Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Americans Prefer To Leave Child's Gender To Chance, Survey Finds

Date:
February 16, 2006
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


"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.

###

Other authors on the study include Edgar Dahl of State University of New York; Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University; Dr. Manfred Beutel of University of Mainz, Germany; Yve Stobel-Richter of University of Leipzig, Germany; Dr. Burkhard Brosig and Dr. Hans-Rudolf Tinneberg of University of Giessen, Germany.

For more information about reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UIC, visit www.uicivf.org



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Americans Prefer To Leave Child's Gender To Chance, Survey Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060216100344.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2006, February 16). Americans Prefer To Leave Child's Gender To Chance, Survey Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060216100344.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Americans Prefer To Leave Child's Gender To Chance, Survey Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060216100344.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins