Donor insemination: eugenic and feminist implications
Department of Anthropology,
University of Kansas, USA.
Med Anthropol Q. 2001 Sep;15(3):287-311.
ABSTRACTOne concern regarding developments in genetics is that, when techniques such as genetic engineering become safe and affordable, people will use them for positive eugenics: to "improve" their offspring by enpowering them with exceptional qualities. Another is whether new reproductive technologies are being used to improve the condition of women or as the tools of a patriarchal system that appropriates female functions to itself and exploits women to further its own ends. Donor insemination is relevant to both of these issues. The degree to which people have used donor insemination in the past for positive eugenic purposes may give some insight into the likelihood of developing technologies being so used in the future. Donor insemination provides women with the opportunity to reproduce with only the most remote involvement of a man. To what degree do women take advantage of this to liberate themselves from male dominance? Through questionnaires and interviews, women who have used donor insemination disclosed their criteria for selecting sperm donors. The results are analyzed for the prevalence of positive eugenic criteria in the selection process and women's attitudes toward minimizing the male role in reproduction.Biohappiness
Eugenics before Galton
The literature of eugenics
Germline genetic engineering
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Beneficence, determinism and justice
A life without pain? Hedonists take note'
'The Principle of Procreative Beneficence'
and further reading
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World