What do you do if your children are all of the same gender (e.g. female) and you want one of the other gender (e.g. male)? What you are seeking to do is called "family balancing." You could use a "natural" method, which includes adjusting your diet, monitoring vaginal temperature, secretions, and the calendar for correct timing of intercourse, and special vaginal douches to adjust the pH. Or you could use more advanced technologies. But do these technologies, or even sex selection itself, pose ethical and moral dilemmas?
For the technological route, you could go to an IVF clinic and allow
them to do sperm sorting, which is basically getting a sperm sample,
and then centrifuging the sperm through a medium which allows the
heavier sperm (with the X chromosome) to go further than the lighter
ones (Y chromosome). Then you pull out the band you are interested in, and
inseminate. Voila, $4K later, an almost 100% chance you get the gender
What’s interesting about this is that it has fewer ethical and moral
ramifications than either sex-selection abortion, infanticide, or even
IVF, since no embryos are created and unused (which I still think is
fine, see c-ral.org). But there is one ethical dilemma left. What if a country like India or China uses this to prefer males, and they create a gender imbalance, which can cause social problems.
We are right to oppose sex-selection abortion. And some think it
right to oppose the embryo destruction that accompanies IVF. But what
about when no embryos or fetuses are destroyed, but you end up creating
I don’t think we should oppose this technology or it’s use, and
since there is no immediate death involved, it seems benign. At best,
it should probably be left alone as not a significant moral issue.
What say ye?