The confusion of talking about sex-selection

12 January 2018

A model and former Miss Great Britain has defended her decision to select the sex of her next baby on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Danielle Lloyd spoke with presenter Emma Barnett about her desire to mother a girl alongside her four boys. Admitting her decision to pursue sex-selection would be seen by some as “a little bit selfish”, Lloyd expressed her “dream to have a little girl” and how she feels “a bit lonely with having four boys because it’s all football and boy stuff.” When Lloyd said  she “would like to do girly stuff” as well, Barnett challenged this by asking “But what if she’s not a girly girl? You can’t decide their personality, you can decide their gender, but she could be into football as well.” Lloyd admitted this, but said “It’s about having a little mini me as well.”

The discussion raises some interesting questions not only on sex-selection but highlights society’s inconsistent understanding of the concepts of gender and sex.

Reasons commonly given for sex-selection:

  • The technology is available
  • I’ve always wanted a boy/girl
  • Control of male/female ratio in family
  • Other people are doing it in other countries.

Reasons sex-selection is wrong

  • Sex-selection involves in vitro-fertilisation (IVF) that in this case necessitates the destruction of human embryos – conceived human beings.
  • Sex-selection whether by abortion or genetic diagnosis is illegal in the UK. While sex-selection sadly is allowed in other countries, that does not validate the practice. Sex-selection is unethical and British law is written to reflect this.
  • Sex-selection reinforces inequality in value placed on male and female. Most often, the process sees female embryos discriminated against in favour of male. This is sex-discrimination at its worst.
  • Sex-selection involving genetic diagnosis promotes and normalises the notion of designer babies. Embryos can be selected based on their ‘purer’ make-up at the expense of other embryos. Embryos that screen positively for a perceived defect or disability such as Down’s Syndrome are destroyed as they do not fit the idea of a ‘perfect baby’.
  • Sex-selection is an attempt to treat the underlying problems of dissatisfaction and discontent in a family – but playing God cannot grant happiness. Children are a gift from God and are to be appreciated and received as part of his plan and sovereign control over natural process. (Psalm 127.3-5)

Gender/sex confusion

Emma Barnett’s interview with Danielle Lloyd reinforced the fact that our society is deeply confused in its discussions of gender and sex. With transgender ideology’s role as the latest social fad, discussions of identity and how identity is established present a minefield for any conversation on sex and gender. Barnett said to Lloyd “you can’t decide their personality, you can decide their gender”.

Even in the unethical scenario of choosing whether your child is male or female, Barnett’s statement goes against trans-ideology that says our gender cannot be decided for us – we can decide our own. We are told that sex and gender are not the same. You may be born as a male, but your gender may be female or vice-versa and you have the right and ability then to change your sex if you so desire.

Christians must submit to God’s plan

This confusing differentiation lacks any foundation in scientific reality and for Christians is a scripturally – and so spiritually – untenable position. Despite the paralysing nature of the way terms are fluidly defined and used in the gender debate, Christians must strive to understand how to interact with our confused culture and be bold and gracious in speaking truth.

Whether in a parent’s sex-selection of their child via genetic diagnosis or a person’s attempt at sex-selection via transgender confusion and surgical procedures, Christians must submit to God’s model for humanity, the moral foundation prescribed in His word, and the multiple features of this life that He sovereignly chooses to give or withhold for our good and His glory.

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