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Hum Reprod. 2006 Jul;21(7):1659-61. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Sex predetermination and the ethics of sex selection.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


At present there appear to be two main categories of problems involved in the ethics of sex selection. The first has to do with the status of the embryo, and the second has to do with the social consequences of making sex selection widely available. However, these may not be the only issues. There is growing evidence from evolutionary psychology and biology, which suggests that the sex of the offspring in mammals may not, after all, be a matter of chance. Instead, sex allocation in mammals may be the result of a finely tuned adaptive process involving the current suitability of a mother to conceive an offspring of a particular sex. If so, we need to know more about this process before embarking on a social policy that could have disadvantageous outcomes for children, their parents and society as a whole.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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