Pros and Cons of Gender Selection

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What would happen if parents could selectively choose the gender of their baby? This process, which is called gender selection, allows parents to specifically choose which embryos they wish to have implanted so they have the opportunity to have a child that is based on their personal preferences. Here are the pros and cons of gender selection to consider.

The Pros of Gender Selection

1. It helps doctors detect potential genetic defects.
Embryos with genetic defects have a greater chance to be caught during the gender selection process. This limits the number of non-viable embryos that may be implanted and lessens the chance of a baby being born with genetic disorders or birth defects.

2. It allows future parents the chance to begin planning their families.
Being able to plan a family is a luxury that some parents need to have because of societal demands. A family inheritance might only pass to a first-born son, for example, or there may be wealth transferred to a family when a daughter is born.

3. It creates a connection immediately between parent and child.
The IVF process can be very impersonal. By selecting the gender and other genetic features of a child, parents are more involved in the process and this can create a stronger connection with the child once it is born.

The Cons of Gender Selection

1. It may create an unnatural level of one gender in the population.
If boys are preferred over girls, then there will be more boys than girls in the population. This will then limit future family outcomes with the next generation.

2. There are economic costs to gender selection.
Men and women have unique talents and gifts that are contributed to the general good of every society. Placing an emphasis on one gender over the other will have long-term economic consequences because the differences between men and women is what makes a society stronger.

3. It is an expensive procedure.
Gender selection is something that only the wealthy class is able to afford with current technologies. Just the treatment process for the embryo may cost up to $25,000. Considering there is still no guarantee that the process will work, that’s a cost many families are unwilling to take.

The pros and cons of gender selection have many moral and ethical questions which must be answered. It is ultimately a decision that comes down to each family and what is right for them.