In the normal human course, we would have sexual intercourse with the ones we love so that we can procreate. That is not only biblical in nature, but it is also something that is true and apparent in the real world.
As years go by, advances in science and technology would help us create offspring without the need for sex. That will be thanks to the advances in stem cells, genomics, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD.
In the book titled: The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction, legal expert Henry Greely explores the legal, ethical, and scientific consequences of a world where sexual intercourse is no longer needed to create a child.
The book was created to state that sex is already obsolete given the recent advancements in sciences that I’ve mentioned earlier. He added that having sex just about anywhere- whether you do it on grass or on a comfortable bed- it will no longer be needed as you can create your children and conceive them inside clinics.
Greely thinks about a future where we do not have to rely on in vitro fertilization. Instead, we turn our attention towards fertility experts that are able to create either a male or a female (your choice) using gametes that are placed in vitro. That will, theoretically, be possible with the use of induced pluripotent stem cells that are taken from a skin biopsy. Doing this procedure is also quite inexpensive as opposed to the usual in vitro fertilization methods.
The embryos that are created will then be screened using genomic services that will be much cheaper than what is available today. This, in turn, will also be informative for prospective parents and they will have the opportunity to choose their progeny based on characteristics such as sex, disease risk, athletic potential, hair color, and even cognitive abilities. Greely coins this as the Easy PGD.
He added that this technology would help even our brothers and sisters from the LGBT community to have their own children as well. This is done via the production of cross-sex gametes (or the method of creating sperm cells from egg and egg cells from the sperm).
Even though this may sound outrageous, but Greely also envisions a possibility of becoming a “uniparent” or a person who is able to supply all of the genetic materials needed to create their own children.
Although Greely is positive that this technology would come to existence in the next 20 to 40 years, he does expect that this new notion will be met with some resistance, especially from people who, as he would put it, cling to old beliefs when it comes to reproduction.
He ends his book with a challenge. He wants us to rethink about procreation as we know it today and think about melding all of the sexes together.
Could lesbian and gay couples have their own children without having to find donors to create zygotes? Would the procedure be safe and ethical? Are we guaranteed 100% success at all times? These are just some of the questions and possible challenges to Greely’s theory about reproduction in the future.