Sunday, March 19, 2006
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The most interesting fact I learned today
Short [sperm] donors don't exist; because most women seek out tall ones, most [sperm] banks don't accept men under 5-foot-9.Jennifer Egan, "Wanted: A Few Good Sperm" New York Times Magazine, March 19, 2006. posted by Dan on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM
From later in the article:
Last fall, she went to the Donor Sibling Registry and got a shock: the Aryan bodybuilder with the leaping sperm has fathered 21 children (and counting — he is still an active donor), including four sets of twins. These children are all 3 and under, and their families — four lesbian couples, three heterosexual couples and six single mothers — have formed their own Listserv, where photographs of the children (all blond, with a strong familial resemblance) are posted, and daily e-mail messages are exchanged about birthdays, toilet training and the like.
*shudder*posted by: Clancy on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
"She was also attracted by the idea of a donor of another race. "I believe in multiculturalism," she said. "I would probably choose somebody with a darker skin color so I don't have to slather sunblock on my kid all the time. I want it to be a healthy mix. You know how mixed dogs are always the nicest and the friendliest and the healthiest? If you get a clear race, they have all the problems. Mutts are always the friendly ones, the intelligent ones, the ones who don't bark and have a good character. I want a mutt."
Interesting.posted by: Dustin on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
I tend towards Clancy's "shudder" over Dustin's "interesting."posted by: rastajenk on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
History is indeed a naughty jester when at the dawn of the 21st century it's lesbians and single professional women in the US who are the most open supporters of eugenics.posted by: Marty H. on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
Not just eugenics, but also cruelty to children: crippling the child's development by forcing him or her to grow up without the crucial influence of a father in the house. Poor kids.posted by: thibaud on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
Also nauseating is the giddy, schoolgirlish tone of the NYT piece, with odious little analogies between child selection and buying shoes and not a single remark on the tragedy inflicted on these kids by narcissistic moms. A child who grows up without both a father and a mother is more often than not consigned to a lifetime of longing, anger, and regret.posted by: thibaud on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
Hmmm, let's hope she is aware of the issue with darker skin and all sorts of problems with the lack of vitamin D.posted by: Richard Sharpe on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
Must suck to be Tom Cruise then ...
The most important factor in height is childhood nutrition though, not genes. What discrimination!posted by: Lord on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
A child who grows up without both a father and a mother is more often than not consigned to a lifetime of longing, anger, and regret.
A) Erm, I can see that you're quite heated up by all this, but the science for that rather bold assertion is where?
B) If you've got problems with fatherless households, let's hear some bitching about men, since divorce is the most common cause of children growing up without both a mother and a father in the house. (Loads of sources for this information, but here's just one: "Father absence and child well-being", by Wendy Sigle-Rushton and Sara McLanahan, in The Future of the Family. Daniel Moynihan, T Smeeding, L Rainwater (eds)).
That is an interesting claim. Can you point to any evidence?
Meanwhile, let me parade my height and that of my children and relatives. All were born in Australia and were not nutritionally deprived during childhood, having lots of access to milk and food.
My self, 5'7. My uncles, similar height, one at 5'8. Aunts and mother, all around 5'2. All grew up on a dairy farm.
My daughters. Both had excellent nutrition during childhood, and high birth weight (8lb6 and 9lb6), both look like they will be 5'2-5'6 range. Their mother is 5'2.
My cousins. The only ones who are tall are the children of a man who was 6'2. They also all had excellent nutrition.
From where I stand, genes are more important than nutrition in Western Countries, while nutrition looks more important in some other countries, but genes make a strong showing.posted by: Richard Sharpe on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
Purely anecdotal, but looking at my own family, it looks like the genes are what set a 'maximum limit' that someone can grow to, and nutrition is probably the most important factor in if you reach it.
As our understanding of nutrition has improved, the average height in each successive generation has increased- in my family, by 3-5 inches per generation- I'm 6-6. If my kids get much bigger than I am, they're going to have trouble finding stuff that fits them- and I don't mean clothes. I mean things like cars and homes.posted by: rosignol on 03.19.06 at 11:21 AM [permalink]
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