modern science

Altering the Sex of the Child medically

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. It is known that there are two kinds of sex chromosomes, X and Y. A female has two X chromosomes, while a male has one X and one Y chromosome. When a sperm containing an X chromosome fertilizes an egg, the resulting offspring will be female. When a sperm containing a Y chromosome fertilizes an egg, the offspring is male.Researches have been conducted in order to discover the differences between the sperms bearing the X chromosome and those bearing the Y chromosome. It has been proved that they differ in their mass, speed, electrical effect, ability to penetrate into and cross a viscid medium, and their degree of activity according to the chemical interaction of the surrounding environment. Such differences have been used to make one of them precede the other in fertilizing the egg and thus deciding the sex of the fetus.In experiments, female animals have been artificially fertilized to produce a certain sex, male or female. This often work in animals. This has not been applied yet to humans for many reasons, the most important of which is that it is difficult to subject human beings to the conditions of the experiments performed upon animals. But it is probable that scientists will progress in that regard and allow parents to choose the sex of the child.It is currently easy to know the sex of the fetus via amniocentesis (extracting a small amount of the amniotic fluid and analyzing the fetal cells in it). Many women use amniocentesis to know the sex of their baby, and some even abort their baby if it is not the sex they want. This occurs in countries that permit abortion. I know that Islam forbids abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk. But what if the difficulties regarding controlling the sex of the fetus were overcome without abortion, which is probable? Would it be allowed to choose the sex of one’s child?In my career, I notice that many women want to limit the number of their children, but when they find that they always have girls, they increase the number of their births hoping to produce a boy. But I wonder what would happen if scientists succeeded in determining the sex of the fetus? Would parents limit the number of their children from the beginning, being able to choose the sex of the baby? Would many people seek to have boys instead of girls?I wonder also if man’s attempt to play the role of “nature” in distributing the sexes would bring about more harm than good? Jazakum Allah khayran.