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Sex selection : ethical issues for the individual, family and society\ud

By Ruchika Mishra


This thesis examines the ethical issues raised by sex selection for the individual, family and society. Techniques like sperm sorting and preimplantation genetic\ud diagnosis have made it possible for parents to select the gender of their offspring even before they are born. These new reproductive technologies do raise some important ethical questions for us. This thesis briefly considers the morality of the technology being used to achieve sex selection before going on to discuss if there\ud is anything morally objectionable about sex selection, in and of itself. In this thesis I argue that parents ought not to place value on gender when it comes to their children since gender is a morally irrelevant factor in the parent-child relationship and parental love should not be conditioned by characteristics like gender. Hence, this preference of theirs regarding sex cannot be justified. I discuss the right to reproduction, how it applies to sex selection and the limits on procreative liberty. I argue that a right to reproduction, reproductive freedom or\ud reproductive autonomy does not entail a right to sex selection. I also discuss how sex selection could impact children, children's right to an open future and make a\ud case for sex selection as a harm to the child. I analyse Kant's `Means and Ends' formula and apply it to sex selection, thus concluding that the choice of a particular trait, like gender by a parent undermines the principle of respect for individuals and thus instrumentalises the value of children for their parents. The thesis also looks at discrimination and the impact of sex selection on women and\ud society. With reference to the current situation in India and China where sex selection has led to horrific consequences I discuss the implications of the current\ud situation for society today

Publisher: School of Philosophy (Leeds)
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:699

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