Reproductive technologies and information technology are re-defining marriage, procreation and are affecting the value we place on both marriage and children.
The result is tension, confusion and an uncertainty about almost every social dimension of our culture.
Marriage, as an institution, is incredibly fragile and these technologies are not helping to stabilize this foundational institution.
The donor sperm industry has exploded across America, with remarkable unintended consequences.
A recently released Hollywood movie, entitled “Delivery Man,” focuses on a sperm donor who has fathered over 500 children.
Although the movie is undeniably exaggerated, Yale Sociology professor, Rene Almeling, argues that the “truth is, no one knows.
In the US, we do not track how many sperm donors there are, how often they donate, or how many children are born from their donations.” Often, the consequences of this reality are dangerous.
For example, Tpublished one case study of a sperm donor who transmitted a genetic heart condition that affected at least 8 of 22 offspring from his donated sperm, including a toddler who died of heart failure.
What began as a small practice in our culture has exploded in a profitable industry. Today the supply of sperm is concentrated in a few large companies that maintain multiple offices around the nation, usually near college campuses.