Gender Selection for Non-medical Reasons is Ethically Defensible

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“Congratulations, you have a baby girl!” is what a doctor might exclaim after a woman has given birth to a daughter. Was this news a surprise to the woman? Did she know by ultrasound that she was expecting a daughter? Did she select the gender of her child to ensure she was having a daughter?

A gynaecologist can easily perform an ultrasound and tell parents what gender to expect their child to be. Reasonably, parents have the choice to learn the gender or to keep it a surprise. However, For parents to know they are expecting a daughter by chance or for them to choose that they want a daughter are two different cases. There are a variety of methods that allow parents to choose the gender of their child. In some cases, there may be fear of passing down a sex-linked genetic disease and so a certain gender may be preferred to protect the child’s health. However, a contentious issue is whether or not gender selection for non-medical reasons is ethically defensible. There are three positions that one could take: gender selection can never, sometimes, or always be ethically defended. In this paper, I intend to argue that gender selection is always permissible.

Fundamental rights cannot be restricted except for valid reasons. Reproductive choice is a fundamental right (Harris 293). I argue that there are no valid reasons for which this right can be limited. Therefore, reproductive choice cannot be restricted for any reason.

There are means to select the gender of one’s child and everyone should be allowed the option of using these means to select the gender of their child if that is what they want. People should always be allowed the choice. Gender selection should always permissible because restricting it would be limiting the ri...

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...rmful to females, allowing gender selection, even if it is sexist is a better alternative.

To restrict reproductive choice by prohibiting gender selection on the basis that it is sexist should not be seen as a relevant idea. Gender selection should always be allowed regardless of the reason for which it is occurring.

Works Cited
Dickens, B.M. “Can Sex Selection Be Ethically Tolerated?” Journal of Medical Ethics 28.6 (2002): 335-336. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.
Harris, John. “Sex Selection and Regulated Hatred.” Journal of Medical Ethics 31.5 (2005): 291-294. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.
Savulescu, Julian. “In Defense of Selection for Nondisease Genes.” The American Journal of Bioethics 1.1 (2001): 16-19. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.
Wertz, Dorothy C. “Preconception Sex Selection: A Question of Consequences.” The American Journal of Bioethics 1.1 (2001): 36-37. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.

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