E53. "Step Back" - Is our "natural" biology always the best choice?

42:48
 
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STORY SUMMARY: Beth and Bob are expecting a baby. However, in this future, womb carried babies have been almost entirely replaced by the far safer “womb farms.” Beth has already decided she wants to have a natural pregnancy and carry the baby to term herself. She is shunned by others who see it as dangerous and selfish. Their neighbor, Sandy is the daughter of a Neo-Shaker family who used science to have their daughter born neuter, that is to say, without sexual organs or gender. Sex, they argue, is no longer necessary and sinful as procreation can now be handled without sex. Sandy self-identifies as female and intends to undergo a dangerous and painful procedure to add female sexual organs to her body. Beth dies during childbirth, but her baby survives. Bob and Sandy continue their friendship, and, overtime, start to fall in love. Sandy is finally scheduled for the operation, but Bob tries to talk her out of it. He has lost too many loved ones already. Sandy insists she must be made the gender to match her mental state and does the procedure.

DISCUSSION: Interesting story in that it shows a contrast about the use of medicine. Are their biological functions that can/should be eliminated by science because they are simply the product of the meat that is our human body functions? Or, do you get a more rich experience as a human by having these purely physical functions we must do? Is carrying a baby one of these “meat” functions? On the other hand, the asexual character is using science to change her from the way she was born. Can science both be denied as being inappropriate in allowing us to feel human, and yet also required in helping us feel more human? Should Bob have done more to argue his case with his wife? After all, while she is carrying the baby, raising the child is a shared parental experience.

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