Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Word of Advice To The Gay Community: Rethink Your Friends

Before we get into this, let’s be absolutely clear about one thing . . . I am NOT taking a stance on abortion or on homosexuality in this post. I may in the future, but not today. So DO NOT start arguing about whether abortion/homosexuality is right or wrong. Capiche?

Many of you may have missed it, but the other day Sweden became the first country in the world to decide that the government (and doctors) may not stop women from using abortion to select the gender of their children. This practice is already wide-spread in India and China, where the number of males now far exceeds the number of females, even though both governments have made the practice illegal. In Sweden, it is now a right.

As India and China have shown, and as Sweden is now demonstrating, a great many parents are willing to go to fairly extreme lengths to get the “perfect” child. Indeed, many fear that as genetic manipulation becomes more prevalent, parents will begin selecting specific traits for their children. Want an athlete, add the strength and speed gene. Want a scientist, give them the brainiac gene. Want a natural leader. . . Khhaaaaaan!!! Pushed too far, we could even end up with multiple strands of humanity -- the athletic, the intelligent, and the rest of us.

Why should this bother gays? Most gays firmly believe that they are gay because their genes have made them so. The jury is still out on this, but it’s certainly highly possible. And if this is true, then it is only a matter of time before that gene can be found.

Now let’s put two and two together. If parents will abort a normal healthy child because they don’t like its gender, or because it has some genetic disease or an unfavorable genetic trait, how do you think they will act when they discover that their child carries the gay gene?

So does it make any sense for gays to align themselves with the abortion rights crowd? Isn’t that like helping to build the gallows from which you will be hung?

I could understand the position of gay groups if they thought it was going to be illegal to abort children because of their homosexuality, but Sweden tells us that it won’t be. If Sweden won’t protect fetuses based on gender, how can they protect children based on sexual orientation?

Moreover, even if such a law could be put in place, the Indian and Chinese experience tells us that parents will find ways around it.

So as a word of advice, you might want to rethink your allies.


SQT said...

This is an interesting post. First, if the gay-is-genetic argument is true, then it is only a matter of time before the 'gay gene' is discovered. I think the gay community would be dismayed to find out that they don't have as many allies as they think since I'm absolutely sure that many liberal, progressive, "open-minded" folks would opt to eliminate that trait from their gene-pool if possible.

I actually know someone who went through an in-vitro procedure that allowed her to pick the gender of her child. Personally I think it's repugnant and kind of like flipping God the bird. But that's just me. But something tells me that I wouldn't be alone in thinking that messing with mother nature is a bad idea. Oh sure, the oh-so-inclusive left will try to say they're simply embracing science. But really they'll be performing their own form of eugenics and I doubt they'll even realize it.

BevfromNYC said...

There is a movie on this very topic - "Gattica". It takes it step further and creates a world where all children are conceived through a genetic selection in vitro procedure. Parents go to a genetics store and decide what traits you want and any potential disease genes are screened out. In this world, any naturally conceived children are relegated to a slave underclass. Hijinks ensue when one of these naturally conceived slave children decides to better himself. It's not the greatest movie in the world, but it does raise interesting questions on the ethics of genetic selection.

AndrewPrice said...


(Did you get my e-mails?)

I've seen Gattica and you're right, that is kind a very disturbing view of where the whole genetic thing could be heading. I think that this is something we, as a people, need to be thinking about now: how far do we want to let people go in terms of manipulating their children?

If we don't start creating a code of ethics on this soon, the science will get ahead of us and we're going to wake up one day with a serious mess.

Sqt -- Thanks. As I said in the article, China and India are demonstrating right now that people will go to great lengths to get the perfect child. That has led to a generation of "missing girls." It's extremely severe -- in India 123 males are born for every 100 females. Left alone, nature does about 104 males to 100 females.

I think that the Sweden decision of last week, should really set off alarm bells in people for a variety of reasons. But, as I noted, I think that gay groups in particular should be concerned.

LawHawkSF said...

Hi, Bev:

I liked the concept of the movie, but the execution was poor. And I can't respect anybody who puts an "E" at the end of his name, thereby harming the reputation of a noble bird. Would you trust someone named LawHawke?

SQT said...


I've heard, though I should go look for some links, that China is already experiencing a problem with too many young men and not enough wives to go around. It makes sense when you look at how many Chinese "orphans" (almost all girls) that are adopted here in the states.

LawHawkSF said...


My comments about the ladies "civilizing us" was only half in jest. Women are a civilizing influence. Too many men, too much competition without a moderating influence, and too much testosterone without some leveling estrogen makes for a very dangerous and volatile mix indeed. And Andrew, no cracks about me getting in touch with my feminine side.

Trish said...

Lawhawk, that's Ladyhawk's job...LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

sqt -- as of last month (April 2009), China had 32 million more young men than young women (under 20), and the numbers are getting worse with each passing year. In the 1-4 year old category, the disparity is 126 to 100.

I don't have specific numbers for the 19-20 year old range, but you're right. I've read several articles in the past that have said this is already becoming a marriage issue.

LawHawkSF said...


Not you too?! I'm of two minds on the whole concept. Why am I suddenly thinking of a bad parody of "Chinatown?" LawHawk (slap). LadyHawk (slap). LawHawk (slap). LadyHawk (slap). Omigod, I'm running out of cheeks!

SQT said...

Andrew & LawHawk

What worries me about the male-female disparity in China is that I hear the young men are forming gangs since they have no other outlet for their energies. That isn't going to end well for anyone.

Trish said...

Well if you read Revelations from the Bible, you can get an even better understanding of the downfall to this type of policy. It is scary to see more and more of Revelatons coming true in our time.

John Keats said...

Anyone who's imperfect should be alarmed. That means everyone here, except me.

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. I had never made this connection before reading this post.

As a student of World War II and having read far too much on how, in addition to killing millions of other "undesirables", Germany specifically killed German handicapped (mentally and physically) children, I am appalled and downright frightened at how history may be repeating itself.

AndrewPrice said...

John, LOL! You perfect types are all the same, always dumping on us little people. ;-)

By the way, I sent you an e-mail at the address listed on your profile. So if you're going "who the heck is this guy", it's me.


I'm glad to hear I said something interesting! It's about time right?

One of the problems with the human experience is that we rarely look far enough into the future to decide if our current actions are a good idea. Hence we overeat (something I know a thing or two about), we cut off on-coming cars, we fail to save for a rainy day, and we rarely see the dangers in our midsts until they are upon us.

Captain Soapbox said...

Very good and interesting article Andrew, there are so many different scenarios that can come about from people doing this sort of "tinkering" that not only is the list almost endless, but as someone who believes people were created the way they were for a reason it's also all manner of terrifying.

Moral issues aside, and as you've all pointed out there are a ton of them, SQT brings up a very good point about what will happen as outlets for this sort of male-female disparity. I mean look at China now, they already have more people than they know what to do with, are becoming increasingly aggressive (at least posturing that way very well, even if they may not technically mean it) and within a couple of decades could have even more men looking for something to do. What could those somethings be? Well Taiwan and Russia immediately come to mind, and India isn't beyond the realm of possibility. For now they may be forming gangs, but eventually they'll be turned into cannon fodder to both secure resources, and deplete some of the "excess" population.

The other thing that Melissa pointed out could come to pass, what happens if genetic "selection" isn't good enough for society? What if they decide that since they can't do a do-over and "fix" people that were around before such tinkering was possible they decide that sterilization is the only way to go. In addition to widespread "euthanasia" programs the Nazis passed laws requiring some classes of "defectives" to be involuntarily sterilized.

This is a very slippery slope, since anyone at all could bear whatever type of "undesirable" traits are unfashionable at the moment.

Melissa Marsh said...

Captain Soapbox, you're right on target with the sterilization program.

There's a book called "The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution" by Henry Friedlander. A more chilling book I have never read. Should be required reading.

Kurosawa said...

This would be less of a problem if genetic aberrations were fashionable. To illustrate:

"DEAF parents should be allowed to screen their embryos so they can pick a deaf child over one that has all its senses intact, according to the chief executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (RNID).


Ballard’s stance is likely to be welcomed by other deaf organisations, including the British Deaf Association (BDA), which is campaigning to amend government legislation to allow the creation of babies with disabilities."

Not sure if it's possible to link in a comment, but this excerpt comes from the Guardian, 12/23/07.

AndrewPrice said...


The legal and ethical problems of allowing parents to intentionally create genetic defects in their children would be immense.

While this guy from RNID may think this is a good idea, I would imagine that society at large and the courts in particular would consider it akin to child abuse and would step in to stop the procedure.

I think courts would view this as the same thing as an attempt to have a hearing child's hearing taken away by surgical means. I can't see them allowing it.

Captain Soapbox said...

Not only do I think the courts would (and should!) see manipulating genes to bring about disabilities in children as child abuse, but I also wonder about the motivations of some people if such a thing were allowed. People, being what they are, are always looking for a little extra cash, combine this technology with unscrupulous people who figure that if they have a disabled child they could get more money from the government and you have yet another recipe for disaster.

Melissa, I haven't read that book yet but I'll be sure to look for it. The one book that I'd suggest as required reading is "Hitler's Willing Executioners" by by Daniel Goldhagen which shows how a generally rational people such as the Germans could countenance any manner of barbarity when given the rationale to be able to do so during the years of the Third Reich. It's not only eye-opening but it's downright disturbing.

Melissa Marsh said...

Captain Soapbox - hold on! :-) Don't put much credence in the Goldhagen book. It has been widely dismissed by serious historians, including my old advisor from grad school (who was a Holocaust studies specialist). Do a google search on Goldhagen and look at the controversy surrounding his original thesis.

But the Friedlander book...yeah. Read that one if you get the chance. Absolutely mind-boggling.

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