Log In
Saturday 26th May 2018

Should parents be allowed to choose baby's sex?

26th May 2010

Stephen Wilkinson, Professor of Bioethics at Keele University, argues that couples should be able to choose the sex of their baby.


There have been numerous folk myths over the years about how to influence the gender of a baby.

Things, however, have moved on somewhat today with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) which involves creating several embryos outside the body and implanting only male or female ones or sorting sperm into male and female subgroups.

This is not available in the UK, unlike in some parts of the world.

While a ban on selection maybe justified in China or India, where the preference is for a male off-spring, it is not justified in the west where the preference for a boy or girl is roughly the same.

Moral objections to sex selection are often cited, others say it is sexist, but all arguments can be countered.

We do not in general believe it is wrong to shape positive things in life, so why apply that to a child.

It is not sexist either, just a preference.

Family balancing, where parents have three boys but want a girl, would not open the floodgates.

While I am not a sex selection enthusiast and do not think it should be encouraged or paid for by the NHS, the arguments for prohibiting it are not that strong.

But there is harm attached to a ban, leading to distress among people not being able to have the family of their choice.

We should allow sex selection in the UK within the context of our carefully regulated reproductive medicine sector.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Should parents be allowed to choose baby's sex?
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14984
Date Added: 26th May 2010


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

Energy drinks ban in the UK


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2018