Parental selection of children's sexual orientation

Aaron S. Greenberg, Michael Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-437
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2001


  • abortion
  • eugenics
  • genetic selection
  • genetics
  • homosexuality
  • sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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