Sex of a fetus is a common curiosity, in for pregnant parents often satisfy by answering questions like “Is it a boy or girl?” This question and others reveal social pressure, which has escalated the perception of gender in society. Also, couples often face discussions regarding the sex of the baby that they desire, hoping for a particular sex over the other. These scenarios have infiltrated medical space, where parents influence the sex of their babies through in vitro fertilization (IVF). This should not be allowed since it aggravates the gender bias, causes adverse and unethical social issues, and has adverse generational impacts.
In the article, Storrs reports that there are concerns in some Asian communities that if parents are allowed to select the sex for their babies, it will propagate gender bias (2). That is a critical issue, which is likely to propagate negative gender bias and stereotypes. Primarily, the selection creates essentialism, for which parents choose a particular gender that is essential to their situations. In a gender analysis model developed by Risberg et al., gender essentialism was a significant cause of gender bias (3). The bias is propagated by the ideology that the difference in sexes bring about benefits, for which one gender may be devoid. In essence, sex selection enhances the prevalent notion that one gender is better them another, thus increasing gender divide and stereotypes.
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Additionally, selecting sex for babies propagates adverse social issues such as sexism and ethical dilemmas. The actual selection of sex may be termed as sexism since parents discriminate against one sex by denying equal chances in the natural order. Besides, sexism is unethical (Anand Shankar Raja 39). This is a consequence of presumed advantages of one gender over another or its essentialism, which presupposes that people can use human engineering and decide society’s gender makeup. Browne explains that such situations are adverse for societies, affirms the adherence of gender-based norms that are not evidence-based. Thus, dilemmas arise regarding gender roles within society, where natural order is medically engineered.
Lastly, selecting sex for babies have adverse generational impacts. For instance, selecting the sex of a child enhances the essentialism of their gender. In cases where one dares to transgress gender norms, they could become more susceptible to bullying, such as that facing the LGBT community in society. Besides, the art of family balancing is against the natural order and is likely to skew the genitalia ratio with time. As reported by Storrs, there is a general philosophical concern regarding the future skew of gender ratio (2). Should the skew cause negative social balance, either gender faces a situation where they will take the lesser gender roles. Such a case would also be an injustice to the ecosystem, in which the population of male and female species has ever been under natural order. In that perspective, the selection of sexes for babies is a potential source of undesired generational impacts.
To sum up, parents should not be allowed to select sex for their babies since it aggravates the gender divide, causes adverse and unethical social issues, and has adverse generational impacts. Sex selection enhances gender essentialism, which escalated to gender bias and stereotypes. It leads to sexism and unethical issues such as human engineering. Besides, it risks the future generation of a skewed gender ratio, which is an injustice to the ecosystem.
Anand Shankar Raja, M. “Gender Based Study On Sexism And Immoral Themes Used In The Advertisements”. International Journal Of Management Studies, vol 5, no. 2(3), 2018, p. 34. ERM Publications, doi:10.18843/ijms/v5i2(3)/04. Accessed 17 Oct 2020.
Browne, Tamara Kayali. “Parent Planning: We Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Choose Our Childrens Gender”. THE ETHICS CENTRE, 2015, https://ethics.org.au/parent-planning-we-shouldnt-be-allowed-to-choose-our-childrens-sex/.
Risberg, Gunilla et al. “A Theoretical Model For Analysing Gender Bias In Medicine”. International Journal For Equity In Health, vol 8, no. 1, 2009, p. 28. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, doi:10.1186/1475-9276-8-28. Accessed 17 Oct 2020.
Storrs, Carina. “Choosing Baby’s Sex: Should Parents Be Allowed To Do It? – CNN”. CNN, 2016, https://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/26/health/parents-choose-sex-of-baby-ivf-ethics/index.html. Accessed 17 Oct 2020.