Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Americans prefer to leave child’s sex to chance, survey finds

14.02.2006


Most people would not choose the sex of their child if given the option, according to a new nationwide survey. The study is the first to examine the demand and preferences for sex selection among the U.S. general population.



"We found that only 8 percent of people would use pre-implantation sex selection for non-medical reasons," said Dr. Tarun Jain, assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at University of Illinois at Chicago and senior author of the report.

The findings, published in the February issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, are the result of a cross-sectional, web-based survey of 1,197 people (587 men and 610 women) between 18 and 45 years old.


In the study, 77 percent of people who wanted more than one child indicated they either preferred an equal number of boys and girls or had no preference as to the sex of their children.

Pre-conception sex selection using sperm-separation technology is currently available in the United States as part of an FDA-approved clinical trial. The technique is not without controversy, but is expected to become more readily available to consumers at the completion of that trial.

The marketing and increased availability of the technology poses moral, legal and social issues. Some fear that sex selection may disrupt the natural sex ratio, contribute to gender stereotyping and discrimination, and hasten a trend toward "designer babies."

"So far, all of the ethical discussions about sex selection have focused on ’what if’ scenarios without any legitimate data," Jain said. "This study should provide a legitimate framework to better lead the discussion about the realistic implications of sex selection technology."

Sperm separation requires patients to provide a sperm sample and undergo an average of three to five cycles of intrauterine insemination at a fertility center, at a cost of approximately $2,500 per attempt.

The survey found that while the majority of respondents would not choose the sex of their child under these trying conditions, most would still not use the technology even under less demanding circumstances.

Only 12 percent would use sex selection technology if it were available in any doctor’s office, if it required only a single cycle of intrauterine insemination, and if it were covered by health insurance.

Even if it were possible to choose the sex of a child simply by taking a "blue pill" for a boy or a "pink pill" for a girl, only 18 percent of respondents indicated they would do so. The rest were opposed or undecided.

"Perhaps this speaks to the fact that people still want to leave things up to chance and not rely on science for everything," said Jain.

In an earlier study, Jain and colleagues reported that 40 percent of women being treated for infertility would choose the sex of their next child if given the option.

The discrepancy between the two studies is significant but not surprising, Jain said. Infertile couples may feel they have only one chance to have a child, while the general population assumes the opportunity for more children.

"This study should ease the fears of some of people who believe that sex selection technology will become widespread when it is readily available in the United States," said Jain. "There is no evidence that the technology will have a significant impact on the natural sex selection ratio."

Jain cautioned that the results of this survey do not apply to other countries, where there may be legitimate concerns about sex selection leading to an imbalance of the sexes.

The poll -- conducted online over three days in September 2004 by Harris Interactive -- has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu
http://www.uicivf.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>