artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Psycho)
[personal profile] artifactrix
...It hurts to even think about this, which is why everyone should be thinking about it. And making a hell of a lot of noise about it, too.

Preventing Homosexuality (and Uppity Women) in the Womb?

"Eek! Unless we intervene, some baby girls might not be born girly enough! They might not like playing with dolls, or want to have babies! Some of them might even be... lesbians! Clearly we must fix this with science!"

This is a travesty. Bioethics FAIL, cultural FAIL... everything FAIL.

This is not science. This is unadulterated bullshit masquerading as legitimate research. I expect better of people with this level of education. Drs New, Meyer-Bahlberg, and Nimkarn, you fail at science. All of it. Forever.

I guess my outrage stems from my belief that Kahlil Gibran got it right:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Nobody can create a child in her own image. You can try your damnedest to model good behavior and teach good lessons, but in the end, that child is not you, and not your property either. She is a totally different person, a human being in her own right, and you have no right to try and make that otherwise.

This is a new and even creepier variation on arbitrary cosmetic gender assignment for intersexed infants. The fact that they're "correcting" the "problem" chemically in the womb rather than surgically postpartum doesn't make it any less of a gross violation of the child's future sovereign personhood.

Every child ever born is a brand new person, totally unique in all the world. We are all born different, and we grow differently, and we live different lives, and from the difference inherent in the collective human condition, we reap a multitude of benefits. Innovation, dissent, collaboration, specialization- in short, a working society.

And diversity is natural. It's supposed to happen, because it's how life works. Look at every other life form on this planet- within every species, diversity abounds. If genetic and behavioral monoculture constituted a viable strategy for success, something else would be doing it, too.

Trying to artificially cut down on diversity, in addition to being an affront to nebulous and high-flown ideals of personhood and self-determination, is, from a biological standpoint, a shitty idea.

And okay, as a woman and a tomboy and a feminist and a nonsubscriber-to-simplistic-artificially-binary-gender-constructs and an all-around believer-in-basic-human-dignity, I am personally threatened and offended by this shit, and I am angry, and I want it to stop right now.

ETA: Heard about this from [ profile] imre_nico, whose flist it is now cluttering.
ETA: Added Dr. Nimkarn to the list of shame and fail.

Date: 2010-07-04 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is not exactly a new concept (

I agree that we're caretakers of our children, not gods who have the right to mold them into our image, and that the greatest gift we can give our children is choices. I share your outrage for all those reasons.

However, the thing that really unsettles me is the fact that we have only a rudimentary understanding of the things that hormones do. If you're going to treat someone with hormones, the problem had damned well better be serious enough to be worth the risk of screwing up something that you might not figure out for decades, if ever. Double the paranoia if the person you're treating is a small child or teenager who is going through a period of rapid brain and body development.[* (#the_pill)] Multiply it by at least ten if you're treating a fetus, which is going through the most intense brain and body development of its existence. Risking all of the as-yet-undiscovered aftereffects of hormone treatment just because your unborn child's gender preference might be inconvenient to you is the pinnacle of selfishness.
* () This is why I think it's a bad idea for teenagers to use "the pill" as a form of birth control. Forty years later, we're only just discovering some of the long-term health risks. Barriers plus spermicide, when used properly, are equally effective, without mucking with the dosage of the same chemicals that their bodies are using to fine-tune the last stages of their mental and physical development.


artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)

October 2016


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