Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 423–437

Parental Selection of Children's Sexual Orientation

  • Aaron S. Greenberg
  • J. Michael Bailey

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010265416676

Cite this article as:
Greenberg, A.S. & Bailey, J.M. Arch Sex Behav (2001) 30: 423. doi:10.1023/A:1010265416676


As we learn more about the causes of sexual orientation, the likelihood increases that parents will one day be able to select the orientation of their children. This possibility (at least that of selecting for heterosexuality) has generated a great deal of concern among supporters of homosexual rights, with such selection being widely condemned as harmful and morally repugnant. Notwithstanding this widespread condemnation, and even assuming, as we do, that homosexuality is entirely acceptable morally, allowing parents, by means morally unproblematic in themselves, to select for heterosexuality would be morally acceptable. This is because allowing parents to select their children's sexual orientation would further parent's freedom to raise the sort of children they wish to raise and because selection for heterosexuality may benefit parents and children and is unlikely to cause significant harm.

homosexualitysexual orientationgeneticsabortioneugenicsgenetic selection

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron S. Greenberg
    • 1
  • J. Michael Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanston