Some say that opting to use gender selection techniques is a slippery slope to a eugenics society. Others argue that it is a good way of balanced family planning so you do not end up with the 8 girls trying ‘just once more’ for a boy.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis is the only way to be 100% certain that if implantation were to occur it would be of the desired gender. In this method embryos are fertilized and then tested for gender and chromosomal abnormalities. However, this method is very very regulated and cost prohibitive. It is used only in matters of genetic disease typically. Also there is no guarantee that implantation will occur.
Other, less invasive methods of gender selection have fewer cons but are also not as effective. The Shettles method for example is for instance not invasive, relatively inexpensive, and safe. However, there is no guarantee of success, and it is labor intensive. This particular method involves timing of intercourse in relation to a woman’s ovulation, sexual positions, and manipulating a woman’s vaginal pH to favor male or female sperm. Shettles proposes that to conceive a boy a couple should have sex as close to ovulation as possible, deposit sperm as close to the cervix as possible, and have an alkaline vaginal pH as the male ‘Y’, sperm are faster but die sooner. Conversely, to achieve a conception of a girl, a couple should have intercourse before ovulation, deposit sperm more shallowly, and have a more acidic vaginal environment. Shettles proposes ‘X’ carrying sperm are slower but hardier.
More concerning than the superficial pros and cons are the more emotional ones: why do you desire a certain sex? What will happen if your baby is not the desired gender? How will you feel if the characteristics you were hoping for in the specific gender do not appear?
You may get the ‘right’ kind of child but at what cost? Will you always wonder what would have been if you had left it to chance? If you get the ‘wrong’ gender will you have difficulty accepting him or her?
Individuals who have tried natural sex selection methods stress the importance of impressing upon yourself that you will get exactly the child you were supposed to get.
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