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Do you think parents should be able to choose the sex of their baby?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 15, 2006

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Photo of Julie McCarter

“No. The element of surprise isn’t something to be fearful of. If you can have a healthy baby, regardless of the gender, that should be its own reward.”

Photo of Dave Lloyd

“I guess I believe in freedom of choice, but who knows what effect that might have on future demographics. I think that, at least in my family, they really enjoyed the surprise of finding out.”

Photo of Roslyn Williams

“No. I just believe that God should still dictate those sorts of things. If you decide to have children, you need to understand that you’re going to be their parent whether they’re a boy, girl, healthy, sick, disabled or anything else.”

Photo of Sean Ryan

“I’m going to say no. I think you should just let nature take its course.”

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Linda Aikins 11 years, 11 months ago

I think we're doing fine just the way we are. What would be next?

"George Bush the 15th has turned 20, so we better mandate male births so we can stock up the army when he's elected President 18 years from now."

hottruckinmama 11 years, 11 months ago

no. it would take all the surprise out of it. besides that if you are such a control freak that you have to control the sex of your child you are probably to uptight to have kids anyway. the only thing that matters is that they are healthy.

Sigmund 11 years, 11 months ago

Why not? They can choose to abort, why not be able to choose the gender, hair color, eye color, and skin color? Afterall, every child should be a wanted child and if the parents want a boy/girl why not?

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 11 months ago

Choose?????????? I don't believe we have a choice, do we? LOL

Its an X and Y issue here and what ever lines up, lines up. How silly to think we can do that. If we could one day, what a scary thought that would be.

Its not like ordering pizza.......... OKay, I will take a girl with dark brown hair and green eyes. Oh, and make her hair natural curly, no wait.....make it straight, she may not like it when she turns 15.


whosaid 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh silly you are to think that we can't choose.

One method is to separate the x sperm from the y sperm and then insert it through intrauterine insemination. Although, this method is not foolproof.

A more dependable method is by embryonic selection. This simply is an IVF procedure where only the desired gender of embryo is implanted.

Actually, I feel there are respectable reasons for gender selection. What if a couple has a hereditary disease that only affects one gender? Let's say the disease results in something so severe that any son they have would not be able to survive past infancy. Is it so wrong to select a female embryo so that they can bear children without potentailly subjecting themselves to tragedy after tragedy?

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely NOT! If I had been given the choice, I would have chosen to have 2 boys. If that had actually happened, I wouldn't have the two beautiful girls that I have now. Obviously, Someone knows better than I what I need.

acg 11 years, 11 months ago

I think that's an awful idea. I can't imagine wanting to special order a baby. I agree with hottruckinmama, as long as they're healthy, who really cares?

craigers 11 years, 11 months ago

Let's just have healthy babies like others have said. The gender really doesn't matter.

jonas 11 years, 11 months ago

I'd say that it would be okay if we were able to choose, but only if we were first provided with more options from which to choose from in the firstplace. This bicameral system of procreation is clearly stagnant and inefficient.

Choose klenphs: the third gender. For a more, well. . . different Tomorrow.

KSChick1 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm not in favor of being able to choose, but I would like to KNOW what sex my baby will be...

I had sonograms on all 3 of mine, with an amniocentesis on one also and knew the sex of all of them.

it made shopping a whole lot easier

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes I wonder if people realize what their words and attitudes might say to their kids when they're older.

"'Some people spend $50,000 to $70,000 for a BMW car and think nothing of it, but this is a life that's going to be with us forever,' said Robert, an Australian who asked that his last name not be used to protect the family's privacy."

And some people don't think in terms of money when they're having kids, Robert. Some people value them a little differently. Some kids might be glad to know they're worth more than a $70,000 car ... but I think others would be happier to know their parents could never assign a monetary or material value to them.

If you can have children naturally, then have them naturally, and love the children you have. To do otherwise is a slap in the face of those who want to have children naturally but are unable to do so. If you want to pick and choose everything, go get a dog.

Topside 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't have a concrete reason, it just feels wrong to do that. However, as many others have stated it is nice to know ahead of time so you know what color to paint the room and what to buy.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago


Influencing is not the same as specifying.

acg 11 years, 11 months ago

heheheehee, RI said vaginal.

sorry I couldn't resist.

Totally different topic, anyone watch Coulter and Carlin on Leno last night? I fell asleep and missed it and am dying to know what happened.

acg 11 years, 11 months ago

Well if anyone out there knows where I can get some video of what went down, please post it here. I could kick myself for missing that. I surely hope George put the smack down on that evil witch.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 11 months ago

"Why not? They can choose to abort"

An interesting comment. Most of us appear to be opposed to playing God in regards to gender; but only a minority of us, it would seem, are opposed to playing God in regards to life and death.


acg 11 years, 11 months ago

Not off hand RI, but that informercial comes on every Sunday morning. I came downstairs last weekend and my 6 year old was watching it. I was cracking up. That kid worries me sometimes. Saturday and Sunday mornings most kids watch cartoons. This one watches cooking shows and infomercials. Last week he told me we just had to get a little giant ladder system.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 11 months ago

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All decisions must be made by the Kansas State Board of Education, God-willing, of course.

KSChick1 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure if we put this in front of them, our city Kommission would love to decide what sex our babies will be

acg 11 years, 11 months ago

No, I'm not sure what's it's called but it's a husband and wife team, they both have brown hair. It's always on PBS. It's funny, though, because I was making ribs the other night and he started spewing a rib rub recipe to me that he got from this show and I tell you, I used it and it was pretty darned good.

paladin 11 years, 11 months ago

I like girls! I have two boys and they were a pain is the Wazoo growing up. They're OK now, but it was allot of work. One is a Lt. Commander, pilot, in the Navy, Naval Academy grad. So what. And the other one is an Artist, graphic, and is doing very well. I had my doubts. My daughter was always extremely independent and strange. But, she is a truly good person and has done allot of good for other people. She is, now, an attorney in Denver. Her greatest love is gardening and defending the defenseless. If I had a choice, I would choose not to choose. Because, I think, you get what you are spose to get, you do the best you can, and things turn out the way they're spose to. I wouldn't change a thing, even if I could. So, I guess, you play the hand you're dealt, and make the most of it. I think, that's the way it was intended to be, by the big Guy, if you entertain that belief, you will someday, believe you me, and, that is spose to be what is. I don't think that one should be able to determine who is born, in any way. You're only fooling yourself. Because, regardless of science and medicine, things are the way that they're meant to be. Oh well.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Py, that's very idealistic of you, but I do not share your optimism that all the people who would punish (in one way or another) their child for being the "wrong" gender are otherwise completely able to be great parents. If being a certain gender is a failure to those people, then there must a myriad of other potential failures that will anger them. I have a hard time seeing that sort of thing as one little isolated issue.

Just giving people what they think they want isn't going to solve problems.

paladin 11 years, 11 months ago

My EX- spouse did punish my daughter severely. Projection to the Max. She ended up beating her over the head with the phone, to the point of unconsciousness. I, having sensed something was amiss, went over and moved her in with me. Seemed like the thing to do, regardless of the Law. She, the EX-spouse, did hate her daughter, only because she hates herself and sees herself in her daughter. But, things are what they are, and my baby now is happy and relates to her Mother in a positive, but knowledgeable and insightful way. Life goes on.

paladin 11 years, 11 months ago

People and Life events are always connected. Its a small world, and sometimes painfully so.

StirrrThePot 11 years, 11 months ago

Anybody remember the movie "Gattica"? Where kids weren't born nautrally by the parents rolling the dice, but instead they could genetically engineer their babies to be whatever they wanted? Eventually, people who came into the world as "God-births" as they were called, were repressed, didn't have any rights, and were considered inferior (I think in the movie they were called "Invalids").

Does anyone else think this is the first step towards Gattica, or am I being paranoid?

jhawkdpt 11 years, 11 months ago

doesn't it depend on sexual position at conception?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 11 months ago

S.T. Pott:

The answer is "yes", I think. Even if it's not a matter of government oppression (remember, much of the Gattiga theme was about government snooping and control), there is still the great potential of creating another (unnecessary) class of persons. So, instead of being divided over race, politics, religion, etc, we can ALSO be polarized over the genetic "choices" of our parents. Just great.

Paladin: sorry to hear about the abuse! Thanks for being a stand-up dad, unlike so many who would have run from the responsibility.

concerned_citizen 11 years, 11 months ago

It already exists! You can just abort and abort until you get the gender you want, kind of like re-starting the solitaire game on your computer until you get a good hand dealt to you.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

I personally know 2 families that "tried and tried" to have a girl. One family ended up with 7 boys and finally a girl and the other had 9 boys and then a girl. How messed up is that?

I can also remember when (after already having 1 girl) I told my sis-in-law that I was pregnant again. She didn't say congratulations. She said "Oh, you should have waited, I could have told you how to make sure it would be a boy." I just smiled at her and asked "Why on earth would you assume that we care what the gender of our baby is?" I was very pleased when I got my 2nd girl. (I also would have been very pleased with a boy!)

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

Personally I do not think they should. But apparently they already do so I'm totally out of that loop of technology.

The eggs have been fertilized, what about the "other" gendered eggs? I am saddened by the cavalier attitude that is so prevalent regarding the reproductive process. It reminds me of a Build-A-Bear Workshop. Problem is they are not dealing with cotton stuffings, they are manipulating and discarding human life. Seems like the more we employ technology to design our "civilized" society . . . the more barbaric we think and act. Today, human life is only valued if it meets someone's requirements and expectations of desirability. That is pitiful!

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

s_s: When I had my third daughter I was really irked at people who gave me the knitted brow, sorrowful smile and said, "Ooooh, another girl?" Well, my girls were and are absolute blessings to me, and my grandsons provide the testosterone needed to keep us from becoming too hennish (I looked it up, there is such a word :)

Larry 11 years, 11 months ago

Coulter vs. Carlin Not sure the video is up but here is a short article about the interview. Sounds like a disappointment.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Py, forgive my misinterpretation. I did not read your post properly.

That said, I do not think there is any way to indulge such parents to give the kids a healthy childhood. I'm actually not even sure indulgence is the right idea. That's an endless trap.

dacs23 11 years, 11 months ago

S.T. Pott: Great movie and I'm all for it.

Just think what kind of president we could have had if the rich could select only the best traits of both parents?

The ability to speak for one...

For one who inherited a heart condition, I would trade it away in a second. Give me the chance to insure I don't pass it on to my kids and I'd take it.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

dacs23: If I read the article correctly, you would not have the option to "trade away" your heart condition. It is YOU who would have been traded away. Regarding your children, you would have the option of "trading away" the already fertilized egg with the heart condition, not somehow redeeming that child from the condition.

All of the contributions that you, as a distinct individual, have and will make to the world, and your family, would have been traded away. One of my grandsons has Muscular Dystrophy, he is far from physically perfect. But the contributions he has made to my life and my world are priceless. I'm sure your family feels the same way.

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 11 months ago

My dad wanted to have all boys........LOL

Well I have 3 older sisters and a little brother. We were all supposed to named Mark Steven. By the time my little brother was born the name was to popular.

The funny thing her is my dad wanted all boys. Myself and all my sisters have had the boys. We each have 2 boys, with 2 of them also having 1 girl each. I guess you could say my dad got grandsons instead of sons.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like they are well on their way, RI, and more than a little of the credit goes to your openness.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

Knowing they are truly loved is the key. Sometimes learning to demonstrate your love in a way they can receive is tricky. One of my daughters is very much like her father and uses totally different methods of displaying love than I do. He and I often failed to communicate . . but I now try to avoid making the same mistakes when I am with her. For the most part, it works.

justsomewench 11 years, 11 months ago

my youngest wasn't likely to survive the pregnancy or, if she did, live a 'normal' life, but i never loved her less for what nature brought about. to me, she is perfect.

i can't imagine erasing life because it doesn't follow my precise plan for it.

know1nozme 11 years, 11 months ago

The implementation of a gender choosing procedure is probably unavoidable at this point, though it is a bad idea. History has shown that if a technology exists, it will most likely be made use of, regardless of the consequences.

Giving potential parents a choice concerning the gender of their child forces them to privilege one gender over another; something we have been working against for some time now. This is a giant step in the wrong direction (India already has a very similar problem as is evinced by the strong trend among expectant mothers of that country to have ultrasounds which will identify the gender of their child and then aborting the fetus if it turns out to be female).

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