Conversations {Gender Selection}

I wish the world was more open to having conversations.   To hearing view points and respecting the people that have them.  I know, in Canada anyways, we hail that we do.  We have freedom of speech and freedom of opinion and we love everyone and respect culture and opinion.  In theory anyways.  But just try disagreeing with someone and you’ll see that this really doesn’t play out in reality.

I am just so interested in having conversations with people, even if I disagree. I long to learn from conversation.  To be challenged in my own opinions by the thoughts of others.  To see a new angle, one I hadn’t thought of before.   To not set out to sway or be swayed but to openly dialogue for the sake of bettering ourselves and either realizing our opinions may not be right or solidify our own position.

With the teachers on strike all year here, I tried asking a few about their thoughts on it and it seemed that blood started to boil, hearts started to pound and instantly defense mode kicked in instead of conversation.  And maybe that’s because conversations have never been allowed before.  Maybe defense mode is how they’ve had to be.  I think it’s unfortunate though because I’d really like to present my opinion and hear yours and be able to understand each other better without a fight.

So I’m starting some conversations on here.  I realize this may be an unwise move.  I realize that I may try it once and then never again but I’m going to try nonetheless because I really care what you have to say.  Now, I may disagree with you!  But that doesn’t mean I don’t care what you have to say.  So with that as my premise,  here goes….

If I would have chosen I’m quite certain one of these boys would be a girl.  That would have sucked!

We were listening to the news this morning on the radio and mingled among the announcement of Dick Clark’s death and how many people attended Coachella (85 thousand!!!) there was a report stating that a newspaper was being criticized for an ad that they ran for a company that does Gender Selection.  Much like any other company they had a slogan.  It was something like, “Get what you want out of life.  Build a balanced family!”

Of course they are trying to sell their services and so they are appealing to the selfish nature in all of us. Get what YOU want.  Make your family work for YOU.  Don’t leave this up to chance when YOU can be in control.

This type of service is illegal at this time in Canada but is legal in the states.  The U.S. company stated, however, that over 60 % if their clientele was Canadian.  Interesting.

I spent a quick 7 minutes on the rest of our ride to school explaining what gender selection is to the boys.  In 9 year old terms.  It basically boiled down to, “You can choose whether you have a boy or a girl baby.  What do you think about that?”  (As an aside, it is SO COOL when your children reach the age that these things become topics of conversation and ones that they have an opinion on!)

I don’t have a conclusive stance on gender selection but I have some preliminary thoughts.  My first thought is it feels a bit like playing God.  Choosing something that only He should be able to choose.  But then again, that’s something we’ve been doing for centuries.  Remember those heroes of the faith that couldn’t conceive and so took their servant girls in order to have a child.  Thus taking what only God should be able to do (allow you to conceive or not) upon themselves and working out their own solution.  Thing is, it didn’t really end well for them.

Then of course the entire issue of in vitro comes in to play.  If God doesn’t want people to conceive should they really go to these lengths to have a baby?  Would God not give them one naturally if He wanted them to have one?  But I have no problem with in vitro fertilization.  I believe that God has blessed us with the gift of medicine and we are quick to take an Advil to rid us of whatever ails and so why not use it as well in the process of conception.

The boys were quick to raise questions like, “In many cultures boys are more valued so won’t they always choose to have boys?”  Yes, likely.  “Then what happens when there are no more girls left for them to marry?”  Good question.

They also delved into further realms like, “Don’t some people have an abortion just because the baby isn’t a boy or isn’t a girl?”  Yes, yes they do.  “Well then won’t this help stop babies from being killed?” Maybe…

I remember having a conversation a good 7 or 8 years ago when this was new and groundbreaking technology, not something you could just whip across the border, fork over some cash and have done.  My husband and I had just heard about it and were having conversations about it and, while not trying to reach a conclusion, were weighing the pros and cons and trying to figure out a stance.  (something we still haven’t done, fyi!)  So we brought it up at a lunch we were having with a few different friends.  It turns out some people are very VERY opposed to gender selection and they made it known that it was wrong.  End of story.

Interestingly enough this couple was in the midst of the adoption process and I, being the amazing conversationalist that I am, shut the table down to silence with my question to them.  It was something like, “You’re going through the adoption process though, right?  Isn’t that somehow choosing to add a member to your family?  Almost God-like?”  I assure you I wasn’t being rude or mean but simply dialoguing for the sake of learning and these were friends so surely dialogue should be safe, right?  They had many reasons why this was different and I agreed with every single one of them.  We are commanded to take care of widows and orphans.  They had felt that God had placed adoption on their heart and was guiding them through the process.  They were open to His will for it and not their own, they were simply stepping out in faith and taking the necessary action and procedure to begin the process.  Whether or not they “got” a child would be completely in God’s hands.  Yes!  Great!

Of course, me and my big mouth had to continue…”But didn’t you put on your adoption forms that you wanted a girl?”

silence.

Gender Selection.    It’s been around in varying forms for generations.  From aborting the gender you don’t want to ticking the “male” or “female” box on an adoption form we’ve been taking matters into our own hands for centuries.  Is this new technology any different?  What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Conversations {Gender Selection}

  1. It seems technology continues to blur our ability to define and distinguish our actions governed by choice. Choosing outside instead of manipulation inside the womb are very different concepts and confuse what is “acceptable” choice. What is acceptable determines how your conscience is formed regardless of society’s relativism.. If my conscience is formed to honor God, I believe gender selection of a child is within my Masters will. However, choosing gender at the sacrifice of another life within the womb is rebellion to my God’s will. Conversations between an informed vs. “deformed” conscience, passionately offering answers emerging from opposing core perspectives, is more exhausting than a learning experience. At this point, do you see the advancement of technology to manipulate the human condition in choosing gender building up or eroding the ethical standards – our simply making ethics too confusing?
    Enjoy your day!
    Peace,
    Chris

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  2. i remember when i was preggo with Caleb and i thought i was having a girl (maybe cause I had sisters?) but after he was born i remember crying and said i would never trade him for any girls!
    when i was prego with my next son i remember people saying sorry to me that it was another boy! but I was glad L was a boy! as they are so close together! then with baby #3 i was 50-50 on a boy or girl! I also thought about choose the sex ahead of time with naturel family planning you can do that but it took me almost 2 years to get prego i was just happy with what ever God wanted me to have!

    i know people that have used NFP and have gotten the sex of the child they wanted and it worked every time i guess im ok any way to have a baby just not if you are making embryos and then “killing” the ones you dont want and only keeping the ones you want..

    I also love to talk and find out how or why people think they do! it can be fun!

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  3. When I was in college my Microbiology teacher set up a debate about this exact topic (only it was about14 years ago)! He didn’t let us pick sides (maybe because I attended an ultra conservative school where most people would be on the “con” side), but just assigned us one. I was on the “pro” side and during the entire process I was really torn. I can see both sides, although it really is frightening to see how far technology has come and where it is headed. If all mankind could be trusted to use these “powers” for good, I think it is great, but unfortunately I don’t think that is always the case. I think I lean to the side of leaving it up to God, but that is mostly because I worry about where things could go from here, not because I think it is “wrong” to want to choose the gender of you child!
    Interesting conversation…

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  4. Thanks for weighing in! I should probably clarify that I, in no way, think gender selection by way of abortion is right. At. All.
    I should be clear in that the technology I was questioning was not gender selection by way of how and when you have sex.
    I was meaning choosing the sperm of the sex you want and only fertilizing the egg with that choice. Therefore, predetermining with certainty, the gender of your baby.

    With that said, I do believe that every day technology is manipulating the human condition. The way we act, speak, think is all being swayed by various forms of technology and not the least of these being media. But this is the time we live in and I am quite certain it’s not going to slow down. The question really becomes what are WE going to do with it.

    I agree that it’s frightening to see where we’re headed but the stats regarding who’s getting this gender selection procedure done (60% canadian) just goes to show that legislating it isn’t really working either. If people want it, they’ll find someone to do it!

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