Ethical Considerations Around Sex Selection


Sabah Mozafari *, Reza Omani Samani ,

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History reveals that human has been looking for identification and the ways for selection of offspring gender eagerly. Although, intensity to this issue has decreased by time; however, it is remained yet. Actually, determination of the kid sex was so intended that some people have made many efforts among them including referral to magicians or looking it near the physicians, using special methods like timing of coitus and consumption of different materials or drugs before pregnancy, or abortion of the fetus and even doing infanticide after birth in order to exerting sex selection depend up their different needs, cultures or religions. Nevertheless, only recently have medical technologies made it more possible to attempt sex selection of children before their conception of birth. These are included sperms flowcytometery and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). It seems that sex selection is associated with several considerable aspects from which some are its advantages and others look like to be its disadvantages. In fact, whether overall or universal helpfulness of using these technologies in serving fertile or infertile parents to choose the sex of their children for either medical or nonmedical reasons is ethical or not, is more controversial in different countries for diverse reasons. There is a universal consent around using of PGD for sex identification in parents with a high risk to birth the offspring with genetic disorders. Sex selection may also be used for balancing of the children gender in a family or may be used just because of the parents are intended to have a child with a special sex for any reason. Pro-sex selection communities claim that parents have rights and must to be free to select the sex of their children. However, do really we have right to select the characteristics of our child because we have right to reproduce? "All rights must to be reserved unless it could cause damage(s)"; Robertson said. Actually, sex selection may make some useful or harmful consequences for offspring, parents or society. For example it has not really cleared that these medical technologies are completely harmless. The child with selected sex may underlie more unreasonable expectations and pressures by parents. Child may be behaved differently and understanding of his/her fact might be caused him/her to compare his/herself with others or might check himself obsessively and it might lower his/her self steam. The parents might treat with prejudice between their children. Even this is probable that the sex selection might be down unsuccessfully and the fetus or offspring with unwanted sex might be aborted or behaved poorly. Some families might be disintegrated without sex selection or even in some country in which polygamy is legal it could lead parents to break up or remarriage in order to birth child with desirable sex. In some countries women are obligated to bear so many difficulties either following numerous pregnancies to birth child with desirable sex or even to safeguard the family foundation. Sex selection could help people to minimize family population especially in families with low incoming. In countries with unequal sex rights, liberality in sex selection would worsen or in part reversed the slow advances in adjusting gender prejudice and would reinforce incorrect customs or wrongful traditions. Universal sex selection especially in some developing countries might threat the societies for inequality in population sex ratio which in turn could lead to difficulty to mate or immorality, violations or encroachments to the least sex. Other necessary considerations are gradual lead toward baby planning which might start via sex selection. Moreover, for PGD it is needed to generate numerous embryos which their extra creations are immoral in almost societies. Hence, in many countries this is still remained uncertain that whether sex selection is allowed to carry out for nonmedical reasons or if performances of IVF and PGD are ethical to serve for fertile parents too? In conclusion, we suppose that family balancing via sex selection for nonmedical reasons and just for second or subsequent children might be helpful if and only if we could prove that there is no any tendency to a specific sex in the given society and sex selection in cases with medical reasons would be preferred at all. For sex selection in fertile parents who don’t need IVF it is better to use prefertiliztion methods in order to prevent extra embryos production and also government must to regard taxes for it with the aim of minimizing treasury consumptions for nonmedical cases.