The authors review a large series of PGD procedures for gender selection. They did not find evidence of a particular preference for choosing one sex over another or for couples to produce one sex over another. They found that over 50% of couple who did not get any embryos of the desired sex still transferred embryos of the non-desired sex. They believe that gender selection for family balancing does not pose significant risks to society.
This publication reflects my experience over the last 10-15 years associated with family balancing. I started offering this service while at GIVF and I found that the couples who opted for family balancing simply had a desire for children of both sexes and they did not feel that the randomness of chance should determine their family balance. They also did not want to continue having children until they just happen to have a child of the opposite sex of children that they already had. They also did not want to abort pregnancies – although some families do just that because of their intense desire to choose the gender of their family.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for gender selection in the USA
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for gender selection for non-medical reasons has been considered an unethical procedure by several authors and agencies in the Western society on the basis that it could disrupt the sex ratio, that it discriminates against women and that it leads to disposal of normal embryos of the non-desired gender. In this study, the analysis of a large series of PGD procedures for gender selection from a wide geographical area in the USA shows that, in general, there is no deviation in preference towards any specific gender except for a preference of males in some ethnic populations of Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern origin that represent a small percentage of the US population. In cases where only normal embryos of the non-desired gender are available, 45.5% of the couples elect to cancel the transfer, while 54.5% of them are open to have embryos transferred of the non-desired gender, this fact being strongly linked to cultural and ethnic background of the parents. In addition this study adds some evidence to the proposition that, in couples with previous children of a given gender, there is no biological predisposition towards producing embryos of that same gender. Based on these facts, it seems that objections to gender selection formulated by ethics committees and scientific societies are not well founded.
Despite concerns regarding the effect of family balancing on gender balances, this is one recent study demonstrating mounting evidence that children of both sexes are wanted in the US. What are your thoughts about family balancing and gender selection?