The Instigator
Vaibanez
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Procrastarian
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Gender selection of children

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 17,690 times Debate No: 10781
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

Vaibanez

Pro

There are two new types of prebirth gender selection techniques that I will present:
1. Micro Start-Sperm is "sorted" so that it will be more likely that the egg will be fertilized by the desired chromosome. (http://www.microstart.com...)�

2. Genetic Diagnoses-Embryos created in test tubes are analysed before being inserted into the womb. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

I am not arguing pro/for any particular technique, but rather pro/for the option for parents to utilize gender selection.

I will allow my opponent to begin as my primary contention is that there is no valid reason why this practice should not be allowed.

Thanks to my opponent in advance.
Procrastarian

Con

To begin, I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate. I have been lurking around on debate.org for some time now, but this is my first debate here.

Because my opponent hasn't stated an exact resolution, I must assume that he affirms the following resolution: All parents should be allowed to use gender-selection techniques to decide the gender of their future children.

If my opponent's only contention is that there are no valid reasons for blocking access to gender-selection, this will be a very short debate. Three valid reasons quickly arise.

Contention 1: Gender-selection harms society by enabling gross imbalances in gender. To see this effect, one must look no further than India and China. In 2005, there were 118 boys born per 100 girls, and the number of boys in this statistic is expected to rise. By 2020, it is projected that there will be 30 million more men than women in China (1). As gender selection techniques become more and more widespread, the number of excess men will continue to climb. A lack of women makes competition more fierce and therefore more likely to turn violent.

Contention 2: Gender-selection is immoral because it is discriminatory. The decision to kill a human organism for no reason other than its gender is sexism at its worst. This discrimination further violates equality by strongly reinforcing stereotypes. When parents ask themselves "Which do we prefer, girls or boys?", they are forced to stereotype their future children because all they know about them is their gender. Do we really want to live in a society in which life and death decisions are made with knowledge limited to nothing but gender?

Contention 3: Preferential gender-selection easily leads into eugenics. Once parents are given control over one chromosome, why shouldn't they receive equal control over others? Why not let them create designer babies? If a child's gender is a parent's choice, why shouldn't the child's eye color fall under the same category? If eye color should be parents' choice, why shouldn't height? How about intelligence? As you can see, gender-selection based on parents' inclinations is only a short chain of logic from eugenics.

Conclusion: My opponent's assertion that there are no valid arguments against gender-selection is clearly wrong; I have just given three. As my opponent has no other contentions, the burden is on my opponent to invalidate all three of my contentions.

Again, thank you for starting this debate. I look forward to your response.

Source:
1. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn...
Debate Round No. 1
Vaibanez

Pro

I'll begin by affirming that "All parents should be allowed to use gender selection techniques to decide the gender of their future children" but note that I never stated that killing would be among the accepted techniques. I presented examples in my first argument so that this debate would not be taken out of context. With that said...

Upon first glance the 3 contentions that con presented appear to be valid reasons to deny my resolution. I will now show why these contentions are in fact not valid reasons, and mostly mere opinion.

Contention 1 - Con states that "Gender selection harms society by enabling gross imbalances in gender", and I assume by stating "harms society" he refers to, "A lack of women makes competition more fierce and therefore more likely to turn violent. If he meant "harm" to be receding to something else I apologize for misunderstanding. He further contends that "As gender selection techniques become more and more widespread, the number of excess men will continue to climb"

Con provides no evidence that competition for women will lead to violence. This is opinion. Furthermore, the facts he presents to show the "gross" imbalance that would lead to the need for this competition in the first place are misleading. I would now like to present my own demographics to make my point.

Cons statistic shows that on 2005 there was 118 boys to 100 girls. Furthermore, it is projected that there will be 30 million more men than women in 2020. He does not present a demographic for India, which he also points out as part of his contention. His contention is misleading for the following reason,
The current sex ratio in the world is 105 boys to 100 girls (http://en.wikipedia...)�
The current world population is 6,795,400,000 people
(http://en.wikipedia...)
China has an estimated population of 1.3 billion, 1/6th of the world's. (http://en.wikipedia...+ china)
India has an estimated population of 1.17, roughly the same portion at 1/6th.�http://en.wikipedia...)
This means combined, both countries are only 2/6ths of the worlds population. Now assuming that every couple in these countries are actually having children, and even further are actually only choosing males, the outcome would not be a "gross" effect on the male/female ratio of the world.�

Contention 2 - "Gender selection is immoral because it is discriminatory"
Discriminatory - "being biased or having a belief or attitude before hand"
Simply preferring to have a boy or a girl is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream.
Con refers to killing a human organism for no reason other than it's gender is sexism at it's worst. No, it's more than sexism, it's plain murder. Gender selection techniques like those I presented do not include murder. Yes there are people who abort children due to gender, but that is not what I argued for.

Contention 3 - "Preferential gender selection easily leads into eugenics"
And smoking pot leads to heroin. This "slippery slope" is not only complete nonsense, con presents no evidence to support this claim. It is yet again his opinion. If he can show evidence that this would be the case, it would be a much stronger contention. Otherwise it's not a valid reason to deny the liberty of gender selection to parents.

My resolution then stands unless con presents more convincing arguments against it.�
Procrastarian

Con

To begin, I would like to clarify my points about killing. In his first argument, my opponent cited two techniques of gender selection to defend. The second, genetic-diagnosis embryos, is, by definition, killing. The idea behind this technique is to make a bunch of embryos and then weed out (kill) the unwanted ones. Embryos may not be defined as persons, but the scientific community is in agreement that they are human life. Therefore, it is accurate to say that my opponent's second technique leads to the destruction of human life. The first technique, sperm sorting, is less likely to be used because it has significantly lower success rates (90% for girls and 70% for guyshttp://en.wikipedia.org...) than other gender selection techniques.

Contention One ==========================================
Gender selection harms society by enabling excessive gender imbalance

My opponent attacks my first contention by saying that I have failed to prove that excess males will harm society. Firstly, I must ask readers to use their common sense in considering this point. If competition becomes more intense, do people act exactly the same, get less violent, or get more violent? Evolution (or intelligent design if you believe it it) has given people powerful desires to procreate. A shortage of women challenges this desire and leads men to do harmful things they otherwise wouldn't.

The excess of men further harms society by creating far more unsettled 'drifters'. When men realize that their chances of finding a woman to start a family with are slim to none, they are much more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as illegal drug use and crime. The increased competition for women also promotes human trafficking and 'purchased' wives for desperate bachelors. http://www.msnbc.msn.com....

"This means combined, both countries are only 2/6ths of the worlds population. Now assuming that every couple in these countries are actually having children, and even further are actually only choosing males, the outcome would not be a "gross" effect on the male/female ratio of the world."

My opponent argues that if 2/6 (1/3) of the world has only male children, things will be alright. Consider for a moment how you would feel if everyone in your country shared your gender. My opponent's supposition is ridiculous. With only a ten to twenty percent gender imbalance, China is already beginning to feel the negative effects of gender selection.

The Chinese government doesn't call their gender imbalance "very grave" (http://news.xinhuanet.com...) for no reason. Gender imbalance fosters unhealthy competition, human trafficking, and risky behaviors. If avoiding these problems isn't a valid contention against elective gender selection, I don't know what is.

Contention Two===========================================
Gender selection is immoral because it is discriminatory

My opponent argues the following:
"Simply preferring to have a boy or a girl is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream."

I, too, can make false analogies. Simply preferring to hire a man over a woman is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Simply preferring to abandon a girl infant instead of a boy infant is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

As you can see, just because something's a preference doesn't bar it from being discriminatory. Gender selection encourages discrimination. Parents must decide whether they value a boy child more or less than a girl child. If they value them equally, why are they even using gender selection?

Contention three ===================================================
Preferential gender selection easily leads into eugenics

Again, my opponent uses a false analogy: "And smoking pot leads to heroin"

In my contention, I pointed out in my previous argument, there's no reason that gender should be parents' decision but eye color shouldn't. The same applies for almost any characteristic. The slippery slope argument works because the slope is made of ice and there are no boulders to stop one from slipping. In the slide from smoking pot to heroin, there is a boulder; heroin kills and pot doesn't. That's why the slippery slope argument doesn't work there. In the case of elective gender selection, however, the slippery slope argument applies because there's no logical reason to stop parents form choosing other traits once they've been granted gender selection. Gender selection is a leap, skip, AND jump towards eugenics. This is why elective gender selection shouldn't be allowed.

Conclusion========================================================

Gender selection is gender discrimination. Gender selection hurts society by enabling gender imbalances. Gender selection is a push towards eugenics.

My opponent still has no contentions, so the only way he can win is if he completely invalidates all of my contentions. I have hopefully made this quite a challenging task. I wish him luck.

Please Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
Vaibanez

Pro

Contention 1

"To begin, I would like to clarify my points about killing. In his first argument, my opponent cited two techniques of gender selection to defend. The second, genetic-diagnosis embryos, is, by definition, killing. The idea behind this technique is to make a bunch of embryos and then weed out (kill) the unwanted ones."

---"Its main advantage is that it avoids selective pregnancy termination as the method makes it highly likely that the baby will be free of the disease under consideration." (1)

That quote was taken straight from the source I presented in round 1, "It avoids selective pregnancy termination."

---"While controversial, this approach is less destructive than fetal deselecting during the pregnancy." (1)

Another quotation from my source in round 1. It is not fetal deselecting, which would be killing.

---"Some religious organizations disapprove of this procedure. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, takes the position that it involves the destruction of human life." (1)

This is similar to the objection con has provided regarding killing which was,

"The second, genetic-diagnosis embryos, is, by definition, killing. The idea behind this technique is to make a bunch of embryos and then weed out (kill) the unwanted ones."

So I suppose by religious standards he is right. But religion is just opinion, and it is not the ultimate authority on topics like these since it doesn't provide evidence to support it's claims. While I'm not claiming that con's objection is religiously biased, I am claiming that it too is just opinion. He claims that the second method involves killing, while it does NOT in fact involve killing as I showed above.

"Embryos may not be defined as persons, but the scientific community is in agreement that they are human life."

---Show the evidence that supports this claim. Of course there are probably a few religious scientists who would claim this, but a few don't speak for the entire "science community". Neither does con.�

"The first technique, sperm sorting, is less likely to be used because it has significantly lower success rates (90% for girls and 70% for guyshttp://en.wikipedia.org......) than other gender selection techniques."

---While this assumes he knows what method people are going to choose ahead of time, quite impressive mind reading by the way, it's still irrelevant since the issue is not about what method people may choose, but that both methods (and methods similar to them) are somehow unjust. Which I have clearly shown them to be the contrary.�

"My opponent attacks my first contention by saying that I have failed to prove that excess males will harm society. Firstly, I must ask readers to use their common sense in considering this point."

---Exactly, because this is what you "think" will happen. Asking people to use "common sense" exposes that very fact. Extraordinary claim, yet no evidence. But again, assuming that gender imbalance will actually become a worldwide problem, apparently it's currently only an issue in 1/3 of the world, namely China and India (Even though con has only shown evidence fo his claim about China) I'm sure China will resolve it's problems. Even if it doesn't, it's not going to greatly affect or "grossly" imbalace the world male/female ratio being only 1/3 of the world's population.

"A shortage of women challenges this desire and leads men to do harmful things they otherwise wouldn't."

---Cause all men in the world would just up and turn violent? You present evolution (and ID) as references to think about. Sure, I'll give it to ya that stone age man could have faced a real shortage of women, making it a very real problem. Yes, they probably would have resorted to violence in order to "win" the mate. Yet as I have pointed out earlier, it is irrational to believe this will become a real problem today because of gender selection. Not to mention we now �
have a police force and laws to protect us from our "stone age" violence.

"My opponent argues that if 2/6 (1/3) of the world has only male children, things will be alright. Consider for a moment how you would feel if everyone in your country shared your gender. My opponent's supposition is ridiculous."

---The country (China) my opponent continues to reference as though it is the "bar" that the rest of the world will set for itself is already taking steps to address their issues. I point this out a little later.�

"With only a ten to twenty percent gender imbalance, China is already beginning to feel the negative effects of gender selection."

---"Chinese authorities have vowed to take tough measures to control fetus-gender testing and sex-selective abortions to check the rising sex-ratio imbalance." (2)

That's straight from con's source. But just to ram this China problem to the ground...

"An analysis of statistics from population and family planning, education and public security departments showed that between 2006to 2008,the ratio fell two percentage points from the 119:100 reported in 2005." (2)

---Yes, a two percet decline in the problem...

"Jiang attributed the improvement to local authorities' enhanced efforts in cracking down on illegal fetus gender identification and illegal abortion. He pledged to take further measures to curb the trend." (2)

---I think China will solve their issues.

Contention 2

"I, too, can make false analogies. Simply preferring to hire a man over a woman is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream."�

---The only problem is that your analogy refers to actual, existing human beings. How can you discriminate against something that doesn't exist? It then becomes a choice, not discrimination. That is what was aiming at with my analogy.�

"Simply preferring to abandon a girl infant instead of a boy infant is not discriminatory anymore than wanting chocolate or vanilla ice cream."

---Again, you say "infant" which assumes we are dealing with existing entities. The techniques don't deal with developed, existing babies.

"If they value them equally, why are they even using gender selection?"

---I don't know, ask the parents?? I doubt it's a question of "value" as almost all parents value all children in general. Choosing the gender doesn't mean they don't value their children, or potential children to be. This argument is nonsense.

Contention 3

"Again, my opponent uses a false analogy: "And smoking pot leads to heroin""

---I was clearly being sarcastic. Which now as it is being taken out of context, I regret and apologize for making that statement.

"Gender selection is a leap, skip, AND jump towards eugenics. This is why elective gender selection shouldn't be allowed."

---Claiming this is assuming that people in general have no head on their shoulders. Even so, the only real threat that would ever come from eugenics is the potential for it to fall into the wrong hands. Much like what the Nazis would had done with it. That's why we have laws and regulations, to protect society from these kinds of things from getting out of control. Yes, there may be nut jobs out there that would use this technology for ill intent, but should we therefore disallow the rest of good natured society the liberty of it just because of those who would use it for harm?

In conclusion I would like to thank con for a very exciting debate and intelligent input into his arguments. However, ring that I refuted his arguments, and showed them to be invalid reasons, my resolution stands. Vote pro.

Of course he does get the final word though � =D

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...

(2) http://www.chinadaily.com.cn...;
Procrastarian

Con

Arguments relating to gender selection techniques--------------------------------------

Sperm sorting – Although it's true that the sperm sorting process itself doesn't destroy any human organisms, its imperfect success rates make it less attractive for those seeking gender selection. They are far more likely to use genetic diagnosis embryos to decrease the risk of failure (selecting the 'wrong' sex).

Genetic-diagnosis embryos – My opponent spent quite a while pursuing a hopeless point. I stated

"The second, genetic-diagnosis embryos, is, by definition, killing"

and then Pro responded

"So I suppose by religious standards he is right"

If something is alive, (embryos easily fulfill biological definition of life http://en.wikipedia.org...) and then something is done to it, and then it's dead, it has been killed. If that something was an organism (http://dictionary.reference.com...) and was human (http://en.wikipedia.org...(biology)), one has, by ending its life, killed a human organism. This is in no way an opinion. This is science.

Although many don't consider embryos to be deserving of rights, there are also many who believe that they do have a right to life. Without even considering the societal harm caused by gender selection, these people should already agree that gender selection is unjustified because it leads to what they consider the murder of innocents.

---------------------Contention 1: Gender selection enables gender imbalance, which is bad-----------

"Exactly, because this is what you "think" will happen. Asking people to use "common sense" exposes that very fact. Extraordinary claim, yet no evidence."

My opponent is correct in claiming that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. My opponent is incorrect in claiming that gender imbalance being bad is an extraordinary claim. I don't need extraordinary evidence to claim what most consider common sense. Last round, I provided evidence of rising crime rates attributed to gender imbalance and I pointed out that the Chinese government itself is very worried about their gender imbalance.

My opponent also says that China isn't very important in this debate. If, as the resolution suggests, gender selection is made available to everyone, the societies which care most about gender – China and most of Asia – will be the ones which make the most use of it. The resolution isn't about the United States; it's about the entire world.

In his final round, my opponent tries to defend his case by saying

"Chinese authorities have vowed to take tough measures to control fetus-gender testing and sex-selective abortions to check the rising sex-ratio imbalance."

My opponent then applauds the slight decrease (from 119 – 100 to 117 – 100) in Chinese gender imbalance.

We established that gender imbalance is bad and my opponent has congratulated China on its efforts to control fetus-gender testing and sex-selective abortions, yet somehow he thinks that China should make it legal to do exactly what Chinese authorities are trying to prevent. His logic goes as follows.
1.China's gender imbalance is getting better
2.Chinese authorities are working hard to fix the gender gap
3.China should allow gender selection

This logic makes no sense. This is the same logic that says "look, the forest fire is dying down, now we can play with matches in the woods again!"

My opponent writes
"I think China will solve their issues."

I think China will solve their issues as long as they don't rekindle their gender problem by making it legal to choose to have a son instead of a daughter.

--------------------Contention two: Gender selection is discriminatory-----------------

I agree with my opponent that it doesn't make sense to discriminate against something which doesn't exist. My point is that when a parent uses gender selection with the idea that "boys are more valuable than girls" or "girls are more valuable than boys," they are being sexist by stereotyping an entire gender. Gender selection encourages parents to make a decision based solely off of their personal stereotypes about gender. I say this is wrong.

-------------------Contention three: Gender selection leads to eugenics---------------

My opponent doesn't dispute the fact that gender selection is an easy slide away from eugenics. Instead, he attempt to defend eugenics as follows.

"--Claiming this is assuming that people in general have no head on their shoulders. Even so, the only real threat that would ever come from eugenics is the potential for it to fall into the wrong hands. Much like what the Nazis would had done with it. That's why we have laws and regulations, to protect society from these kinds of things from getting out of control. Yes, there may be nut jobs out there that would use this technology for ill intent, but should we therefore disallow the rest of good natured society the liberty of it just because of those who would use it for harm?"

I in no way assume that people in general have no head on their shoulders. In fact, I assume quite the opposite. I assume that the wealthy will rationally act in their children's 'best' interests by using their wealth to buy their children 'better' genes. When it comes to eugenics, any hands are the wrong hands. Eugenics fosters the idea that some people are innately better than others because they, after all, have 'better' DNA. If eugenics become available, like all unnecessary medical procedures, the rich will be the only ones who can afford it. Finally, my opponent tries to invoke a rule which seems to state the following:

We shouldn't disallow all of society something just because some people will use it for harm.

As a rule, this statement is clearly flawed. Should it be legal to for citizens to own nuclear weapons? Should murder be legal because most people have the sense not to commit it? My opponents rule only holds up when the object or privilege being denied isn't dangerous. Eugenics, however, is very dangerous because it widens the gulf between rich and poor and it devalues equality by promoting elitism.

Conclusion----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My opponent has fallen far short of completely invalidating every reason I have proposed. Even if you still agree with him, you must admit that I have won the arguments vote because my opponent's only contention – that there are no valid reasons against gender selection – has been shown to be false.

I thank my opponent for an interesting first debate; I learned more about gender selection than I ever would have otherwise.

Thanks for reading – Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by sprout 7 years ago
sprout
votes to con at this stage in the debate
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
If I were you I would say there are more Pros than Cons. Because if someone finds just one valid reason, they win.
Posted by Vaibanez 7 years ago
Vaibanez
shirts are overrated
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Or shirts.
Posted by Vaibanez 7 years ago
Vaibanez
Nobody wishes to accept this debate. Perhaps I should open a debate on long hair being bitchen. lol
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Agree
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Nephatrine 7 years ago
Nephatrine
VaibanezProcrastarianTied
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Vote Placed by karinah7 7 years ago
karinah7
VaibanezProcrastarianTied
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Vote Placed by angelsm9 7 years ago
angelsm9
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Vote Placed by Procrastarian 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
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