Sex Selection: The Problems that Could Arise After the Permit

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Preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT, is not only the test for screening the chromosomes of embryos to determine if there are any aneuploidies, but also technically possible to determine the sex of embryo with a high degree of certainty. Since PGT using in vitro fertilisation (IVF) globally, it appears to have coincided with a highly controversial dilemma of a parent’s right choosing their preference child gender. With the demand for sex selection rising, some countries, such as the United State, offer the option to couple for choosing the gender of their child, from all countries where the practice explicitly prohibit. Sex selection can be ethically acceptable in society to select child’s gender for medical purposes to reduce or prevent the transmission of serious genetic conditions which would limit the quality of life of a prospective child. The controversy arises owing to ethical and moral perspective when couples would like to choose their child gender, just because of a personal preference or societally dictated preference. To understand the different views of both sides, the following paragraph will express the implications of arguments for and against as to a parent’s right to be able to select the sex of their transferred embryos before conception. I hold the argument against a parent’s right choosing the sex for their children.
A parent’s right to choose the sex of their transferred embryos is able to do owing to an extension of parental authority. The reason for this argument bases mainly on an assumption that nurture is more important than nature. The birth parents have the authority to make decision concerning and affecting the care, welfare and proper development of their children until they can make their own way, known as ‘parental responsibility’. For example, Australian couples have a right to select the sex of their prospective child. Thus, parents have in relation to bringing up their children based upon moral and ethical concerns in terms of a child’s wellbeing.

The positive consequence for a parent’s right choosing their preference gender of transferred embryos is that the parent-child relationships. The relationships would be stronger rather than no opportunity for sex selection. There are two types of children in the world: boys and girls. Girls are generally emotional, family-oriented and homely, whereas boys are independent, self-centred, and individualistic. Couples, who have a strong relationship with their mothers, have their preference to have a girl baby. They want to replicate the same relationship with their daughters when they grow up. They also believe that they cannot have a strong relationship with a son. Therefore, giving an opportunity for a parent’s right to choose the sex of their transferred embryos establishes a strong relationship between parents and children. These assume that if parents have the right to choose their child gender, the prospective child’s welfare and proper developments to children will be provided by their parents.

A parent’s right to select the sex of their children should be allowed owing to prevent abortion and/or the abandonment of unwanted children. Regrading to a cultural stereotype, particularly in Asian countries like China, male children have been preferred traditionally in China. That is because sons inherit family name, property as well as taking responsibility for the care of elderly parents. While having a baby girl became highly undesirable, resulting in a rise in abortion of female fetus, even infanticide of baby girls and adaptation by families in other countries, for instance, the United State. In this case allowing parents to choose the sex of their child seems to be easier than to change the traditional belief and culture. Thus, to avoid the high risk of detrimental results of unwanted babies, sex selection is an alternative approach to solve these problems.

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Other reasons to support an affirmative argument are that couples desire to have one child in their families or couples would like to have a family balancing. Having a family balancing differs from having one child. Family balancing which is to say if a couple comes with a child already of one gender and they still want the other. This is not showing a preference for one gender over the other. While having one child in a family is a preference particularly in one gender. To complete their families regrading to parental authority and responsibilities to their children, a parent’s right should be able to select the sex of their embryos before transfer.

According to human rights, parents should not have a right to choose their preference child gender. They should respect a child’s basic humanitarian right to be born without sexual prejudgment. One example of the sex selection cases in Victoria in 2018, a Victorian couple suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the death of their male child. This couple attempted to use PGT to select their desired gender for minimizing their own psychological illness and to complete their family, but neglected the welfare concerns of child being born. If children discover that they were only born after having their gender decided, it may lead the child doubting the genuineness of their parent’s unconditional love and further psychological issues later in life. Parenting with unconditional love should be instinctive in all parent-child relationships regardless of a child’s gender.

Sex selection is the epitome of sexism. If sex selection is not motivated by medical reasons, it would reinforce and propagate the inequalities and injustices between men and women selection. Societies could face significant imbalances in the male-female ratio being born. The consequence of such a situation to societies would be increased gender injustice, most likely discrimination against females. For example, in China, males are more preferable rather than females traditionally. Consequently, the country’s overall sex ratio experiences a gender imbalance ensuring a higher ratio of males, roughly between 3 and 4 percent more males than females. The implication of allowing a parent’s right choosing their gender preference in the long run includes an epidemic of loneliness because there are fewer females available for marriage, distortion of labour markets, an increase in violent crime, rape and prostitution. Additionally, the prospective children should not be born for fulfil their parents’ expectations.

If sex selection was permitted, there could be an influx of vary types of patients to IVF wanting PGT, not only infertile couples. The patients who seek ART solely for the purpose of sex selection are limiting access to patients who have infertility issues. In general, the process of IVF takes 4-6 weeks for a fresh cycle which does not include the time taken with counselling and the turnaround time to get the PGT result back. If infertile couples have struggles to become pregnant for a year and have to wait in the queue for IVF process of a fertile couple who really wanted their gender preference to start your IVF process, this can create unnecessary stress on patients who are already coming to the terms that they are infertile. Furthermore, if sex selection was permitted, the couples could put the higher preference on the sex of embryo rather than the potentially best embryo. In the case that the couples do not have a preference sex of embryo in the IVF cycles. They want another cycle to pick the sex rather than using the embryos of the unwanted sex from the pervious IVF. Thus, the selection of sex can lead to a wastage of embryos of fertile couples as well as create the unnecessary stress on infertile couples.

Furthermore, the IVF clinics would become more business instead of helping people with infertility issues, if the legislation of sex selection for non-medical purpose was permitted. In reality IVF cycles including PGT is costly and sex selection without medical reasons is not covered under medical care. Therefore, only wealthy people will access to it. The consequence of this situation would be step back as it created a greater cultural divide between the social classes.

With all reasons taken into account, we may reach the conclusion that it is good to allow the right of parents to choose their preference gender of offspring. However, it is more important to restrict a parent’s right to select the sex of their prospective child due to the negative impacts to the child, parents and societies as mentioned above. From where I stand, I strongly believe that all perspective children should have a child’s basic humanitarian right to be born without sexual prejudgment and be free to become whoever they want to be.

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