Salvo 11.27.2023 6 minutes

Natural Eugenics

Crowd of faces on discs, a woman being lifted out

Having designer babies the old-fashioned way.

Years ago, a lesbian couple I knew asked me if I wanted more kids. At the time, we just had two toddler boys. The lesbians had four children, all from the same sperm donor.

“Well, of course, I want a daughter,” I answered.

They asked, “Are you going to spin? We spun to get our girls. You should spin.” 

I had no idea what they were talking about. They explained that they chose the gender of their babies by having the sperm “spun” in a centrifuge. Because XX sperm is denser than XY, theoretically the process can separate the male sperm from the female sperm.

“Oh, haha, I guess we’ll just take our chances,” I answered awkwardly. No matter how much I wanted a girl, I felt, and still do, there is something slightly sacrosanct about how your baby’s whole self, soul and gender included, is selected for you, by nature and by God. 

That was my first encounter with eugenics in the wild. But in truth, I was already practicing a “natural” form of eugenics—in the form of the Shettles Method. When we started “trying” for our third (I truly love that wholesome euphemism for the reproductive act), I did indeed try to tip the scales toward a girl—naturally. 

Dr. Landrum Shettles wrote the classic book How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, and it was a bestseller as soon as it was published in the sixties. He hypothesized that male sperm are faster than female sperm but more delicate and can’t survive as long in the acidic environs of the womb. If you want a boy, according to Dr. Shettles, you must time your “try” as close as possible to the moment of ovulation so the boy sperm gets there first. If you want a girl, you “try” three days before ovulation and abstain totally the day of and after ovulation, so that by the time the egg appears, all the male sperm have died off and the hardier female sperm are the sole survivors.

My Shettles attempt worked. I had a daughter 19 months after my second boy was born. 

That’s as close to eugenics as I’ve gotten. This week I’ll be at the first-ever Natalism Conference, a gathering of people who believe, like me and prolific father Elon Musk, that we need to increase the birth rate around here. I’m looking forward to it, especially because I wrote a whole book to convince young women to disavow their youthful foolishness and dive into their fertility. Coming soon in paperback!

Liberals Are the Real Eugenicists

Was trying to tip the scales toward a girl a form of eugenics? Eugenics as a term is commonly associated with bad things like the Nazis and racists, but it’s an ancient concept. Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population. Historically, eugenicists have attempted to alter human gene pools by excluding people and groups judged to be inferior or promoting those judged to be superior. In recent years, the term has seen a revival in bioethical discussions on the usage of new technologies such as CRISPR and genetic screening, with heated debate around whether these technologies should be considered eugenics or not. The concept predates the term; Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans around 400 BCE. Early advocates of eugenics in the 19th century regarded it as a way of improving groups of people. In contemporary usage, the term eugenics is closely associated with scientific racism. Modern bioethicists who advocate new eugenics characterize it as a way of enhancing individual traits, regardless of group membership.

Liberals love to accuse people on the Right of being Nazis, especially if you are a member of a trad community full of large Christian families, who tend to be white and middle-class. Breeding While White will soon be a felony in blue states. But meanwhile, these same outraged liberals love eugenics. Controlling exactly who gets to breed and how often is literally the central plank of Progressive ideology! 

Progressives vocally support eugenics. They march to protect their right to practice eugenics. Every time a baby with Down Syndrome or another genetic problem is aborted, that is eugenics. When pro-choice activists encourage young women, especially poor women of color, to get long-term birth control implants, that is eugenics. Planned Parenthood is essentially a pure eugenics center—it’s practically in the name! When you’re pro-choice, you’re by definition pro-eugenics. You’ve taken God’s will out of the equation and are in full control of who is allowed to be born.

I say all this as a convert to Catholicism who made it out of feminism just in time to have five children. I didn’t use any reproductive technology. No twins. No IVF. No leftover embryos to toss in the incinerator. Just a man and a woman and all that that entails.

To those haters who accuse me of telling women that motherhood is their only route to happiness, I say, au contraire mon frère! Not everyone needs to reproduce! When you observe (from a safe distance) an angry herd of militantly child-free feminists stomping in the local Slut Walk or abortion rally, you may agree with me that er, yes, those women are correct in choosing not to inflict themselves on an innocent child.

Is self-sterilization a form of eugenics? As I like to say, never interrupt your child-free enemies when they are making a mistake!

But those sane adults willing to embrace the domestically extreme life and the sacrificial love required of good parents—why yes, people like that should be encouraged to have more than two children. Maybe several more than two. Let ‘er rip!

Is it eugenics to encourage stable, monogamous breeding pairs to have larger families if they can? Or is that just brilliant public policy that has the potential to rescue our civilization from its decline over a couple generations?

The Friendzone Is Natural Eugenics

Anyway, we all practice natural eugenics in some form. This starts with mate selection. Every time you friendzone your simps, you are practicing eugenics. When you rizz up a cute babe, you are practicing eugenics. There is no escape from eugenics. It’s nature’s way of producing crops of the best-possible new individuals from the mating pool. 

It gets worse. Anyone who has ever practiced mate selection also practices selective breeding. If you choose your boyfriend or husband instead of throwing a dart at a list of names, you are practicing eugenics. Most people attempt to form long-term relationships with the best possible mate they can attract. It’s still true that in nature, females prefer mates that can provide strength, protection, and resources, while males seek youth, beauty, and an instinct toward nurturing. This is still true of humans, despite years of corrosive feminist conditioning. Take a look around you and you will see the results of those who made unwise choices! 

There are some prominent pro-natalists who take this a step further. They are in favor of relying on enhanced “genetic selection” using novel reproductive technologies. These may include things like using IVF and embryo selection to attempt to pick the “best” or healthiest baby. Some new technologies may offer parents the ability to select specific traits for their baby, like Heisman Trophy winner, Ivy League valedictorian, supermodel, neurosurgeon. Imagine having that asterisk after your name on all your awards and achievements. 

Do I want all my children to grow up into rizz-worthy adults? Guilty! I chose not to marry a hideous retard, my bad. But that’s where my eugenics ended. After that, it was up to God and fate and whatever alchemical magic breathes life into a new human. 

Anyway, the designer baby industry can never be scaled up enough to make a dent in the birth rate. Too few people will be able to afford it, and the types of couples who will want to spend thousands on ensuring that their children are Perfect™ aren’t also the type willing to have a lot of kids. Will billionaires employ stables of poor surrogate mothers in their Sun Valley ranches breeding genetically enhanced armies of New York 10s and Effective Altruists for their tech empires?

Shudder. My fellow pro-natalists and I share the same goal—to prevent Western civilization from committing suicide—but I may be the only one standing athwart the CRISPR machine yelling “STOP!” 

Now go forth and “try” to multiply, if you can—the old-fashioned way. Take advantage of cheap, natural eugenics while it’s still legal!

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

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