Mark Antony Rossi's Machine Therapy No.3


Sex and the Science of Disrespect


The scientific techniques of the 21st century are certain to change the traditional views and practices of sexuality and reproduction forever. But questions beg to be asked: Are the developments rooted in such techniques positive steps in our global society? Has science and technology been given the adequate ethical and moral oversight necessary to insure a reasonable measure of public safety? At present the answer is a depressing negative.

Pharmaceutical companies enslaved to stockholders can barely hold back a drug for proper testing before it kills dozens or hundreds. Rezulin a drug for diabetes caused severe liver damage and death to a nearly a hundred before the FDA took action pulling it from the stocks of pharmacies. In the United States there has yet to be a law written permanently banning experimentation into cloning humans. India recently wrote a law banning the popular practice of soliciting the poor to sell their kidneys to sick wealthy foreigners. Too bad the legislation is a public relations exercise, a toothless unenforced law while the government looks the other way at a flourishing underground kidney trade.

What people decide upon today directly effects the ebb and flow of tomorrow. Thus far, governments and corporations have decided to influence the powers that be to ignore unproven, unexamined research and products in the interests of mega-profits. These entities do not operate on the principles of preventative maintenance but rather on crisis

In the next twenty years sexual variations like S&M, B&D, toy fetishes, etc. will be passé--quaint practices of a distant time. Yesterday’s sexual variations are tomorrow’s old fashions, for these will pale in comparison to the procedures and practices technology thrusts upon the world-at-large. And the new realities are bound

to open ethical and moral choices like no other ever made in the history of humankind.

When I mention ethics and moral in this paper I am not referring to the shallow religious judgmental kind still plaguing our planet. Whether or not a person decides to use a sex toy is a matter of taste; not world opinion. Nations do not perish because some of their people use vibrators. The type of ethics and morals I am referring to are Earth shattering and soul-wrecking to a portion of those directly involved and to sum of society when the price is eventually paid:


>Artificial Wombs---the baby-producing factories of the novel Brave New World are being experimented on right now in Japan. The procedure involves a fertilized egg or cloned egg placed in an incubator-like artificial womb. The fetus is then fed through the umbilical cord of the child. Japanese scientists believe these "exo-chambers" as they are called can be used to help infertile couples or even populate a space colony one day. As usual good-intentions overwhelm our common sense. What of the other possible applications?: The harvesting of organs from offspring conceived for profit. The death of maternal instinct top psychologists believe is formed while mothers carry their infants to term. The "master race" concepts secretly conducted through "correct" donors and offspring. The imbalance of natural human selection by purposely gender-selecting offspring. Heard anyone discuss these dilemmas lately. You will.

>Male Pregnancy---the ability to impregnate men is a technique already available in< Sweden. A fertilized egg is attached to the stomach wall. Tests in animals predict an 80% death rate due to massive internal bleeding. Time is the only obstacle to perfect the procedure. Scientists believe it can be marketed to transsexuals. A few have recently volunteered, but were turned down. Should transsexuals have to risk their lives to have children due to the prejudice of adoption agencies? If society were more tolerant about transgender issues these scientific extremes would not have to be explored. what of the legal ramifications? Who donates? What effect does single parenting have on the offspring? What if a partnership dissolves? Who has custody? If donation anonymous, how does that child research his/her medical history? This issue is fast approaching and nobody has a clue.

  >The Homosexual Gene---American and Canadian scientists are hard at work gathering an increasing amount of solid evidence lending support to the theory that homosexuality is gene-related, i.e., one is born gay. Yet this eventual discovery will not be welcome news for the homosexual community of the future. We know from the daily news that political tides shift instantly as new facts or figures surface on a wide slate of issues.. The fact of homosexuality is not immune to these tide shifts. The gay community instead of being overjoyed about positive evidence that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice but rather a circumstance of biology will be caught in a firestorm of major ethical and political decision-making. Once the "gay gene" is discovered, it can be discovered again and again, allowing doctors to develop a test and offer to abort fetuses of couples unwilling to bring a gay infant in the world. Political agendas and alliances will shift overnight. Will conservative pro-lifer parents demand abortion rather than bring gay infants into their families. Will gay groups seek alliances with pro-life groups to halt abortions of this nature? Will more radical gay groups seek to stop abortion completely, believing their survival as a distinct class of people is at stake?. The science used to justify a group’s right to exist may very well threaten its existence like nothing before. Ultimately the battle between Left and Right on this issue will blur into an ugly grey. And the outcome is going to be decided by those in the mushy middle. We’re told "the truth is usually in the middle." But what happens when truth is fear?

>Polite Selective Breeding---in the United States the welfare and poverty debate has consistently been corrupted by the prejudices and wild assumptions of everyone from lawmakers to the hot dog vendor down the block. Everyone has an opinion or solution until they unfortunately fall victim to unemployment and poverty. Currently an underreported program has been taking place that forces African-American and Native American women to be treated with Depo-Provera, an injectable birth control medication that can last up to five years. What has not been considered by the government program is the safety of the drug. These women continue to report serious side effects ranging from mood swings to kidney damage. Nor has it been answered why only poor women of colour are forced by threat of withholding public assistance to "volunteer" for this procedure. Especially in light of the fact that most people on public assistance are white. Could there be, as some activists suggest, a "racial-reduction" program going on? Is this just another bone-headed program to save future tax dollars at the expense of poor, uneducated women? What of the safety concerns? Are there major lawsuits hovering on the horizon? Is someone in government in bed with the manufacturer of this drug? What if the government decides to expand the types of groups forced into this sterilization? What monies are being saved when Depo-Provera is an expensive drug having to be administered by a doctor? As usual few care until it happens to them, and then you might see some women rights groups make a big fuss. Until then, they’ll just keep picking on pornography. It makes bigger news. But not for long.