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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.

Should Women Be Able to Abort a Fetus Just Because It’s Female?by Emma GreenThe AtlanticMay 16th, 2016A new wave of state legislation that prohibits abortion based on sex, race, and genetic abnormality, is "meant to put women in this queasy position of having to justify two things that might not fit together in one political belief."
As China’s one-child policy ends, surrogacy services rise in the U.S.by Kevin SmithSan Gabriel Valley TribuneApril 30th, 2016“I’ve been contacted by 15 to 18 agencies out of China... 90 percent of them don’t have any patients. They’re just new agencies trying to make a buck."
Turning to technology when nature isn't enough for pregnancyby Marion CallahanBucks County Courier Times / The HeraldApril 9th, 2016“Gender is not a disease; it's a preference. Once you start doing it for preferences, not medical reasons, you are opening a door to a big slippery slope.”
Gender Selection As Part Of Advanced Reproductive Technology: Does The U.S. Prefer Boys Or Girls?[citing CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Amy SchaefferThe InquisitrApril 9th, 2016Some are concerned that selecting a non-disease preference like gender will pave the way for gene editing other preferred traits.
10th Anniversary Baby Markets Congressby Elliot HosmanApril 7th, 2016Legal scholars, social scientists, advocates, and filmmakers grapple with assisted reproduction.
The Return of Eugenicsby Fraser NelsonThe Spectator [UK]April 2nd, 2016Emerging prenatal genetic screening technologies are creating a "new" eugenics not so ideologically different from that of the past.
Jordan Schnitzer Gets a Son—and a Court Battle[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Nigel JaquissWillamette WeekMarch 16th, 2016A Portland real estate mogul used science and the law to select the sex of his child born via surrogate. The baby's parentage is now in dispute.
Altering human embryos giving rise to designer babies [Video][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]March 14th, 2016Tall, olive skin, brown hair, and blue eyes, these aren't descriptions found in an online dating profile. They are choices to those who are sperm shopping. CCTV America's Shraysi Tandon reports on the recent advancements in reproduction and fertility technologies.
Center for Genetics and Society Comments on Just-Released Report on Germline Mitochondrial Manipulations[Press statement]February 3rd, 2016The National Academy of Medicine's report conclusion – that no ethical or policy considerations stand in the way of clinical investigations going forward – seems at odds with the many cautions, risks, and concerns that it raises.
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.
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