For some expecting couples, the gender of their unborn child can be a big deal while for others the gender of the baby is not a big deal. While for some of those, like myself, do not understand the importance of the sex of a baby, for some families it can be a very stressful situation if the sex of their baby is not what they wanted. Now as we digress into an advance time in technology, medical technology like sex-selection is becoming an answer to those families who so desperately want to select the sex of their unborn child. While this may be a positive outlook for some parents, it can also be a very controversial issue with others who believe that sex-selection is wrong.
Sex-selection is known to be as the parents deciding the sex of their child by either selecting and diving sperm into a male or female group or even creating an embryo outside the body and allowing the parents to select the gender and then implanting it into the mother. As mentioned before, this type of method seems like the perfect solution to those parents who want a specific sex in mind for their unborn child. For example, Stephen Wilkinson from Keele University, talks about how some families who may have all boys may be able to balance out their family by sex-selection. Therefore, if a family does have all boys, the parents can go through this sex-selection process and have a girl in order to “balance out their family” (Wilkinson, 2010). Others like researchers in Iran, have collected questionnaires on the attitudes Iranians have towards sex-selection. In this case, researchers saw that Iranians who were educated (in particular women) believed that sex-selection was ok since it could bring a balance to their families (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015). They also noticed that in Iran and other countries like China and India, had a preference towards males. This meant that couples who were expecting a girl were more likely to go through an induced abortion (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015). The researchers believed that with the introduction to sex-selection to these regions, the rate of aborting a female baby may reduce (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015).
On the other hand, we have those who believe that selecting the sex of a child has more negative concepts than good. Johanna Kostenzer,comments that individuals believe that gender selection can cause “gender discrimination and gender imbalance in communities” especially in regions like Southeastern Europe(Kostenzer, 2014).Kostenzer mentions that some people believe that sex-selection can be discriminating towards females since there is already a strong preference towards males in regions like Southern Europe and Asia. Not only does Kostenzer brings this issue up, so does Ellen Painter Dollar, who has a strong belief that gender selection is wrong (Dollar, 2012). She supports the idea that if sex-selection is ok to happen then it will be discriminating against females since society has thought to believe that men are the only ones to bring in fortune and well being to their families(Dollar, 2012). Dollar also mentions that if women go through with sex-selection to have a daughter, it may not turn out as the mother had expected. For example, if a mother wants to have a daughter to dress up in pink bows and dress or get to do motherly and daughter things, she is only encouraging the daughter to follow through with stereotypical roles and the daughter may not even want to participate in those activities (Dollar, 2012).
While I may be an educated college student and understand the science and benefits behind gender selection, like preventing sex-linked genetic disorders and even the decreasing abortions of female babies, I do believe that parents shouldn’t be allowed to select the gender of their baby. Even though we may be living in a patriarchal society, women have progressed throughout the years and have just as much potentially as a man if not maybe even more. So if more families are wanting to produce more men than women, why are we going to try and reduce the amount of females in the world? If we allow for parents to select the sex of their baby, there may be a high chance of them selecting a boy rather than a girl (Kostenzer, 2014). Which in that case it does seem like our society and other societies are discriminating against women. While that may be my opinion, I also do believe that just because a parent wants a certain gender, does not mean that their child will follow the stereotypical gender roles that they wanted (Dollar, 2012). Anyways a parent should be less worried about the sex of their baby will be and focus on the health of their baby and all the joy that a newborn child can bring to a family.
Ahmadi, S. F., Shirzad, M., Kamali, K., Ranjbar, F., Behjati-Ardakani, Z., & Akhondi, M. M. n (2015). Attitudes about Sex Selection and Sex Preference in Iranian Couples Referred for Sex Selection Technology. Journal Of Reproduction & Infertility, 16(1), 36-42.
Dollar, E. P. (2012, September 24). Why allowing parents to choose their baby’s
gender is wrong. Retrieved February 27, 2015, from http://www.patheos.com/
Kostenzer, J. (2014). Prenatal Sex Selection in Southeastern Europe/the Southern Caucasus and the Role of International Organizations. Global Studies Journal, 7(2), 7-15.
Wilkinson, S. (2010, May 26). Couples should be able to choose their baby’s sex
[Newsgroup post]. Retrieved from BBC News website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/