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Two major types of pre-implantation methods can be used for sex selection.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) - In sex selection cases, embryos resulting from IVF procedures are genetically tested for X or Y Chromosomes. The embryos of the desired sex are then implanted.
Infanticide - The killing, exposing or otherwise disposing of an offspring of the unwanted sex. It is noted that this is not legal in most parts of the world, but is still a common practice in many cultures.
Adoption - The voluntary surrender of offspring of the unwanted sex. Less commonly viewed as a method of sex selection, adoption affords cultures that have a gender preference a legal means of choosing offspring of a particular sex.
The application of these techniques to humans creates moral and ethical concerns. Listed here are some of the more common of those concerns:
Sexual discrimination - The idea that if one sex is preferred over another, those individuals in the non-preferred sex would be at a disadvantage. Opponents of sex selection argue that the procedure would artificially unequalize the ratio of females to males, leading to discrimination, potential violence and abuse of the smaller group. Indeed, China has a significant gender imbalance due to the cultural preference of boys and the One Child Policy. There are already many millions more men than women and the problem is likely to get worse. Huge numbers of men with no chance to marry has severe negative social implications such as an increase in rape, prostitution, bride selling, and men being forced into abstinence.
Eugenics - Many fear that PGD, in general, is a 'slippery slope' leading to a society where 'non-selected' individuals would be discriminated against. PGD is used primarily in the U.S. for the purpose of reducing birth defects and abnormalities, but opponents fear that there is nothing stopping persons from using PGD for more eugenic-based purposes.
History and folk beliefs
There are a wide variety of sex selections methods which have not been demonstrated to be effective. Because even implausible and ineffective methods have a "success" rate of 50%, many continued to be recommended by word of mouth.
- Women's Specialty Health Centers, P.C.
- Center for Genetics and Society
- Baby Gender Selection - The straight truth about methods for choosing the sex of your baby
- Malaysia:Law to ban designer babies
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