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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>