Sex Will Become Obsolete As A Means of Procreation In The Coming Decades
Sex, for the people living in already developed countries, could become a thing of the past when it will come to procreation, or at least this is what a leading academic thinks. According to Professor Henry Greely, people in these areas will have their children conceived in a laboratory in as little as 20 years, instead of leaving it up to chance. For those of us who’ve seen the 1997 movie Gattaca, know where this is going.
Professor Greely even goes as far as saying that the natural form of procreation will become something to be stigmatised. Prof Greely, Director at the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University, has written all about it in his book entitled The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction.
“In 20 to 40 years, when a couple wants a baby, he’ll provide sperm and she’ll provide a punch of skin,” Prof Greely said.
According to him, the skin sample will be used to make stem cells which in turn will be used to create eggs. These eggs will them be fertilised with the sperm cells and resulting in a multitude of embryos. These embryos, in turn, will be studied for all signs of maladies
“The prospective parents will be told, ‘These five have really serious diseases, you don’t want them’.
“Of the other 95, they will be given the pluses and minuses,” he said.
After choosing one, the embryo will be implanted into the woman, and which will then become a child.
“Parents will get the embryos grouped by categories,” Prof Greely said.
“One category will be very severe, untreatable, nasty diseases. This will affect one to two per cent of embryos.
“Another category will be other diseases.
“The third is cosmetics: hair, eyes, shape, whether the hair goes white early. We don’t know much about this yet, but we will.
“A fourth category is behavioural. I think here information will be limited. We won’t be able to say, ‘This child is in the top one per cent of intelligence’. We probably will be able to say, ‘This child has a 60 per cent chance of being in the top half’.”
This way, many hereditary diseases could be eliminated within a single generation and thus, the entire procedure will be extremely cost effective. The professor says that when this will become the norm, women who will decide to conceive a baby naturally via sex would be considered by the rest of society as highly irresponsible.
“Particularly in countries where you pay for healthcare socially, if children are born after this is a possibility there may well be a stigma to doing so naturally,” he sais.
“People will say, ‘You go ahead and have a child with Tay-Sachs disease then, we’re picking up the bill’.”
This new method of birth could also an opportunity for same-sex couples to have their own genetic children.
“What if a woman decided to make eggs from herself and sperm from herself, and then transfer them to her own uterus?” Prof Greely said.
“I don’t think many people would do that, but it’s a big world.”