If you do a GOOGLE of "prenatal sex determination" you'll see too many sites dealing with this growing problem.
1
Jenn ShrevePerson was signed in when posted
08-04-2003
01:26 PM ET (US)
Please share your "future is now" moments and other happy thoughts.

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