"We found that 41 percent of patients surveyed would use preimplantation sex selection if it were offered to them at no cost," said Dr. Tarun Jain, assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UIC.
Two techniques currently available in the United States, sperm separation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, make sex selection possible. But the procedures are usually reserved for the prevention of sex-linked genetic disorders in children and are not widely used for non medical purposes.
Of the 561 survey respondents, 229 would want to select the sex of their future child. Among the women who would choose, 45 percent did not have any children and 48 percent had children of all the same sex.
Half of the women who wanted sex selection at no cost would still choose to select the sex of their next child if they had to bear the cost.
"One of the fears is that sex selection will drive patients toward a certain sex," said Jain." But our study did not show that. In fact, in patients who did not have children there was no greater desire for boys over girls."
The researchers also determined that women with only daughters wanted to select a male child, and women with only sons wanted to select a female child.
Women who were older, not religious, willing to pay for sex selection, had more living children, had only sons, or had a diagnosis of male infertility were more likely to want a daughter.
The study also found that 55 percent of women would choose sperm separation, 41 percent would choose preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and 4 percent would choose neither method for sex selection.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Illinois at Chicago