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May 17, 2005

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Kristie

I personally don't have a problem with people selecting the gender of their children if they have the time and the money to spend on it. I wouldn't go that route but I also wouldn't deny someone else the opportunity. It does make me worry that one day parents will be able to place an order for a kid the same way you'd order a value meal at McDonald's.

"Yeah Doc, I'll take a #3: a girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, a high metabolism (because we don't want her to have weight issues), and we'd like for her to be musically inclined."

Fortunately I don't have to worry about these things for myself any more since I've had all the babies I'm going to have, but I wouldn't like to see my daughters using these methods when the time comes for them.

Oh, and my daughters are three years apart. I think two to three years difference in age is a good way to go with respect to giving each child the attention they need as an infant, and even later. Right now my youngest is dealing with the same school issues that my oldest has already passed. I can't imaging dealing with them both at the same time.

Bruce D.

I personally don't have a problem with gender selection either. Sure, I'm concerned that people in the future will start selecting babies based on intelligence or looks. I definitely have a problem with that. But gender selection? Go for it, dude. I have one boy and one girl and I love our family dynamic. My brother has 4 girls. They keep trying to have a boy and will likely try one more time. Did they want 5 children? No way! Can they afford 5 children? Definitely not. Better you choose for yourself now.

Robert

It DOES seem to be a slippery slope to me. Why? Mainly because I don't trust the FDA, the government or these medical technology companies to stop at just gender selection. Now that the human genome has been completed, do you think that reproductive technologists will just stop there? Maybe...but I tend to doubt it.

bobw

I think it's heading down a dangerous path. once you have the technology to do something, be prepared for the worst-case scenario. people are amazingly good at taking what seemed like a good idea and screwing things up. I guess I'm thinking of cultures like that in rural China, where girls are generally not wanted. if given this technology, folks there would likely have only boys. and the culture would be dead in one generation.

we're so consumed with taking control over every aspect of our lives, but some things just shouldnt be messed with.

Krissy

Meh.

Much Ado about Nothing.

I know that it's popular to imagine all sorts of scenarios where people are spitting out little arian clones, but we aren't anything like anywhere even remotely close to anything like that.

Cats have been cloned for quite a while now, and if they are born relatively healthy (a big if), they often have different coloring than the adult clone. They also have differing personalities from each other.

The myth is that a clone is an exact reproduction. The reality is that there's no such thing. Current gene manipulation generally yeilds disasterous results survival-wise, and the results are never as expected.

What I think is that technology that allows a parent to transfer an embryo that does not carry genetic blips is a good thing, and I think that if someone has the money and would prefer a girl or a boy and wants to increase their chances, more power to them.

Eventually cloning will probably be used as an alternative to sperm donation, but women, in spite of what you hear, really seem to like men, and most people want a kid that's a mix of the two.

We're never going to see a Star Wars-like clone attack. Although, if you squeeze a baby out already wearing a white helmet, you should definately be worried.

Tempest in a teapot.

Queen of Ass

Eh. Tomato, toe-mah-toe.

Thomas

Man, I must live in a cave. I had no idea this sort of thing was possible in this day and age. Sounds ok to me. But like everything else in this world, I'm sure there are going to be plenty of people against it. If you want to do it, I say go for it!

Sal

...another thing that we do because we can! What the hell we have philosophy and instrospection and reflection and introspection and sociology and psychology for? or do you think that we can manipulate nature without any social consequences?

Angela

I'm a fairly religious woman and I too am concerned about manipulating nature and altering the will of God. Then again, I don't feel that IVF is anything to be concerned about. Have we just gotten so used to it that we're not fazed anymore? I'm not sure. Interesting subject. I'll have to think about it somemore.

Jen

I would be very curious to find out what ratio of parents are trying for girls versus boys with this new procedure. If it is severely tipped in one direction or another, I think I would be more wary of the procedure. But for every expecting mother I meet that is hoping for a boy, I meet another one that is hoping for a girl.

Krissy

I think that in this country (although I don't remember where I read it) that most people, when they try with various sex-producing methods they are trying for girls.

I'm guessing that most people who use this technology would be people who were looking for a balance (one boy, one girl), or wanting an opposite sex child after a rash of one kind (three boys, intervention for a girl).

But that's just a guess.

Amy

Quick question....Why?

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I still don't see what's wrong with just letting God/Nature choose the sex of your child. Would I prefer another daughter? sure. Would I equally love a son? absolutely. It's not that I think there is anything wrong with all this scientific/high tech. baby stuff, I just don't see anything wrong with the basic version. I guess whatever works for you...

BugsMom

Scary. Really cool and amazing...but definitely scary. Personally, I think it would be more fun to try out a scientific study on the "right" position or maybe place. Yeah, much more fun.

landismom

I think this is one of those "be careful what you wish for" scenarios. For most of my adult life, when I thought about having children, I thought I would want to have sons. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately changed my mind, and started hoping for a daughter. Which I ended up getting. I guess what I wonder is, if I had had access to this technology, and used it, what would I have done when I changed my mind.

I was lucky enough to have one of each, and we're done now, but I don't know that I would have gone in this direction, if it had been possible.

On the timing note, we were planning roughly the same between-kids timing as you. It didn't work out, for a variety of reasons, and I still kind of wish it had. Our kids are four years apart, and I sometimes wish they were closer in age.

angiemom

Maybe not so controversial as just cutting edge and interesting, and new. New is always intriguing, and raises the chance of controversy.

Have you ever seen the Chinese Lunar Calendar that predicts if you will have a boy or girl, based on a woman's age and the month of the year that she conceives? Here's a link...

http://www.holodeck.com/pregnancy/chinese-cal.html

Metrodad, YOU'RE cutting edge, interesting and new! Keep up the great writing...love it.

Matthew

This is easy for me to say, since we're going to be having fraternal twins (boy and girl) but I'm not a big fan of choosing gender. My wife and I wanted two kids - maybe a third if we can afford it - and we acknowledged it would be great to have both a boy and girl. When we found we were having twins but didn't yet know the gender we talked about if it were two boys or two girls, then we would look at adoption for the gender we didn't have. Adoption is a wonderful thing and we are still comtemplating it for a third child (because Lord knows we don't want another set of twins!).

Croft

I do not see the reason for this, and fear it can be a very slippery slope. What is wrong with having 2 daughters, or 2 sons? Why mess with what nature has perfected? Some things are meant to be left up to chance. Have we come to such a point in the world where we feel we can even choose the gender of our children? How far of a step is it really then to chosing eye color, muscle tone, personality and intellegence. We may say it is not the same now, but in 10-20 years, will that too be the norm?

MoMMY

I suppose I'm not against gender selection but it does make me wonder about the ramifications. If everyone could choose to have a girl and a boy there would be a lot less variety in the world. As a mom of 4 boys (the oldest was 5.5 when the baby was born) and a product of 1 girl, 1 boy I see so many differences in the dynamics of family. There are pluses and minuses to every situation. The boys are so close. They do occasionally get short-changed on individual attention but they have each other. They are learning valuble lessons in the process. They have a bond my brother and I never had. I wish I'd had a sister. We hoped now and then for a girl but now I'm thrilled with our family. Occasionally I still wish we'd had a girl for the simple fact of what I will miss out on. But, that is life. There is a reason behind why things happen (we just don't know what it is).

Erika

Since this technology is not perfect, I worry more about the disappointment factor and how that would effect the child. While you can have that even without the technology "we really wanted a girl and instead we got you" it seems like it could be higher and more intense when you have shelled out a lot of money to ensure a girl and you end up with a boy.

enygma

I don't know about this one and it's not due to my religious upbringing. Personally, I'd like the sex of my baby to be a complete surprise.

Victoria

I have chosen not even to try to have children, so maybe I'm not the best person to speak on this, but I'm not excited about ANY of the reproductive technologies we have. Not IVF, not surrogate parenthood, not sperm donation, none of it. Oh, and not abortion. It seems to me that having children is a wonderful *gift* and that we should accept it as such, not forcing the issue with every trick in our bag any more than getting rid of unwanted children by way of killing them before or after they're born. I'm also sad when an infertile couple wants children sooo desperately that their painful desire for what they cannot have ruins the things they *can* have. Imagine a couple who paid *money* for a boy and got a girl (or vice versa) and then could not cope with their disappointment. Poor baby. God knows it happens enough even without our intervention. Just my two cents.

ozone ferd

I have 3 boys and I don't remember feeling disappointed at the announcment of any of them being male. The idea of one boy and one girl if very 1950's thinking. I come from a family of 4 boys and on my Dad's side was 5 boys so our expectations were boys. I suppose a girl would be nice, at least until she is 13, then I would want to lock her away from boys. I've seen how girls dress these days and I've heard stories from my 15 year old son how promiscuous girls are these days. So having a girl would probably drive me crazy.

I support any type of science that evolves us further and gender selection is another step in our social evolution. I see nothing wrong with stem cell use or cloning. I find religion and closed minds continue to hold us back from evolving.

Dollymama

As a mother of 5 sons and 1 daughter, I have a few ideas about this. Basically, my belief is that just because we think we know what we want, does not mean that we are right or that this is what is best for us. Whether you believe in God's will or fate or The Universe or whatever, I think there is something to be said for the idea that we are here on earth for a purpose, and when a child is sent to us, it is for a reason. If I could have chosen exactly how many children to have, when to have them exactly, or what gender they would be, I would not have the family I have. And that would have been a mistake for me, I think. The family I have is what is propelling me toward the person I am meant to be. Of course, since this is my philosophy, I am able to be very at ease with the way my family has turned out so far. Some people are not able to be content with what is and instead always focus on what could have been, so maybe a personality like that would rather know they took control of the situation.

Grins

I'm not a fan of the idea but not outraged by it either. For me personally I was positive I wanted a girl. I was so sure of it I hardly even thought about the possibility of having a boy. I found out it would be a boy during a sonogram and was actually disappointed for about a 1/2 day. Then I snapped out of it and have never once regretted having a boy. I can't even imagine not having a son now.

Celeste

It's fine by me. I know it's up to the couple to decide whether or not to keep ANY pregnancy, and of course I hope they wouldn't terminate just because it was a sex they didn't desire. I'm absolutely sure it happens, though. Maybe in some way it's better that those kids don't get born to parents who don't want them. Seriously, if a healthy baby of the "wrong" sex isn't enough for somebody, then that's pretty sad.

I personally would not want the responsibility to choose. Besides, all you can really choose is the sex--it's not like you get a say in anything else about the child's makeup!

There is a reproductive doctor (Dr. Shettles) whose work is probably what the MicroSort technique is based on. It is described very succinctly in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Based on the length of time that sperm live in the female body and timing of ejaculation to ovulation. It's harder to get a girl he says, because you need to have sex well before ovulation and then abstain close to ovulation. Sex close to ovulation favors a boy. It has to do with the difference in swimming speed and longevity of the sperm (girls are slower but live longer, boys are faster but die sooner). Like everything else in life, timing is everything. ;o)

Despite what I've said that sounds like a criticism of the practice, I can completely understand why somebody would want to balance out their family with a child of a sex they don't have yet. I think most couples do have a preference on what they would LIKE to have, but most aren't that invested in it and can go either way.

panthergirl

OOOOH BOY. This is a hot topic for me. I am a firm believer in nurture over nature, and that more differences exists within the genders than between them.

When I was teaching childbirth classes, and a couple was hellbent on having a child of one gender or another, I'd simply ask this question: What, exactly, does having a boy MEAN to you? How do you envision this boy looking, behaving, playing, emoting, etc.? What happens if you have a boy that does not fit this mental picture of what it means, to you, to BE a boy?

When I had my son, 10 years after having my daughter, people said things like "Wow. Isn't it so different having a boy?" and I'd respond, "No, it's different having different child." Emma was a cliimber. She climbed out of her crib at 9 months old. Lucas was in his crib until he was 3 1/2 because he never attempted to climb out. Emma was a daredevil. She hated dresses. She played baseball. If I had had my heart set on having a little "princess" I would have been sorely disappointed.

Lucas is a cerebral child. He has little or no interest in sports (except for golf), bike riding, skateboarding, or scooters. He plays quietly by himself for hours. He reads. He plays chess. For a lot of the gung-ho "I want a boy" type people, this is not what they are envisioning.

I have the most wonderful book by Letty Cottin Pogrebin called "Growing Up Free" about non-sexist childrearing. It was a real eye-opener, even for me, about how we consciously and subconsciously apply stereotypes to our children. Even when people find out the gender of their unborn babies they begin the process of stereotyping. They speak in a different tone of voice to boys in utero, for example. And speak LESS to them than they do to unborn girls.

Did you ever see that experiment where they take a boy baby and present him to a group of people (one at a time), first dressed as a boy and then dressed as a girl, to see how people relate differently to him? It is UNREAL to watch.

So, personally I'm less concerned that people will abort the "wrong" sex. I'm more concerned that people will reject a child (even subconsciously) when it does not meet the gender expectations of the parents. Especially those who went to great lengths to guarantee it.

Kristie

OK, I just checked a book out of the library called "My Sister's Keeper" about a 13 year old girl who was "created" by a lab using her mother's egg and her father's sperm. The lab people did some kind of scientific voodoo to make her a perfect sibling match to her sister who has leukemia. This girl's whole purpose in life is to supply "parts" for her dying sister. The 13 year old is suing her parents for the rights to her own body so that she doesn't have to give up a kidney. She's already provided stem cells, bone marrow, and countless other things needed for her sister to combat her disease. She's been harvested from 10 times.

Crap.

It's fiction now, but with the way things are going with gender seclection, etc., this could be a reality before we know it.

Maybe we don't want the doctors to get too good at this gender selection thing.

tracy

Hey, Kristie, let's keep reality and fiction separate, okay?

I don't have a problem with the sex selection thing, though I wouldn't pursue it myself. There are people who have legitimate medical reasons for wanting to conceive a boy or a girl (sex-related disorders) and I'd like that option to be available to them. And there are people who just *really* want one or the other, and who am I to tell them that's "wrong?"

Nilyn

I was so sure that! a baby is lucky,even if it comes in a wrong way.If we do a sex to a guy ,we know what we are doing,we are accountable for this.So we have no reasons that we say that we lost self-control.....

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Fortunately I don't have to worry about these things for myself any more since I've had all the babies I'm going to have, but I wouldn't like to see my daughters using these methods when the time comes for them.

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