Genetic engineering is increasingly used in modern development. Numerous genetically modified products are presently utilized by humans, and research is constantly done on methods of modifying the genetic characteristics of organisms to optimally suit the lifestyle of humans. However, GE is a contentious and complex issue. It creates concerns regarding the risks and benefits to human health and the environment and the ethical stand on whether it is the right thing to do. Genetic engineering is at times denoted as biotechnology and it is assumed that humans have been practicing biotechnology over 10,000 years ago, where a section of farmers began domesticating the wild species by selectively breeding the wild animals.
Genetic engineering is increasingly used in modern development. Numerous genetically modified products are presently utilized by humans, and research is constantly done on methods of modifying the genetic characteristics of organisms to optimally suit the lifestyle of humans. Genetic engineering is expected to start modifying gender of humans by directly controlling the embryo’s sex. As such, questions are raised whether modifying the genetic structure of an organism exclusively for anthropocentric reasons is ethical. Essentially, genetic engineering denotes the capacity to control an organism’s genes to generate a specific protein or acquire organisms with specific characteristics (Arnold, 2015). The main accomplishment of GE was producing insulin using the bacteria that have been genetically modified. It established the economic, medical, and the industrial probabilities of the technology. However, GE is a contentious and complex issue. It creates concerns regarding the risks and benefits to human health and the environment and the ethical stand on whether it is the right thing to do. Genetic engineering permits scientists to alter the process of natural evolution by totally changing the organism.
Genetic engineering is at times denoted as biotechnology and it is assumed that humans have been practicing biotechnology over 10,000 years ago, where a section of farmers began domesticating the wild species by selectively breeding the wild animals. The initial individual to deal with DNA was Paul Berg, who was an American biochemist usually denoted as the “the creator of GE.” In 1973, Paul Berg generated a technique for combining the DNA of two diverse organisms. The two organisms were a lambda phage virus and an SV40 monkey virus (Arnold, 2015). Historically, the selection of gender was being practiced in numerous ways. For instance, the Greeks believed that wrapping up the left testicle could result in the birth of a male since the determining sperms of the male were gotten from the right testicle. Conversely, the tradition of the Jews had the perception that when the women rejected their sperms before the men, then the gender would be male. Numerous additional approaches centered on the position and time of the intercourse has been suggested.
Presently, there have been no cases of the successful use of genetic engineering for gender selection. However, due to the increased developments in genetic engineering and the human genome project, it appears that the probability is high. Genetic engineering entails placing the required “new” genetic factor into a small organism similar to a virus. The organism is then permitted to infiltrate the target cell and add new genes to the cell together with the previous genes. Genetic engineering is of two types: germline and somatic. The germline engineering involves targeting the genetic factor in sperm, eggs, or the just developed embryo. On the other hand, the somatic engineering involves targeting the genes in particular body tissues and organs of one individual without influencing the genetic factors in their sperms or eggs. A method of utilizing genetic engineering for the selection of gender involves putting the “gendered” genetic factors of the required gender in an organism similar to a virus and utilizing germline engineering as a method of modifying the embryo’s gender.
There is a strong debate concerning if it is principled to utilize genetic engineering methods with the objective of choosing the gender of a baby. The opponents have contended that gender selection is just like “playing God” as it interferes with reproduction’s natural process. In addition, the opponents believe that it is harmful to the babies since it makes them the results of one’s desires. In addition, it is regarded as harmful to the women since it in several nations, people favor having males compared to females. As a result, gender selection could result in less birth of women (Arnold, 2015). As a reaction to the claims, the proponents of gender selection argue that it could be utilized for good reasons like preventing the transmission of the genetic illnesses and the balancing of the family. In addition, they propose that a sex ratio that is unbalanced could intensify the influences of the scarcer gender and minimize the growth of population.
The proponents cite the importance of genetic engineering in gender selection as one that will improve the comprehension of numerous practical and theoretical features of gene operations. in the process of gender selection, the proponents of GE have cited various benefits, such as the recombinant DNA methods used in the process might assist in synthesizing human growth hormone and additional medically useful elements.
The debate regarding GE revolves around its safety when it comes to modifying one’s gender. One of the reasons put forward is that in the case that the embryo is considered as a person; then the approach used for gender selection would be interfering with the autonomy of the individual without consent. The argument here revolves around the fact that: the inference of the individual possessing the right to independence is that in the event that one desires to perform something that might affect the subject’s hunt for an optimal life, then consent is crucial. There are situations where the consent is not required for instance, in situations where the procedure is beneficial to the person.
Essentially, modifying the gender of the child using genetic engineering is similar to performing operations of sex change. Normally, to perform the operation expected to alter the identity of an individual, the consent of the individual is needed. The opponents of gender selection using GE assert that since the embryo is a person, changing their identity without consent is unethical. Certainly, doctors would not be allowed to perform a gender transformation without consent from the person.
The precautionary principle asserts that no procedure must be done until the process proves that there will be no detrimental effects (Arnold, 2015). The principle is implemented to numerous diverse situations, particularly in genetic engineering. Based on the principle, when scientists genetically modify organisms, they are presenting permanent changes to the person or the natural environment. The changes have the ability to cause severe and long-term consequences that alter the natural processes of birth. Furthermore, the modifications can affect the reproductive process as more people will opt for designer babies. Nonetheless, most of the impacts are not known, and numerous firms and scholars are moving too fast to completely recognize the effects of their actions.
GE is a contentious and complex issue. While its advantages are far-reaching, the effects are not clearly identified. Regarding the use of GE in gender selection, the opponents argue based on its safety while the proponents argue based on its benefits. However, I believe that using GE for gender selection can have negative effects on the baby and the reproductive process as a whole. The process of reproduction is meant to be natural and modifying the sex of a child might be detrimental in case the process is unsuccessful. As a result, the public must be educated on the benefits and risks of GE so as to make knowledgeable choices regarding whether to utilize genetic engineering for gender selection or not.