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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Well, I can see I'm no longer needed...

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Author Topic: Well, I can see I'm no longer needed...
Dzuunmod
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...because it appears that scientists are fast on the way to a world where sperm is no longer necessary.

The research is still only at the mice stage, but nonetheless, it's a bit scary to me that my gender may no longer be needed to reproduce. The research, being conducted in Australia, shows that it may be possible to fertilize eggs with cells from any part of the body (still with the mice, here), thus eleminating the need for us males, here.

I should be happy, perhaps, for all the good that this could do (lesbian parents with babies from themselves, infertile men becoming fathers...) but still, I do regard this as a bit of a threat, at least initially. Maybe after giving it some time to settle, I'll be a little more comfortable with it.

For the moment though, it reminds me of an Onion article where humanity reacts with horror to the news that dolphins have evolved opposable digits.

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"...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen"
-Braid


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Lynne
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Even aside from the inherent coolness of this (I always think it's nifty when things that were previously only the province of sci-fi turn into reality), I view this as a good thing. Yes, I would prefer it if infertile couples would adopt, but if they're dead-set on having their own children, this would definitely help them. And really, I don't think that males have anything to worry about. Like all fertility treatments, this would require the people wanting the child to invest time and money. Conceiving a child naturally costs none of that, and thus people who can naturally have children are going to take that approach first. Even if that fails, some people just wouldn't be able to afford this hypothetical fertility treatment. Saying that this technology would make males obsolete is a bit like saying that current fertility treatments make sex obsolete. Current fertility treatments haven't replaced sex -- they're merely an alternative to it for when natural conception doesn't occur. Similarly, if this new technology came about, it wouldn't replace males, but rather be an alternative to them.

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To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
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Pixie69
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I read an article about that just today! Although they were pointing out that now men weren't needed to father children they'd have to get better at *ahem* other things.

But anyway, I think it's really cool, but I don't think that it'll threaten men in any way. Too many people don't want to put in the time and/or money. I think about myself...if I had a chick life-partner, and we wanted kids, I would have to make an arrangement to have sex with a male friend who had good genes or she would, because artificial insemination is just too costly.

See Dzuum, I still need ya

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Brittany
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Beppie
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With overpopulation as it is, do we really need another way to reproduce?
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SlowCookie
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Dz, when I first read the subject line, I was like, "Omigosh, why's he leaving? He always posts the niftiest topics (not just kissing up ) and why the hell didn't he say anything about this is AA?" I am much relaxed now.

As for the topic, not cool. This is where I say it's great that science is advancing but I don't like hearing things like this. I just don't, don't know why.


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Confused boy
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Why all this talk of money in connection with this treatement? Presumably it will be very expensive due to the work involved in fertilisation. Shouldn't this treatment be available to all would-be-parents who are capable of looking after chidren. Or will this technique be the preserve of the rich?

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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alaska
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quote:
Originally posted by Confused boy:
Why all this talk of money in connection with this treatement? Presumably it will be very expensive due to the work involved in fertilisation. Shouldn't this treatment be available to all would-be-parents who are capable of looking after chidren. Or will this technique be the preserve of the rich?



Confused, please be aware that at the moment, almost all fertility treatments are reserved to rich(er) people. It's extremely expensive, especially if you consider that many couples go through several rounds of treatments before (if at all) it is successful.

I personally do not think (and that's really just my personal view), that fertility treatments of this kind (aka: genetic engineering combined with IVF) should be widely or freely available. I just do not think that the reproduction of two specific people can be of such importance that the state (or a health insurance) needs to cover it. There is no "right to your own biological child". I think coverage of fertility drugs is a different thing, but experimental techniques that cost tens of thousands of dollars? Nope. Far ore important to cover births and genetic diseases and whatever else.

If those two people think they need a child with their genes, let them pay for it. Otherwise, they should adopt, I think. (and Adoption laws should make it easier to adopt, too).

The interesting bit of this new research is that a lesbian couple could mother a child that has genes from both partners, and that suer is exciting. But in general, I prefer the old fashioned way of reproduction and just a weird feeling with all these new techniques such as PID etc.

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Caro
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"Through repetition the magic will be forced to rise."
Alchemical Precept

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 07-24-2001).]


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alaska
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FYI Confused, a London clinic charges 3.900 pounds for a three course package. And that's really a basic cost.

Can you now imagine what the cost for this super-high-tech thing would be like?


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Etch
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My mom and step dad are trying artificial insemination (sp?) and it is costing them waaay too much money in my opinion. The only good thing that is comming from them attempting this was in the battery of tests they went through they discovered my step dad has hepetitis c which he got when he was 17 and he is having liver problems because of it and now they can treat him for it. Other then that, i see little point in them trying to go through with this. What makes me not angry about it is that they are also looking into adopting a special needs child. We dont have the capabilities to look after a seriously ill child, but we can currently handle minor problems.

I dont like this idea because if you REALLY want kids there are plenty of them out there. Why be so selfish that the kid has to have YOUR genes. I mean, i look in these magazines my parents have of children who have been waiting to be adopted for 10 years and things like that. Why not give a child who is already here a chance to have a full life with a family who loves them? Artificial coneption just seems wrong to me. We always tlak about being happy with yourself, and who you are. So why isnt being infertile or being unable to have natural children and different then accepting that you will never have the body of Pamela Anderson (not like i want to) or an 9 inch penis? If you are a gay or lesbian couple then you knew going into it that you could not have children without adoption or a surroget (sp?) parent.

Ok, well there i go again talking too much, so im gonna go!


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Dzuunmod
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Aw, heck, thanks so much for the kind words, SlowCookie.

As for the money issue, I'm not really worried about this'll affect humanity in the short-term, it's more of a long-, very long-term issue for me.

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"...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen"
-Braid


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Clav
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I read something *kinda* similar to this last October. It was about how scientists (i forget in which country) were experimenting so that two sperm could create a baby. Basically, you take an egg, take out the nucleus, and place the nucleus from a sperm into the egg. And then can have another sperm to actually fertilise the egg. Apparently everything needed to start cells splitting is kept in the egg, not the nucleus. Still need a women for the womb though... Don't know about whether ethics would allow it in the UK, or how much it would cost.

Incidentally, I brought up wehter this was possible in GCSE biology (wow, that must be about four years ago) when we were doing cloning. And my biology teacher just dismissed it out of hand. So I'm smarter than him (hehe)


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John Doe
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Dzuunmond,
Don't you realize that you and I are already unnessisacry. if a woman wants to have a child, no real life man is needed, just a quick trip to the sperm bank. All our other functions can be taken care of by a good sized portfolio. Single mom, just another lifestyle choice. At least with the trip to the sperm bank, the sperm bank does not have to pay child support. She makes the choice but also has to live with the consequenses. of course the child also has to live with the consequenses as well and has no choice in the matter.
Of course someone has to do all the dangerous jobs in society, but maybe someday mechinzation will eliminate the need for men there too.

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Heather
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Can we please watch the tone here?

You know, save for childbearing, you may want to take some time to consider that in the same way you're seeing men as "uneccesary" women were just as much if not more so through all of history.

And as far as childbearing goes, none of us made the choice to be born women and fertile, you know. That is just how our cards were dealt. Believe me, plenty of us would be thrilled if men could bear children as well. I know I sure would.

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Heather Corinna
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My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
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Aria51
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
At least with the trip to the sperm bank, the sperm bank does not have to pay child support.


<offtopic>
Keep in mind that not all single mothers want or recieve child support. Thanks.
</offtopic>

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How can you not like muffins?!

Out of my Head.


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John Doe
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Heather,
It really isn't an accurate statement to say that women were not seen as nescisarry other than for their reproductive capibilities through history. For the vast majorty of history, the lives of people, both male and female, were in the words of Thomas Hobbes, "nasty butish and short". Both genders had roles to play, that were equally improtant for survival. For 99.9% of the population, both worked in the home, although the woman would tend to work more in the house, while the man would tend to the fields and the animals (which were located "at home"). Both sexes lived increadibly hard lives compaired to people today. Women needed to do all the cooking (from scratch, not just tossing something in the nuke), the sewing (one or two changes of clothing was all that most people could afford, no just going to Wal-Mart), and the washing (by hand down at the stream). Men worked long hours in the fields, or earlier would go out on very dangerous hunts to get food for the family. They would construct the dwellings (with just hand tools) including the felling of the trees and the cutting of the timber. This was very dangerous work. Men would also protect the family. As for issues like womens sufferage, well up until the 18th century there was no such thing as male sufferage either, and then only in the US and the UK (and France for a very brief time durring the revolution but before Napolean). Yes we do tend to read more about men in history books, as their were more kings in power than queens, and wars are important to the understanding of history, and men were the ones who died in them. But you have to remember than the men who are read about are only a minisucle percentage of the men who lived at a given time. However, if you want to understand the history of Russia, you have to study Peter the Great, not the life of a serf 120 miles SE of Moscow, or that of his wife. Equally you must learn about Catherine the Great, not because she was a woman, but because she was the ruler of one of the great European powers of the time.

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Heather
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John, that was exactly my point.

I was asking that before you went on about men being unnecessary, you took a lot at women's roles as well and realized it'd be really tough to say one gender has been or is any more valued or unnecessary than another.

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Heather Corinna
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My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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John Doe
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But now it is possible to have a society where men are considered superfulious, historically it would have been impossible to have a society where you only needed one gender.
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justagirl04
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Well personally, I still want a husband or boyfriend for that sorta thing! I love men, lol.

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So let's go there
Let's make our escape
Come on, let's go there
Let's ask can we stay?

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
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~*SHaNNa*~


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Shenzie2007
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quote:
Originally posted by Etch:
If you are a gay or lesbian couple then you knew going into it that you could not have children without adoption or a surroget (sp?) parent.

Um, Etch, what do you mean exactly? As I interpret it, you seem to be treating it as a choice to be straight or not.
Personally, I like the idea of two men or two women being able to have biological children. Same goes for anyone else who cannot otherwise bear children.
As for state-funded or not, I don't really feel one way or the other about it. All I know is that it probably won't happen. *shrugs*


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CutiePie4eva
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that is kinda freaky...

i remember once i heard someone say... one day the world will be all women... they will find a way to do everything by themselves...

but i kinda just thought they meant there is sooooooooo much sperm saved up in those sperm banks... it would last for centuries lol.

but... not needing men in the world... would that mean they they would die out?... you do know that women are more than like 1/2 the population and stuff...

maybe homosexuality will be a must after several years...

go figure...


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