Family balancing article March 2017.pdf (449.74 kB)
Engendering harm: a critique of sex selection for 'family balancing'
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-09, 07:04 authored by Arianne ShahvisiArianne Shahvisi
The most benign rationale for sex-selection is deemed to be “family balancing.” On this view, provided the sex-distribution of an existing offspring group is “unbalanced,” one may legitimately use reproductive technologies to select the sex of the next child. I present four novel concerns with granting “family balancing” as a justification for sex-selection: (a) families or family subsets should not be subject to medicalization; (b) sex selection for “family balancing” entrenches heteronormativity, inflicting harm in at least three specific ways; (c) the logic of affirmative action is appropriated; (d) the moral mandate of reproductive autonomy is misused. I conclude that the harms caused by “family balancing” are sufficiently substantive to over-ride any claim arising from a supposed right to sex selection as an instantiation of procreative autonomy.
- Accepted version
JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
Department affiliated with
- Clinical and Experimental Medicine Publications
Full text available