Assume that in twenty years we come to understand the genetics of homosexuality well and devise a way for parents to sharply reduce the likelihood that they will give birth to a gay child. This does not have to presuppose the existent of genetic engineering; it could simply be a pill that provided sufficient levels of testosterone in utero to masculinze the brain of the developing fetus. Suppose the treatment is cheap, effective, produces no side effects, and can be prescribed in the privacy of the obstetrician's office. Assume further that social norms have become totally accepting of homosexuality. How many expecting mothers would opt to take this pill?
My suspicion is that very many would, including people who today would become quite indignant at what they perceive to be antigay discrimination. They may perceive gayness to be something akin to baldness or shortness - not morally blameworthy, but nonetheless a less than a less-than-optimal condition that, all things being equal, one would rather have one's children avoid. (The desire of most people for descendants is one guarantee of this.) How then might this affect the status of gays, particularly those in the generation from which gayness was eliminated? Wouldn't this form of private eugenics make them more distinctive, and greater targets for discrimination, than they were before? More important, is it obvious that the human race would be improved if gayness were eliminated from it? And if it is not obvious, should we be indifferent to the fact that these eugenic choices are being made, so long as they are made by parents rather than by coercive states?What do you think of this possible future Fukuyama describes without many gay people? Without much of a gay culture? Or even without any gay culture at all? Is there anything wrong with the "expecting mothers" preference to have children that are not short, bald, or gay? EXPLAIN!
This blog will come due on Friday morning April 15th, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.
"They may perceive gayness to be something akin to baldness or shortness - not morally blameworthy, but nonetheless a less than a less-than-optimal condition that, all things being equal, one would rather have one's children avoid."