Daughters Don't Come Cheap: The Growing Trend of Gender Selection Procedures

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Sep 21, 2012

For some, the sole wish of having a happy and healthy baby is not enough. The want for a boy or girl can become so consuming that some will go to great lengths to try and conceive a preferred gender. For those living in the U.S., where gender selection procedures are legal, choosing a particular sex is becoming an expensive (usually around $18,000 a pop) and increasingly popular option.

A recent Slate report highlights the growing trend of gender selection procedures couples are now undergoing in order to conceive a girl. There is evidence that a good majority of couples in the U.S. are more desperate to conceive girls rather than boys. Google data shows that “how to have a girl” is searched 3 times more often than “how to have a boy”. And a 2009 study shows that 70% of Caucasian Americans who undergo gender selection procedures want girls.

The article discusses the path of one anonymous mom took who had three boys and made several attempts at gender selection procedures costing almost $40,000 before ending up with her girl. This woman’s story is not so unusual when you look at the more than $100 million revenue fertility clinics rake in each year from gender selection procedures.

Some worry that gender selection procedures, which include egg retrieval surgeries and embryo transfers, exposes otherwise healthy women to unnecessary medical risks. Others also worry about the psychological effect gender selection can have on children born out of these procedures. Marcy Darnovsky, director of the Center for Genetics and Society in California explains, “It’s high-tech eugenics. If you’re going through the trouble and expense to select a child of a certain sex, you’re encouraging gender stereotypes that are damaging to women and girls. …What if you get a girl who wants to play basketball? You can’t send her back.”

How important was your child's gender when discussing family planning with your partner? 

Do you think parents should be able to choose their child’s sex?


Make a Comment

Bodaciousb17 by Bodaciousb17 | Lompoc, CA
Oct 08, 2012

Did it matter to your parents if you were a girl or boy? No. I'm sure they were happy with what they got. People need to stop playing with the life's of precious innocent infants. Embryos are people, they are not an object too dispose of.

mimim98 by mimim98 | Meade, KS
Oct 03, 2012

No. God makes that choice for us. Theres a reason why god wants us to only have girls or boys. Its sad that parents are not happy with what they have. Children are a blessing no matter what gender they are.

Bambinaki by Bambinaki | BELLEVUE, WA
Oct 01, 2012

The very moment when I saw two pink stripes test strip I was sure I wanted a girl only. I was so confident that it would be a girl, my husband also wanted a girl, and all my parents and relatives. And I was so happy to learn that it was a girl, when I was 14 weeks pregnant, God bless the doctor, who saw this. If I could choose, I would choose a girl. I am happy God gave me what I wanted.

Speakheather by Speakheather | Salem, VA
Sep 30, 2012

Ridiculous. Unless there is a medical reason such as a genetic disorder issue for needing to have a certain gender, let nature take its course and decide for you. Boys and girls are each wonderful and special in their own ways. Paying all that money to pick when both are so special and need love? I can't imagine doing that.

bbcoop by bbcoop | GREENFIELD, IN
Sep 27, 2012

I KNEW i wanted a boy, but instead I was blessed with two wild and crazy gily girls...and now i wonder why i ever wanted a boy love dressing them up and watching them be way girlier than I ever was!

heavenly41 by heavenly41 | PORTLAND, OR
Sep 24, 2012

I have 5 daughters. They are expensive (obviously) as it is so why the heck would I want to shell out an additional 18k to make sure it's a girl? I love my girls but the price of teen attitudes can be overwhelming on top also. I am happy to say we finally had a boy with our last one (and I mean last).

Loren86 by Loren86 | WESTLAND, MI
Sep 22, 2012

This is just crazy, I have a 2 year old daughter and when I was pregnant I didn't care what the sex of my child was I cared about was my child being healthy.

Katrusya by Katrusya | Rolesville, NC
Sep 22, 2012

I am pregnant with a second girl. Though we kind of hoped for a little boy there was no disappointment whatsoever of course. But I can't judge people who have 3 or 4 boys and want a girl or the other way around.

countrycass21 by countrycass21 | BROOKHAVEN, MS
Sep 21, 2012

I am a Christian and believe God makes the choice of boy or girl for us. Just being able to have a child is a miracle and should not be left up to us. Doctors should not be making Godly decisions. The joy of finding out the gender is one of the most exciting parts to being pregnant!

inkmermaid by inkmermaid | CRP CHRISTI, TX
Sep 21, 2012

My husband and I aren't ready to have kids yet, but when we are.. I don't care what gender it is. So long as it's healthy and we're able to help it grow. I really think this whole "gender selection" trend is terrible. It's one thing to choose a purse, a car, or a pet, but a human child? I can understand if there was a shortage of our population and we had no other choice, but in a world such as ours with an overabundance of humans, I think it'll do more harm than good.

triplea2010 by triplea2010 | FORT IRWIN, CA
Sep 21, 2012

I don't think parents should be allowed to choose their child's gender, it blows my mind that people would want to. What future consequences could come from this. I think it is a beautiful thing to see what naturally takes place in the development of your unborn child.

docmp78 by docmp78 | Fridley, MN
Sep 21, 2012

it's sad i think, no matter which gender u select, as it changes the nature's variability. In some countries boys are given preferences, n in some girls. BOTH r bad.