Gender selection

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681
Gender selection

We're discussed this before, but now it looks like there are companies directly targeting those cultures that value boys over girls and statistics are backing the claims that a disproportionate number of boys are born to women of certain ethnicities.

What, if anything, do you think should be about this? Advertising restrictions? The procedure is already illegal in Canada, but nothing stops people from crossing the border to have it done. Should these procedures/technologies be restricted?

ETA: I'm sure there are many articles out there. Here is one that shows the ad.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/17/u-s-fertility-clinic-targets-baby-gender-selection-ads-at-indo-canadian-community/

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

Personally, I just think it's gross. People should be more fixated on having a healthy baby than complaining over the gender. Legally, I'm not sure - I need to read more on how "gender selection" happens. Is it like IVF and they test before implanting? I'm in the mind of a life is a life at conception, so I'm opposed to any fetus being thrown out just because of gender.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

ooh, I read that CBC article about the Indo newspaper in BC with the US advertising for gender selection, and the publisher was pleading that they had no idea it was illegal in Canada and have consulted their lawyers. Ya, right they didn't know it was illegal. But whatever, go ahead, breed yourselves right into extinction, or at least into a situation where the men are practically fighting to the death for the limited number of females.

Here's the article I read:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/04/16/sex-selection-advertisement-child.html

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

Personally, I just think it's gross. People should be more fixated on having a healthy baby than complaining over the gender. Legally, I'm not sure - I need to read more on how "gender selection" happens. Is it like IVF and they test before implanting? I'm in the mind of a life is a life at conception, so I'm opposed to any fetus being thrown out just because of gender.

I think they select xy sperm only, so they know for sure the embryo is male.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I think they select xy sperm only, so they know for sure the embryo is male.

Yes, the high tech expensive way is to do IVF with chromosomal studies. The low tech method (which also happens) is an abortion. The ad is for a fertility treatment center that will determine the sex of the embryos prior to implantation.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"kris_w" wrote:

Yes, the high tech expensive way is to do IVF with chromosomal studies. The low tech method (which also happens) is an abortion. The ad is for a fertility treatment center that will determine the sex of the embryos prior to implantation.

I watched this documentary ages ago about gender selection and even the poorest villages in India have an ultrasound machine.
Sad

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

While it isn't a method I would choose, I actually think that allowing the technology that preselects before implantation and before you have a fetus is preferable to abandoned baby girls, aborted baby girls, etc. Better to not "create" them in the first place if the parents don't want them.

I guess I feel like we have the technology and I'd rather permit its use across the board than not. Are you going to legislate that you can use gender selection technology in cases where it will prevent a sex-linked disease and not use it to balance families?

I also don't think that the majority of people would select girls over boys. Outside of these cultures, most parents value boys and girls equally, so I don't think "most" people would opt in for the technology (both bc they don't want to choose and bc of the expense involved.)

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think it's sad, but I guess I don't understand why it's illegal. Abortion is legal. Creating embryos and then discarding them is legal. Why do the reasons behind the act matter?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I have several friends who sex selected their babies when doing IUI, why is it suddenly more wrong or disgusting if its people of a different culture doing it?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I have several friends who sex selected their babies when doing IUI, why is it suddenly more wrong or disgusting if its people of a different culture doing it?

I think it's because of the underlying culture behind it. Like okay, if your friends did it because they just always always always dreamed of having a little girl (or a little boy) and this could be their one shot at having a child at all, that's not really part of a pervasive cultural devalueing of women (or men), it's just personal preference. I have always wanted a daughter, because I'm really really close with my mom and I would love to share that same sort of closeness with a daughter of my own. I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy if it turned out to be a boy, but in my heart of hearts I would love to have a daughter. I get that. But that's kind of a different thing (in my mind) than not wanting a certain sex simply because my culture has taught me that members of that sex are worthless, or any way, worth less.

Again, I think it should be allowed because I don't think that the thought process behind it makes a difference when we're talking about a legal act, but I still think that a culture that devalues women to the point of aborting them or choosing not to have them is a little sad, and a different scenario than your friends (presumably.)

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"boilermaker" wrote:

I guess I feel like we have the technology and I'd rather permit its use across the board than not. Are you going to legislate that you can use gender selection technology in cases where it will prevent a sex-linked disease and not use it to balance families?

It is only currently allowed to be used in Canada in situations involving sex-linked diseases.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I think it's because of the underlying culture behind it. Like okay, if your friends did it because they just always always always dreamed of having a little girl (or a little boy) and this could be their one shot at having a child at all, that's not really part of a pervasive cultural devalueing of women (or men), it's just personal preference. I have always wanted a daughter, because I'm really really close with my mom and I would love to share that same sort of closeness with a daughter of my own. I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy if it turned out to be a boy, but in my heart of hearts I would love to have a daughter. I get that. But that's kind of a different thing (in my mind) than not wanting a certain sex simply because my culture has taught me that members of that sex are worthless, or any way, worth less.

Again, I think it should be allowed because I don't think that the thought process behind it makes a difference when we're talking about a legal act, but I still think that a culture that devalues women to the point of aborting them or choosing not to have them is a little sad, and a different scenario than your friends (presumably.)

Its silly that its okay to have a preference be okay when you are rich and white but not if you are poor and brown, don't you think? The act is the same, regardless of the culture surrounding it. I can't decry one and not the other, so I choose to decry neither.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

Its silly that its okay to have a preference be okay when you are rich and white but not if you are poor and brown, don't you think? The act is the same, regardless of the culture surrounding it. I can't decry one and not the other, so I choose to decry neither.

Is it silly to decry different cultures though? Because I think that's what people are actually decrying. Like, if a culture devalues women, can I decry that, and it's many manifestations?

There are different reasons why any individual person may do a certain act. Maybe Woman A is covered from head to toe because she will be killed in the streets if she doesn't, and Woman B is covered head to toe because she's a beekeeper. I think I'm allowed to say "Wow, Woman A shouldn't have to be covered head to toe or else be killed." and allow that it's okay that Woman B also has to be covered head to toe or else be killed (by bees.)

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

But we aren't comparing beekeepers and women facing death. We are comparing sex selection and sex selection. The same act.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

But we aren't comparing beekeepers and women facing death. We are comparing sex selection and sex selection. The same act.

My point is that I don't think it's entirely unfair to consider the underlying reasons for a same act. In my beekeeper example, we are comparing a woman covering her body from head to toe on threat of death and a woman covering her body from head to toe on threat of death, but for two different reasons. I realize that the "different reasons" are more wildly different in the beekeeper example than in the sex selection example, but I still think that the point stands. Legally I don't think that reasons for actions should matter, but morally I do.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I should probably clarify that I'm talking specifically about IVF right now. If one of your rich white friends had an abortion because she had wanted a boy or girl instead, I would be just as grossed out as if a poor brown woman did it. For some reason I feel slightly different about IVF.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I'm glad it's illegal in Canada. IMO it's a pretty slippery slope.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I'm glad it's illegal in Canada. IMO it's a pretty slippery slope.

I agree.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

My point is that I don't think it's entirely unfair to consider the underlying reasons for a same act. In my beekeeper example, we are comparing a woman covering her body from head to toe on threat of death and a woman covering her body from head to toe on threat of death, but for two different reasons. I realize that the "different reasons" are more wildly different in the beekeeper example than in the sex selection example, but I still think that the point stands. Legally I don't think that reasons for actions should matter, but morally I do.

I guess I'm confused then. Didn't you yourself say

"Why do the reasons behind the act matter?

" in this very thread?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I'm glad it's illegal in Canada. IMO it's a pretty slippery slope.

Slippery slope to what? Isn't abortion already legal in Canada?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Potter75" wrote:

Slippery slope to what? Isn't abortion already legal in Canada?

Canada only allows early term abortion where gender identification is not possible (obviously later term abortions are performed where the health of the mother is at risk) so I don't think gender selection is equatable to abortion in this country. I think that there are probably lots of couples who, for reasons other than the higher value a culture places on males, want one gender over the other (like, a couple has 4 boys and really wants a girl), but IMO that's where the slippery slope plays in. If you (general) allow one group to select gender then it should be a level playing field for all groups no matter their culture or personal reasons - that it's an 'all or nothing' type thing. I'm just in the 'nothing' corner on this one.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Seems like a slippery slope to designer babies.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Gender selection would PREVENT abortions. If you don't think that people are having genetic testing or early ultrasound and sex selecting abortions are happening in Canada you are fooling yourself..

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Canada only allows early term abortion where gender identification is not possible (obviously later term abortions are performed where the health of the mother is at risk) so I don't think gender selection is equatable to abortion in this country. I think that there are probably lots of couples who, for reasons other than the higher value a culture places on males, want one gender over the other (like, a couple has 4 boys and really wants a girl), but IMO that's where the slippery slope plays in. If you (general) allow one group to select gender then it should be a level playing field for all groups no matter their culture or personal reasons - that it's an 'all or nothing' type thing. I'm just in the 'nothing' corner on this one.

Actually I think abortions can be done later than that. Harder to obtain but still possible. I think in Vancouver there are providers that will do up to 20 weeks. I think...

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Canada only allows early term abortion where gender identification is not possible (obviously later term abortions are performed where the health of the mother is at risk) so I don't think gender selection is equatable to abortion in this country. I think that there are probably lots of couples who, for reasons other than the higher value a culture places on males, want one gender over the other (like, a couple has 4 boys and really wants a girl), but IMO that's where the slippery slope plays in. If you (general) allow one group to select gender then it should be a level playing field for all groups no matter their culture or personal reasons - that it's an 'all or nothing' type thing. I'm just in the 'nothing' corner on this one.

So you think its ok for a woman to abort for any other reason under the sun..... except for gender selection. Seems kind of hypocritical to me. I think all abortion is wrong, but I don't see how one reason is any more noble than the other.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you think its ok for a woman to abort for any other reason under the sun..... except for gender selection. Seems kind of hypocritical to me. I think all abortion is wrong, but I don't see how one reason is any more noble than the other.

Where did I say one was nobler than the other? And, where did I say that I thought it was "okay" for a woman to abort for any other reason? I said abortions in Canada are early term (though Kris said she believes there are some places where you can get an abortion up to 20 weeks). Period. That's the legality of it, not my moral stance on when it's "okay" or not to abort. I'm not okay with late term abortion because of gender, and equally I'm not okay with selecting gender. It's the cultural devaluation of females that I'm not okay with. I don't think Canada should have any part in it.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

"Potter75" wrote:

Gender selection would PREVENT abortions. If you don't think that people are having genetic testing or early ultrasound and sex selecting abortions are happening in Canada you are fooling yourself..

This. And it would help prevent abandoned/unwanted baby girls.

I just think that the segment of our cultures that would opt for these things is so small that it wouldn't "catch on" in the general population-- and even if it did-- that typically we as Americans and Canadians don't value baby boys or girls more highly.....so it may be fairly balanced.

I just don't see allowing IVF and sex selection for some reasons and not others (though here, some clinics DO limit PGD for IVF, while others do not.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

I guess I'm confused then. Didn't you yourself say " in this very thread?

Yes. Legally, I don't think that the reasons should matter. If something is legal, it should be legal, no matter why you do it.

The distinction I am making is emotionally. Emotionally it makes me sad that some people do gender selection because women are so undervalued in their culture.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I would rather a couple do this who are determined to have a baby of a particular gender than get pregnant, find out the sex, and abort the baby because of it. I had looked into this myself when we were planning our fifth child (DH had two boys from a prior marriage, I had a son from a prior marriage, and we had a son together)... since three of our four boys had come from DH we thought for sure it was boys or nothing lol! We ended up not being able to afford the procedure, so I bought a book called "How To Choose the Sex of Your Baby" and it worked for us, I got my princess (not that I would have had an abortion if she would have been another boy)!! And then we had a surprise baby last year (another boy, no doubt lol). So I have no problem with people determining the sex of their babies before they're born.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Yes. Legally, I don't think that the reasons should matter. If something is legal, it should be legal, no matter why you do it.

The distinction I am making is emotionally. Emotionally it makes me sad that some people do gender selection because women are so undervalued in their culture.

I guess emotionally abortion makes me sad in general~ no more sad when a woman has one because she got pregnant on Friday the 13th and her psychic told her that the baby was bad luck or if a woman had one because she or her culture prefers a son. Sad all around, to me. I get sad when a woman has an abortion because she is in an abusive relationship, because she is addicted to drugs, because it is tuesday, because her parents will throw her out of the house. Abortion in general is sad. I don't bother getting worked up about why individuals choose to have one, however, because at the end of the day, I support the legality of it and support it being their business, not mine.