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In our previous article Genetics Discrimination Has Started: What Does It Mean?, we approached this new topic from the perspective of employees, employers, and how genetics may determine jobs. What most people are ignoring is that genetics discrimination can and does start long before then; it now starts also with parents, the ability to choose certain traits, and sometimes even gender is bringing about a debate of epic proportions.
Let’s discuss this in reference to the more recent example of R&B singer John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen deciding to choose their baby’s gender. Although this is becoming more and more common, the couple has been receiving backlash from many outside of their marriage. Below is Teigen’s response to some of the critics:
Parents and aspiring parents are on the fence so far when it comes to choosing these traits. Some have outlandish fears of a so-called “Frankenstein, super baby”, while others fear that gender discrimination will begin immediately at birth perpetuated by parents. Others are comfortable and would prefer to choose their child’s gender.
We have to admit, human nature isn’t morally accustomed to hand-picking babies and there’s some risk one way or the other. In America, the natural freedom and increased equality for both men and women may lessen the effects of this, but what about countries where, boys are heavily favored? What will happen to those girls that could’ve been?
In China wealthier women who have access to abortion and other methods purposely abort girls, because the culture itself is not friendly to women in general. The fact book put’s the ratio of girls to boys in China at 885 girls birthed per 1000 boys. The fact book for India shows 893 girls per 1000 boys. These numbers could likely be much worse considering the fact that these countries track age six and under, and typically don’t track from birth. The danger here is that fads in one culture or country, when implemented or followed by another, may go terribly wrong.
Below are a few questions that people have proposed to Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s decision and general questions that people ask about choosing gender and genetics in general:
- What if the girl they chose to have, all of sudden feels like a boy trapped in a girl’s body? Does this make their decision pointless, how awkward is that conversation going to be?
- Will this become common among the wealthy and eventually among all aspiring parents?
- Will the ability to choose gender skew the population one way or the other in a negative way?
Essentially we must be careful when making evolutionary decisions. These decisions are typically made by nature are for a reason, and as we gain more power over mother nature, the effects could be devastating and dangerous.
As with all technological improvements, we should be ethical and consider the effects on society in general in the long-term. These are heavy decisions; we are literally deciding to disregard the miracle that could be a baby boy or baby girl, we are skewing fate in favor of science and we don’t yet know what the results will be.
Photo: Getty Images