What two technologies allow parent to select the sex of their child. State two points in favour of sex selection, and two points against this process.
As reproductive technologies advance, options such as the ability to select the sex of your child have become available.
While there are some things a couple can do to try to tip the odds to favor conceiving a child of a specific gender, only technological intervention can offer a high percentage of certainty. Sperm sorting and preimplantation diagnostics are two such interventions.
In sperm sorting, the prospective father's sperm are separated into those containing an X chromosome (female) and those containing a Y chromosome (male), and then only the appropriate sperm is used to impregnate the mother, usually via artificial insemination.
In preimplantation genetic diagnostics, multiple embryos are created by in-vitro fertilization, and then they are tested to see what gender they are, and only embryos of the desired gender are use for implantation in the uterus.
One positive and highly defensible use of gender selection is to assist couples who have a sex-linked genetic disorder to have a healthy family. Another reason is for family balancing, iwhen couples want to have an heir to carry on the family name or business, or want to choose their child's sex for cultural or social reasons.
Cons include the fact that these procedures are expensive and artificial, and some people feel that doing this is "playing God". In preimplantation diagnostics, embryos are created which go unused; ethically the creation and subsequent disposal of these embryos is a delicate issue. Additionally, IVF has risks for the mother and many pregnancies initiated by IVF miscarry.