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About Sex Selection

Frequently Asked Questions

Sex selection means choosing the sex of a future child, either before or after conception. In most of the world, it is used to promote the birth of boys, which exacerbates discrimination against girls and women. Prenatal screening followed by sex-selective abortion is still the primary means of ensuring sons, and has created lopsided sex ratios in countries such as India and China. New technologies such as sperm sorting and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which provide additional ways to select sex, are being openly promoted in the United States.

Sex selection raises concerns about exacerbating sex discrimination and violence against women, and normalizing the "selection" and "design" of children. The use and marketing of sex selection technologies are largely unregulated in the United States. Although the ongoing attacks on abortion rights complicate efforts to address even pre-pregnancy methods, a number of countries—including Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom—prohibit "social" sex selection without affecting abortion rights.

Expanding Notions of Discrimination: Genetic Information & Competitive Sportsby Craig KlugmanBioethics.netOctober 16th, 2015The International Olympic Committee has new hormonal guidelines to segregate athletes into two competitive sex categories.
Surrogacy as an Iceberg: 90 Percent Below Waterby Emma ManiereBiopolitical TimesOctober 14th, 2015While agencies market surrogacy as a fulfilling “journey,” they also caution prospective consumers about ethical and financial pitfalls. These contradictory messages reflect the true complexity of commercial surrogacy.
[Nepal] Gendercideby Geha Nath KhanalKathmandu PostOctober 13th, 2015Sex-selective abortion has increased in Nepal. From 2007-10, 742 girls were born for every 1,000 boys.
UNESCO Calls for More Regulations on Genome Editing, DTC Genetic Testingby StaffGenomeWebOctober 6th, 2015The organization's International Bioethics Committee reaffirms its support for a moratorium on modifying the human germline.
What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?by Dalton ConleyNautilusSeptember 24th, 2015Hypothetical scenarios from a future in which human genetic engineering is pervasive.
We Shouldn’t be Allowed to Choose our Children’s Sex[Australia]by Tamara Kayali BrowneThe Ethics CentreSeptember 16th, 2015Sex selection is a product of, and perpetuates, false assumptions about gender that keep men and women “in their places.”
Sex-Selective Abortions Lead Indian Men far Afield for Bridesby Associated PressNew York PostSeptember 10th, 2015A stark shortage of young women in India leads to brides being brought from afar, despite linguistic and cultural differences.
Choosing Children’s Sex Is an Exercise in Sexism[Australia]by Tereza HendlThe ConversationAugust 23rd, 2015Australian guidelines for ethical use of IVF allow sex selection for medical reasons. But draft guidelines now open for public submissions may allow the choice for social reasons.
Fertility Clinics Let You Select Your Baby’s Sexby Sumathi ReddyThe Wall Street Journal“Family balancing” can become a smoke screen for families who want boys. Nonmedical sex selection is legal in only a few countries, including the US; medical organizations are split on the issue.
A BC Alum's New Site Links LGBT Couples With Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & Surrogatesby Rebecca StrongBostInnoJuly 13th, 2015Bird Meets Bee, an ART matchmaker website launching in October, would feature customizable user profiles and filter criteria such as "LGBT status, heritage, hair color, eye color, or height."
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