Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-c4bbg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-08T16:37:22.023Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

The Myth of the Gendered Chromosome: Sex Selection and the Social Interest

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2006

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Sex selection technologies have become increasingly prevalent and accessible. We can find them advertised widely across the Internet and discussed in the popular media—an entry for “sex selection services” on Google generated 859,000 sites in April 2004. The available services fall into three main types: (1) preconception sperm sorting followed either by intrauterine insemination of selected sperm (IUI) or by in vitro fertilization (IVF); (2) preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), by which embryos created by IVF are tested and only those of the desired sex are transferred to the woman's uterus; and (3) prenatal testing of fetuses through ultrasound or chromosomal analysis, followed by selective abortion of fetuses detected to be of the undesired sex.Victoria Seavilleklein's research was supported by the following grants: Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Council Doctoral Fellowship, and CIHR Training Program in Ethics of Health Research and Policy. Earlier versions of this paper were read to the Philosophy Department at Dalhousie University and to the participants of the CIHR Training Program in Ethics of Health Research and Policy. We are grateful for the helpful feedback we received on both occasions. We also appreciate the comments made by Micah Hester and two anonymous reviewers.

© 2007 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)