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View Full Version : Egg Donors Harvested in Universities: Females & Eugenics


James Brody
March 16th, 2006, 12:11 PM
Culture follows genetic batons. And several writers make the point that eugenics continues, practiced by both sexes but most efficiently by females who, with a clever remark or roll of her eyes, can destroy a male's reproductive opportunity (Miller, 1998; 2000). The ladies start these castrations as early as second or third grade and provide follow-up care by swapping gossip whenever one of them considers a partnership. "What do you know about Fred? Should I go out with him?" The biases follow familiar trails and there is no whisper given on the topic of lottery-based, affirmative-action breeding opportunities for us reproductive losers. (Listen to the screams in the background as I write this!)

Meanwhile, technology provides new ways to bottle old wines; in this case, males with resources shop for the best eggs. The new technology not only allows a wealthy man to have several wives but also to harvest their bellies without listening to complaints and blackmail demands for baubles. And more than a few barren females also shop for eggs in order both to cement their claims on a male and to get back into female-female contests. The shrew who wants the shiniest SUV would also demand access to only the best eggs wherever she can get them.

Several radio stations today carried a blurb on the marketing arrangements in American colleges and USA Today has a feature story: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2006-03-15-egg-donors-usat_x.htm.
The criteria are said to be fairly inclusive but so are sliding fees. In addition, research centers also need eggs and compete in the market, driving prices up and perhaps contributing to a bifurcation: the most socially desirable pulling the larger dollars. Those more pressed for immediate cash, deal with the ova probers.

There are some qualms about taking advantage of needy women but males have always done that and, if Darwin's entire ledger were audited, the needy sometimes make out like bandits! (Just as I give no credence to information passed on a southern accent, I equally doubt signals from a woman intended to elicit help. I think the birders conclude that a message always benefits the sender more than the receiver.) There is also precedent according to Sarah Blaffer-Hrdy (I do wish Franz de Waal would loan her a vowel!): women in the middle ages gave their own children to orphanages where 95% of the babies died but traveled a few miles up the road for a few dollars in return for nursing the brat from a wealthier but milk-scarce woman.

Back to the future! There are sites that give physical descriptions and sound tracks of the hen's clucking about her ballet-trained mother and, Galton style, her several generations of social and academic excellence. Fees vary from $6000 to $35,000. One site advertises: "Every donor is screened by a board certified geneticist and donor egg patients have the opportunity to meet with one of our certified genetics counselors. The counselor will review the patient's family history, the biological father's family history and the donor's history and answer any questions the patient may have about heredity."

Also: "These tests look for any genetic disorders the donor could pass on to offspring, such as sickle cell anemia, alcoholism or personality disorders. If they pass these tests, potential donors are then checked by ultrasound for any problems with egg production."

Racist? Hell yes. Profitable? Hell yes. And are the little honeys bitching? Not so far...

See also:
Http://www.genetics-and-society.org/newsdisp.asp?id=963
Http://www.donoregg1.com/

References:
Buss, D. (1998) The psychology of human mate selection: Exploring the complexity of the strategic repertoire. In Crawford C & Krebs D (Eds.) Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 405-430.
Buss, D. (1994; 2003) The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating. New York: Basic Books.
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (1999) Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection. NY: Pantheon Press.
Miller, G. (1998) How mate choice shaped human nature: A review of sexual selection and human evolution. In Crawford, C. & Krebs, D. (Eds.) Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 87-130.
Miller, G. (1999) "Human Language and Intelligence as Sexually Selected Fitness Indicators" Given at the Hunter School of Social Work, 4/14/99.
Miller, G. (2000) The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature. NY: Doubleday.

James Brody, copyright 2006, all rights reserved.