Human Exceptionalism

Making “Gay” Sheep “Straight:” The Coming Political Wars Over Genetic Engineering

This story about the fuss being raised over experiments to turn “gay” sheep “straight” is a preview of coming attractions of the bitter arguments that will be unleashed if parents gain the power to biotechnologically mold their progeny to suit their own desires or values. According to the story:“The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes. It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the ‘straightening’ procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.

“The research, at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, has caused an outcry. Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned…

“Michael Bailey, a neurology professor at Northwestern University near Chicago, said: ‘Allowing parents to select their children’s sexual orientation would further a parent’s freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise.'”

The professor’s quote is chilling because it indicates the way in which the tide is flowing. The right to have a child is mutating into the right to have the child we want. Children are to be manufactured to suit our needs more than we are to love them and fulfill their needs.

And I wonder if Navratilova will be branded as “anti science” because she worries that biotechnology could be used to eradicate homosexuality from the human condition? Probably not since such dismissive epithets are generally reserved for those seen as defending “traditional values.” However, maybe her more politically correct complaint will open the eyes of would-be new eugenicists and transhumanists to the ethical chaos threatened by hubristically presuming the right to “seize control of human evolution.”


The Latest