Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sex, Gender, and Role in the Twenty-First Century

The 1960's brought our culture the sexual liberation movement; the breaking-free from traditional roles that kept women from male dominated roles and jobs; and a realignment of cultural sexual mores. Our own time is already seeing phenomena that make sexual liberation seem as mild and average as a Sunday stroll in the park.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) has already allowed for the pregnancy of countless women who could not or would not be impregnated by traditional methods. With the alteration of normal human hormone production, science is finding that almost anyone can be impregnated: women who once were "too old," lesbian couples who receive donor sperm cells, and now . . . men.

Yes, now men, too, may experience the joys of child-bearing through an implanted ectopic pregnancy. They are given a round of female hormones and an egg fertilized with their sperm is inserted, along with a placenta, into their abdominal cavity. The baby is later delivered through cesarean section. Because this pregnancy is ectopic (outside a uterus), it is very dangerous as the placenta makes connections with other organs in order to provide nourishment from the bloodstream to the growing infant. Please see the interview with Mr. Lee Mingwei concerning his decision-making process and his ongoing pregnancy.

Another interesting breakthrough in science is the use of stem-cells. These cells have been lauded as the miracle of creation and healing among the scientific communities. Most readers will have heard of the adult vs. embryonic stem-cell debates, centering on whether or not science should be allowed to use stem-cells taken from aborted fetuses or test-tube fertilization. The real issue at stake in that debate is concerning human rights. Adults obviously have rights to what is done with their cells and who can harvest them. "test-tube" babies and aborted/unwanted fetuses might not. Scientists would be quick to harvest cells from these unprotecteds. Secondarily, some have argued that embryonic stem-cells are more versatile than adult stem cells.

Stem cells are offering humanity another shot at alternative creation/procreation. Stem-cells can be converted into many different kind of cells with the right hormonal growth signals. These include cells that pass-on genetic information (egg/sperm cells) It is now, at least theoretically, possible, using modified stem-cells, for an infertile man to father children or even a woman to impregnate her lesbian partner (via IVF techniques). Soon, we may even see women impregnating men, or even the creation of chimeras (part human, part animal hybrids).

These possibilities, along with gender reassignment and sex-change operations, may allow for a complete abandonment of traditional roles altogether. The "discriminatory" monikers of "mr." and "miss/mrs." may be a thing of the past. Soon we may be taught not to use "he" or "she," or make other distinctions between sexes, because sex will no longer be a matter of what parts a person possessed at birth, but rather whatever whim has seized them lately. Certainly our children's world will look very different from our own.

The question is not, "are these experiments ethical," but "what are our ethics based on." The latter question seeks the heart of the matter. If we believe in naturalistic evolution and methodology; that everything that exists has come about through natural means and is therefore uncontrolled by anything outside of its own natural world; we will eventually come to the conclusion that anything goes. The status-quo is our only control. Moreover, the status-quo is changeable. that which is wrong now will not be in ten, twenty, or fifty years.

If we believe in naturalistic methodology, we are humanists and look to ourselves for cultural mores. Google, Facebook, Myspace, Wikipedia, etc., are all based on this way of thinking; networking human individuals and establishing a status-quo through large amounts of individual opinions.

The Bible gives us another account of the rise of species. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds...'" If we believe the creation narrative in Genesis 1, we must admit that humanity is not the source of creation or law. Our laws are based on laws that were formed and presented by a God who is greater than we are. As we form laws and make "scientific breakthroughs," we are only pursuing the building of another Babel.

The understanding of our law being based upon God's law is important. Our only basis for ethical consideration comes from his self-revelation. This alone constrains us from an ever-evolving form of ethics. Our understanding of sex, gender, and role must be derived from Scripture. This is why Christians oppose homosexuality, the transgender lifestyle, the reversal of role centered in the women's lib movement, abortion, and embryonic stem-cell research (particularly focusing on that research that results in the creation of life for the purpose of harvest). This is why Christians must oppose male pregnancy, female fatherhood, homosexual parenting, and the creation of chimeras.

God created creatures (including man) after their kinds. Each individual is created as a kind and made a certain sex. These creations affect each being's role, the part they play within the world and their individual context.. These creations are the realm of God and not man. While I don't expect this article to change the pace of human sin, I do hope that it might grab your attention, dear reader, and cause you to examine what you base your considerations on. Do you look to yourself or your peers for your answers, or do you look to the God who created the universe? If you look to him, be sure that your ethical and moral decisions mirror that dependence.


Update: There is evidence that the site on male pregnancy, which I found through Yahoo News, is actually an art project. The topic was introduced as fact, but there is none of the normal hospital information one would expect on a hospital website. Instead, all information is on cutting-edge and ethically problematic topics. I apologize for not checking my facts well enough on that one. The other topics (concerning stem-cells and chimerism) are thoroughly vetted and factual. On the whole, my handling of the topics stands firm. Whether or not male pregnancy is possible, Humanism carries with it deplorable ethics and terrible consequences.


Timothy L. Decker said...

I only have 2 words, Wow & Amen. Keep it up, brother.

Anonymous said...

Superb! Well said.