Engendering harm: a critique of sex selection for 'family balancing'

Shahvisi, Arianne (2017) Engendering harm: a critique of sex selection for 'family balancing'. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. ISSN 1176-7529 (Accepted)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Depositing User: Arianne Shahvisi
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 11:24
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2017 09:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69114

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