Dealing with gender selection
Gender selection is not a game of eeny, meeny, minymoe that is used to select a person in a game of tag. It is a process, which has more to do with prediction and pure luck. Marketed under the notion of family balancing, the technique of selecting the desired gender of the offspring is considereda possibility before, after the implantation, and even at the time of birth.
The Pre-Implantation Phase – By representing the second chromosome as either Y or X, results in a male or female gender respectively. This is done through two methods; the Ericsson method and the in vitro fertilization (IVF) or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) techniques. The Ericsson method employs the selection of sperms of the desired sex to be used at a higher rate in order to conceive that particular gender. Dr. Ronald J. Ericsson first applied it in 1970. In the United States, around 50 gender selection units use this method, which guarantees 70 percent chance of a boy and between 69 to 77 percent rate of success for a girl.
The human serum albumin enables to split the female chromosome from the male chromosome. Because of the difference in weight of both the chromosomes, they form separate layers in the serum once the sperm enters it. There is 30 percent chance that this method might fail due to the lack of purity in the process. The IVF method requires the removal of one cell through incision in the egg membrane called zonapellucida. The rate of gender selection through this procedure are very high and is recommended for all those couples interested in selecting their own offspring gender before birth.
The Post-Implantation Phase – In this phase, you can select gender of baby through prenatal sex discernment after which a women needs to get a sex-selective abortion of the unwanted gender. After the seventh week into the pregnancy, this method is 98 percent reliable as it just requires a blood test of the pregnant woman which is sampled for small amount of fetal DNA for the procedure to complete.
The Post-Birth Phase – One of the most insane methods that practiced in some parts of the world. It involves either killing the baby at birth if it of unwanted sex, abandoning the child in the hospital or leaving the baby for adoption.
Many ethical concerns are raised at all the gender selection techniques. A sensible use of such methods may cause no harm to the society but the post-birth phase requires much attention than previously. The desire to have a boy or a girl in a healthy sense is not a bad thing to want. But if it turns out to be the sole purpose and a matter of life and death, it is surely to become an abnormal case in history humanity. At one level, couples rejoice at the knowledge of conceiving a child.
They prepare for it and go through online pregnancy tests and other techniques to prepare themselves for the new life to see this world. At another level some couples, wish to have a specific gender and undergo the right kind of procedures for a secure way of having the desired gender baby. Realizing this at the time of birth and abandoning or killing the baby is unacceptable and even socially destructive. It can cause poverty and homelessness for many and affect the economy in adversely.
Allowing gender selection and seeking for it at an appropriate time is by far a better way to approach pregnancy. History tells us that in ancient times when people wished to have boys for children the left testicle in men was tied with a string. People also believed that there was an astrological chart which greatly influenced the sex of the baby. Recent studies reveal that women with toxoplasmosis are likely to have more boys than girls. This requires going into a detailed study of the biological researches and facts, which will explain this phenomenon.
In places like China and India, gender selection is prohibited and considered illegal. In most parts of the world, it is acceptable and practiced frequently. Western world especially the United Kingdom and the United States undergo the fertility tourism for gender selection with more flexible rules in the US than UK. Certain nations believe that there needs to be gender equality in the country for the ease of running the state. The permissibility of the gender selection process is also based on the intentions of the system at large and the community in particular. It can be conveniently deduced that gender selection is free-will process and may be practiced by all those couples who wish to have a desired gender baby, as long as they take an oath that no harm should come to the child after birth.
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