Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS Human Genetics


Human Genetics Graduate Program


Preimplanatation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows genetic information to be tested after an egg is fertilized in vitro before implantation into the uterus. The technology was first used to select for embryos at risk for X-linked diseases, however it has been observed that prospective parents are using this technology to select for the sex of their child based on preference. This study aims to examine the views of genetic counselors towards the use of PGD for social sex selection purposes. A survey was conducted using the online website survey monkey’s platform and sent to members of the National Society of Genetic Counselors through their eblast. A majority of the respondents expressed that they were worried about the potential future of sex selection leading more offensive types of trait selection, and they feel that the use of reproductive technology to select trait is likely to become more commonplace over time. They showed discomfort in counseling patients about social sex selection regardless of the patient’s age, ethnicity, or reasons such as family balancing. Genetic counselors did not support termination of pregnancy for sex selection purposes, but felt strongly in the right of the patient to terminate a pregnancy regardless of the reason. Genetic counselors are concerned about their role in the current practice regarding social sex selection. 1.They have conflicting views that on one hand, they do not support pregnancy termination for social sex selection purposes, but on the other hand, they believe the right of the patient in terminating a pregnancy for any reason. The result of this study suggests that perhaps a formal discussion should take place to explore the role of genetic counselors in this emerging area of patient service.