Arlock writes (personal). An outlet for Glossolalia

Gay Genes and Genetic Modification


So there’s the hypothetical question for today.

baby-geneticsYour in-utero bay has all the genes that suggest they are going to be gay. (see article). You have access to the funds and technology to make genetic changes. Question: Do you ‘fix’ (yes I know fix is a loaded word) this. Do parents have the right to determine the sexuality, or even the sex, of their children? The child will naturally develop along pre-determined genetic dispositions, whether they are the original set, or the modified set. So the child growing up is unlikely to ever regret being ‘forced’ into that role, societal pressures aside.

More importantly if this sort of modification becomes cheap and easy is it likely to be adopted by Society. Would well-meaning parents effectively eliminate naturally occurring minority sexual orientations, or would the practice become socially abhorrent and be restricted to black-market clinics.

The question is especially interesting to me because I’m working on a SF world setting where genetic manipulation and organic technology has basically replaced a lot of solid-state technology.

Comments more than welcome…

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4 responses

  1. NathanB

    it really depends on the world I’m living in at the time. Naturally, I’d ideally like the child to grow as intended by his/her standard genes. However, if as a gay person, my child is highly likely to encounter grievous discrimination, or fall victim to awful hate crimes, even violence as a result, then I would be very tempted for their own sake. What I would hate to have happen, is for them to grow up gay, and as a result experience these awful things, then grow to hate himself, or even me for not “fixing” the gene, and condemning him/her to a life of unnecessary pain.

    On the otherhand, if the world isn’t full of discriminatory scumbags, I’d see zero reason change it.

    Like

    November 26, 2014 at 12:38

    • I was actually considering that idea. What if the child grows up resenting you for letting them remain with a homosexual orientation. I’d love to think people would have evolved beyond petty harassment of minorities, but real-world ™ there’s always a them vs us component. Of course I’ve got a slight advantage in that I can control that bit in my worlds.

      Like

      November 26, 2014 at 22:07

  2. KristyFB

    Interesting concept. Would you introduce Genetic Purists, who believe that embryonic DNA should remain unchanged? As a former research student of reproductive physiology and endocrinoloogy I am curious as to whether or not you would be introducing a pre-implantation genetic analysis in vitro or would it be in vivo analysis? Are you aware that feotal cells can be found in the maternal blood stream and on the surface of the cervix, thus eliminating the need for chorionic or amniotic invasion (there are papers on this) and thereby reducing the risk of associated miscarriage. I would also be curious as to whether or not there would be some parents who (in order to keep the balance) would alter their child’s genetics so that they would become homo- or bi-sexual. Have you thought of introducing the concept of having a pregnancy in stasis (holding at one stage) until the due date was more convenient to the mother/parents? This sort of thing would have great impact on abortion rates. Alternatively your organic technology could be programmed to eliminate any pregnancy at the first sign of implantation (7 days post conception) so that the female is never even made aware she’s pregnant and can change the organic technology to only allow her to maintain a pregnancy when she wants it.
    No, I do not think I want to be a writer. I just find your concept interesting and now have questions. There is so much potential here!

    Like

    November 26, 2014 at 21:59

    • Actually I’m looking at making the primary culture so far along the modification process that one of their goals is to find a ‘pure’ base sample to work out where they came from. The technology would be fully integrated with, making simple changes to the body as easily as we modify our diets or look up information on the net. Definitely looking at having pregnancy stasis, a necessity for long periods of travel between stars, as well as extreme physiological modifications to bone and organ growth for low gravity.

      Like

      November 26, 2014 at 22:14

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