There will come a time, in not too many years, when we know how to preclude homosexual outcome in a developing fetus/newborn.
If you had such an option, would you implement it?
If as some scientists conclude, the genes that code or predispose to homosexuality -- enhance male reproductive success (in those who express just enough of them but remain heterosexual), what would be the implications, long-term, in slowly removing these traits, one generation at a time, nudging each fetus ever more certainly heterosexual?
Do you think the state should have a role in what's allowed and what isn't, regarding genetic or other intervention?
Are there other important questions I'm missing?
This issue is very near to me. As a homosexual, I know the inner-pain it is to grow up with these feelings, I know how easy it is for that to turn into self-loathing. I know some people have an iron constitution, super resiliency, and don't have problems but I don't think they are the majority. Growing up a closeted homosexual isn't something I would wish on anybody.
The (Western?) world is becoming more open-minded and accepting, not without a few fits and starts but this is the tendency. So a parent making such an argument as above in reference to a decision to secure a heterosexual outcome will have less and less ground to stand on. That said, it will probably have some merit to it at least for the next couple of decades.
The more convincing and timeless argument might be that they want a higher likelihood of grandchildren. Despite the fact that homosexuals can/will adopt, I believe most people generally prefer their own genetically-related offspring, if the cost of such an enhanced likelihood is not out of reach. Most grandmothers derive a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction from their children's courtship and pregnancy process. I don't believe these will lose their allure. One could make this argument, at least on an individual basis, and I would have great sympathy with it.
It pains me to say it (and it pains me even more to admit that it pains me, because this exposes some of my irrational nature), but I don't think I could support means to prevent couples or mothers from manipulating their child's sexual outcome. Naturally I don't mean child abuse, and I wouldn't extend the phrase to include passive measures to assure heterosexual outcome.
In a world where such techniques are widely practiced, I don't think homosexuality would die out (see: Stalking the Wild Taboo - Homosexuality for one argument as to why). But it would make homosexuals (as an expressed phenotype) more rare. Part of the reason this feels so wrong to me is the history of homosexuality at least in modern millennia has been one of discrimination, putting it mildly. But it depends on how you frame your desire to have heterosexual offspring.
Black people will continue having black children (at least as a matter of honor), even if it might be better for their children to be white, and even if they had the means to manipulate their child's skin color. Homosexual males don't have an analogous continuity method, except by employing a surrogate mother and intervening at that time to enhance homosexual outcome probability. You'd have to keep up a lineage by surrogacy, and that seems like an awful lot of work to go through just for one purpose, that purpose being the preservation of ONE trait, attraction to the same gender.
If I ever have the good fortune of fatherhood, I will take no measures to influence my child's sexuality, except that it be expressed sincerely. I cannot condemn heterosexuals who want to raise the odds of their children being heterosexual. I see this as eminently understandable on reasoning that in no way includes bigotry. That said, I hope such a practice does not become widely spread. If it became rampant, a homosexual, even in a world accepting of them, would be more lonely and less happy, providing yet more impetus behind a parent's desire for heterosexual offspring.
Somehow, it feels odd for me to support an argument whose natural conclusion is (perhaps) the end of my kind. Perhaps that's why I feel so uneasy in doing so, because my instinct is to avoid extinction?. :eek:
What are your own thoughts?