Sex Selection and the Charter Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • One of the most perplexing difficulties for policy-making to emerge from the recent deliberations of Canadians over the new reproductive technologies is how to evaluate and if necessary, justify regulating, the practice of sex selection. Through the increasingly sophisticated reproductive technologies, gynosperm and androsperm may be separated and women artificially inseminated with the sperm most likely to result in a fetus of the favoured sex. Sex diagnosis may be performed on embryos in vitro, and selection for implantation made by reference to sex. And fetal monitoring may determine the sex of developing fetuses during pregnancy, thus allowing abortion of fetuses of the “wrong” sex. Recent Canadian trends in accessing and using sex selection technology, combined with sociological evidence showing a marked transcultural preference for male children, for male firstborns, and for more males than females within families of uneven sex ratios, alert us to the dangers of the practice of sex selection for women’s equality.

publication date

  • January 1994