Abortion and the ethics of genetic sexual orientation research
Murphy TF.
Department of Medical Education,
University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, USA.
Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 1995 Summer;4(3):340-50.Links


PIP: Research is being conducted to determine whether there is a genetic basis for homoerotic sexual orientation in adults. Reports indicate that such a basis may exist. Some homosexual men and women have welcomed the possibility of biological confirmation of their sexual orientation and subsequent behavior. If human sexual orientation were proven to be genetically determined, many homosexuals would not feel compelled to justify their sexuality. One would simply be born either homosexual or heterosexual. Others, however, worry that the ability to identify homosexuality through genetic markers may be used prejudicially against homosexuals. German sexologist Gunter Schmidt has argued that since society has yet to fully accept homosexuals and homosexuality, research into the possible causes of homosexuality is potentially dangerous to gay men and women. In the same vein, gay studies scholar David Halperin argues that the search for a scientific etiology of sexual orientation is a homophobic venture which should be clearly seen as such. Considerable concern therefore exists that sexual orientation research may lead to genocide against homosexuals through the practice of selective abortion on the basis of a fetus's genetically identified sexual orientation. The author, however, is skeptical that a simple genetic test is on the horizon which is capable of determining an individual's sexual orientation, and were such a test available, that it would necessarily be used only to the detriment of homosexuals. He does acknowledge that such a test could be used prejudicially with regard to access to employment, insurance, and other social goods, but it nonetheless remains unjustified to completely forbid genetic sexual orientation research. A sexual orientation test and abortion, and the ethics of sexual orientation research are discussed.
Eugenics talk
'Designer babies'
Private eugenics
Psychiatric genetics
Eugenics before Galton
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
The evolution of sexual behaviour
Sex differences in brain and behaviour
Gene therapy and performance enhancement
The commercialisation of pre-natal enhancement
Female fecundity increase in the maternal line of gay men


and further reading

BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World