The World's Not Ready for This: Globalizing Selective Technologies

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14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The United States has become an ideal marketplace for those seeking selective technologies that are illegal, inaccessible, or unavailable in their own countries. Specifically, technologies such as commercial egg donation, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and sex selection are prohibited or highly regulated in many nations, but remain legal and largely unregulated in the United States. Based on in-depth interviews with US fertility industry providers, including physicians and egg donor and surrogate brokers, this article analyzes how the ideologies of genetic determinism and consumer choice are embedded in the industry. These are transformed into competitive advantages that may appeal to foreign nationals unable to acquire the technologies, services, and reproductive materials to which they feel entitled. Regardless of providers' particular attitudes regarding the uses of selective technologies, their overall practice reinforces intended parents' desires to have some control over their potential children's appearance, temperament, abilities, and behavior. Despite other nations' laws and policies, ideologies supportive of the use of selective technologies do not, obviously, end at the US borders, and the globalization of communications, media, and transportation technologies enable their spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-455
Number of pages24
JournalScience Technology and Human Values
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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