Tagged with genetics

Feminist Eugenics

Eugenics is apparently making a comeback, for example with some Chinese Feminists (via). Maybe surprisingly, this is nothing new.

This is of course a very thorny issue. On the one hand it is an uncomfortable and seldom spoken about thruth, that women partially choose their parters for the expected quality of their offspring, that is for their genes. Quality can mean different things in different contexts and I see nothing morally wrong with this being a factor for someone, consciously or not. Who would want to deny the freedom of mate choice?

On the other hand, eugenics has a bad reputation, and righfully so with regard to forced sterilizations and the Nazi killings. If however, and that is a strong if, the benefits from selection could be achieved without actually harming anybody in the process, then the matter becomes quite different, I think. Embryos are already selected to some extent in IVF. And the potential upside is huge, especially with multiple iterations of selection. Once it becomes possible and cheaper, there will be strong incentives for parents to get smarter kids. And societies will probably benefit from it, if the ethical concerns can be solved.

If I remember correctly, this is also a topic in Blueprint by Robert Plomin, a book that I enjoyed last year and apprently forgot to write about.

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