REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Artificial Womb Technology

POSTED BY: BYTEMITE
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 18:28
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 11:23 AM

BYTEMITE


http://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/read/artificial-wombs-are-coming-and
-the-controversys-already-here


Bring it on. Heck yes.

Freaky meddling and social engineering issues aside, these would change how adult humans interact with each other for the better. So many other issues would also be solved by this, not even kidding. Natural doesn't always mean GOOD, folks! Our reproductive methods are actually pretty detrimental in a lot of ways.

This would mean the meat market aspect of relationships between genders would be GONE. Do you know what that would be like? Do you? Because I do and it's BEAUTIFUL.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:47 PM

BYTEMITE


I mean that having readily available artificial wombs would take some of the biological pressure off of heterosexual relationships.

I suppose the meat market might endure, but I would hope that will be the first and very quick casualty of no longer needing coupling to produce offspring.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 1:44 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
I mean that having readily available artificial wombs would take some of the biological pressure off of heterosexual relationships.

I suppose the meat market might endure, but I would hope that will be the first and very quick casualty of no longer needing coupling to produce offspring.



The male sperm starts deteriorating as he leaves his twenties. He goes from typically a dozen problems with some of his genes genetically to as may as forty or more that may be transferred to his off spring as he reaches his forties. Still the biggest problem is the toll child bearing takes on women. That’s where this is good news for women perhaps? Or does it mean the bond between mother and child that is the strongest will no longer be the case?




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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:24 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Or does it mean the bond between mother and child that is the strongest will no longer be the case?


I'm not sure why people are so concerned about having biological mothers for children. Adopted infants actually tend to do pretty okay in the attachment and psychological adjustment areas.

What's more, at least in that case they KNOW they're wanted.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:30 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Quote:

Or does it mean the bond between mother and child that is the strongest will no longer be the case?


I'm not sure why people are so concerned about having biological mothers for children. Adopted infants actually tend to do pretty okay in the attachment and psychological adjustment areas.

What's more, at least in that case they KNOW they're wanted.



I am not sure I agree with that Byte. They also know they were not wanted. It has been my experience many have been abused and act out. I will not stand by that because I have not researched it. It just comes to mind if you know what I mean? It could be a bias on my part based on bad information over the years.


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:33 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

It has been my experience many have been abused and act out.


You're thinking of foster care. There's a difference between that and adoption.

Yes, there are very real problems in foster care in this country. And adoption agencies are problematic in that they're very exclusive and discriminatory.

But the actual adoptions tend to have a fairly positive outcome. And infants can certainly survive and even thrive being raised by someone that is not their biological mother.

While I concede there can be a higher percentage of certain mental health disorders in adopted teens, it's also been concluded that most of them are still healthy. And it must be particularly noted that a lot of that may be because the kids with the higher risks were adopted out of foster care. (Foster care is a mess)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/11/adopted_kids_are_happy_healthy
.html

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/adopted-children-by-the-
numbers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:47 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Quote:

It has been my experience many have been abused and act out.


You're thinking of foster care. There's a difference between that and adoption.

Yes, there are very real problems in foster care in this country. And adoption agencies are problematic in that they're very exclusive and discriminatory.

But the actual adoptions tend to have a fairly positive outcome. And infants can certainly survive and even thrive being raised by someone that is not their biological mother.

While I concede there can be a higher percentage of certain mental health disorders in adopted teens, it's also been concluded that most of them are still healthy. And it must be particularly noted that a lot of that may be because the kids with the higher risks were adopted out of foster care. (Foster care is a mess)

As such there really is no need to enforce strict limitations on this.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/11/adopted_kids_are_happy_healthy
.html

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/adopted-children-by-the-
numbers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0




What you say rings true and I think it is great some people chose to adopt.


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:50 PM

BYTEMITE


Yeah, I had a family member who used to work on a foster care review board.

She actually quit that to go work at a cancer treatment clinic because the foster care cases were too sad and stressful.

If that gives you any indication.

But yeah, ADOPTION is great. It's about meeting the kid and building a rapport and trust instead of taking a kid from an already traumatic and anxiety inducing compromised situation and FORCING them into the care of someone else who may or may not have good intentions.

The difference is huge and very important.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 3:11 PM

THGRRI


Agreed


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 4:58 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
I mean that having readily available artificial wombs would take some of the biological pressure off of heterosexual relationships.

I suppose the meat market might endure, but I would hope that will be the first and very quick casualty of no longer needing coupling to produce offspring.


To the contrary, meat marketing would skyrocket.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 5:21 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
http://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/read/artificial-wombs-are-coming-and
-the-controversys-already-here


Bring it on. Heck yes.

Freaky meddling and social engineering issues aside, these would change how adult humans interact with each other for the better. So many other issues would also be solved by this, not even kidding. Natural doesn't always mean GOOD, folks! Our reproductive methods are actually pretty detrimental in a lot of ways.

This would mean the meat market aspect of relationships between genders would be GONE. Do you know what that would be like? Do you? Because I do and it's BEAUTIFUL.



I'm not sure why you would find it so liberating for the human race and personally I'm not sure why we should be finding more ways to produce more children.

I can see why it might be a useful technology for someone unable to have children but I cant see why it would be a better option than the natural method? Another way for science to make a lot of money for something that's currently free? A bit like promoting formula for babies.

In utero, babies and mothers are already experiencing attachment, and babies are experiencing the world in a somewhat limited way. They can hear and react to noise, voices, music, they respond to movement, sensation. There is even some evidence that even share some emotional responses with their mother, Who is to say how removing that environment would affect the unborn child.

I know you may find this hard to believe because you have a kind of 'Brave New World' sensibility, but creating life the old fashioned way was pretty damned amazing experience all round for me. And to think that it all just happens, that your body just does all this and a human comes out, well it still blows my mind.


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 6:24 PM

JONGSSTRAW


Man walks into a drug store and sees this weird-looking thing on the shelf. He asks the pharmacist "What's that strange thing on the shelf?" The pharmacist leans over and whispers "It's an artificial vagina." Man says " That's amazing! I think I'll buy one." Pharmacist says, Okay, I'll wrap that right up for you sir." Man says "No thanks, I'll eat it here."

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:27 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:


I can see why it might be a useful technology for someone unable to have children but I cant see why it would be a better option than the natural method?



Because it's a lot more convenient for the would be mother and there are a lot less medical risks.

Women still die in childbirth.

Quote:

A bit like promoting formula for babies.


And if we're going there, not every woman can produce milk well. The point is, "natural" is not always good.

Quote:

In utero, babies and mothers are already experiencing attachment, and babies are experiencing the world in a somewhat limited way. They can hear and react to noise, voices, music, they respond to movement, sensation. There is even some evidence that even share some emotional responses with their mother, Who is to say how removing that environment would affect the unborn child.


Again, explain children forming attachments in adoption scenarios. It's not just a one time thing, humans are built to potentially attach to a lot of people.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:29 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:
Man walks into a drug store and sees this weird-looking thing on the shelf. He asks the pharmacist "What's that strange thing on the shelf?" The pharmacist leans over and whispers "It's an artificial vagina." Man says " That's amazing! I think I'll buy one." Pharmacist says, Okay, I'll wrap that right up for you sir." Man says "No thanks, I'll eat it here."



Almost laughed, then wondered if that would technically be sexually explicit behaviour in a public place. Interesting.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:16 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:


Because it's a lot more convenient for the would be mother and there are a lot less medical risks.

Women still die in childbirth.



Yeah they do, but the risks are pretty low in countries where there is adequate medical facilities. And it's not like this is going to be an invention that helps women in developing countries.

Quote:



And if we're going there, not every woman can produce milk well. The point is, "natural" is not always good.



I did that I could see if could be useful if there were medical problems which prevented natural birthing methods, just not sure why it would replace what is already there.

In terms of formula, basically its been one big con - a money making venture by creating a market for something which is available free. A bit like bottled water - it may be that somewhere the water is too contaminated to drink safely, but the rest is people buying what they get free from a tap.

There are few medical reasons why a woman can't breastfeed, it's just that we've been conned into feeling shamed and guilted into doing something different so that it becomes a problem for many women. If there was no alternative, believe me, women would find a way.

It always struck me as being a bit ridiculous that you would spend money, quite a lot of money too, a fiddle around with bottles and sterilising and dragging all that stuff around with you, when you carried a free, convenient source around with you. A big bag of junk compared to a couple of boobies.

Quote:



Again, explain children forming attachments in adoption scenarios. It's not just a one time thing, humans are built to potentially attach to a lot of people.



Children who are adopted have still experienced being in utero with their mother and hearing her voice and feeling her movement. They still get the benefits of attachment to her, even is she wont be the primary carer.

The research around attachment is still happening. There is some that suggest that attachment takes place pre birth, that children will respond at birth to a mother's voice because they recognise it.

But in any event we cant know the impact not being brought to term in utero, of not being subject to mum's hormones.

My big question is why would this replace what we already have? I dont understand what the benefits would be and I dont understand your meat market references.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:37 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Quote:

In utero, babies and mothers are already experiencing attachment, and babies are experiencing the world in a somewhat limited way. They can hear and react to noise, voices, music, they respond to movement, sensation. There is even some evidence that even share some emotional responses with their mother, Who is to say how removing that environment would affect the unborn child.


Again, explain children forming attachments in adoption scenarios. It's not just a one time thing, humans are built to potentially attach to a lot of people.






I wouldn't dismiss the in-utero experience so quickly, and I wouldn't reduce it to an issue of attachment, either, though it probably plays a role in that, too, which you might be underestimating.

Fetuses go through a thorough process of cognitive development tied to sound, taste, physical routine and hormones inside the womb. It affects their preferences for food, for the sound of their mother's voice, their language development, their stress response...

In-utero experiences have an impressive effect on the later development of a human being, probably including the ability to form attachments post-partum. Something like the death of a twin in-utero can have psychogical ramifications throughout life.

Basically, while I agree whole-heartedly that natural doesn't always mean good, the in-utero experience is massively complex, highly influential and in that context insanely convenient in its natural form because the expecting mother literally does it all automatically.

If humans can replicate that in all its complexity through artificial means, go us. It'd potentially fulfill my personal dream of making abortion irrelevant by providing an alternate "host" for an unwanted pregnancy.

But such a discussion shouldn't stoop to dismissing natural pregnancy, either in its brilliant complexity OR in it's emotional importance for most human beings. I don't see this option as revolutionizing human reproduction so much as complementing it, like many other forms of medical interventions have done.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 8:42 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Yep, that's what I meant, but more articulately stated.

By the way , AR, your command of English is astounding. I'm almost embarressed, seeing as its my first language. Well a version of it anyway

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 9:58 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

If humans can replicate that in all its complexity through artificial means, go us. It'd potentially fulfill my personal dream of making abortion irrelevant by providing an alternate "host" for an unwanted pregnancy.


See, I didn't even want to go there because I knew that the backlash would be spectacular, but yes. It's an easy solution to a moral dilemma that still respects the rights and needs of the woman. Provided of course that certain groups don't jump on this as an excuse to grow rape babies against the victim's will or force women into motherhood for unplanned pregnancies.

But not just that, it really will make a LOT of social norms completely irrelevant, and I love it.

Worries and concerns about attachment in utero and hormones and normal psychological development can certainly be solved by science if we have the science to grow a fetus to full term outside the womb. Frankly those are much smaller obstacles than the bigger picture technology this would take.

And why would we need to make the artificial womb soundproof? Why is it assumed that it would be a completely sensory deprived experience for the fetus? Just because it isn't "natural?"

Are we going to dig our heels in just because of THAT? If we never pushed past our natural boundaries, we would never have invented airplanes or gone to the moon. We would never have attempted to grow artificial organs, never implanted artificial hips for those afflicted by arthritis. And I for one like the idea that with this invention women would not have to be subject to the pains, stigma, and mysticism of childbirth which so dominates all other social conversations about what women are and what our purpose might be.

We are more than just boobs and wombs and eggsacks on legs. And I'm prepared to give that up completely to prove that. I mean, yes, I was before this as well. But this makes that a viable option for other women, and I must always applaud when we are given greater flexibility in terms of choice. I want to choose my destiny, I imagine other women do as well.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:41 AM

AGENTROUKA


I don't think anyone here is digging in their heels because it "isn't natural". I didn't read anyone's replies that way.

But I do think you may be overestimating the social impact of this invention.

And I think it's colored by a negative view of pregnancy, childbirth and female sexuality that isn't shared by all women, or all people. You basically championing respect and equality by removing a supposed flaw from women, as if women were weak and inferior as they are now, as if the experience of pregnancy is universally loathed by women.

But it is not.

Pregnancy, like any other biological function, is flawed as hell. But it is not a flaw in itself, and it is not a mistake that needs correcting.

For women who want another choice, I would be gleeful to see it available, but I would caution against framing an artificial womb in the light of an instigator of radical social change. It is merely that: another option.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:53 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Yep, that's what I meant, but more articulately stated.

By the way , AR, your command of English is astounding. I'm almost embarressed, seeing as its my first language. Well a version of it anyway



You flatter me. Thank you for that. :)

Australia, yes? When I was a wee anti-social teenager I thought about emigrating to Australia mostly because of how much I adored Claudia Black and her flawless everything and especially her voice.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12:32 PM

BYTEMITE


I think that when Magons began talking about bottlefeeding, presumably WITH breastmilk, and promoting breastfeeding even when there might be reasons why a woman would have been bottlefeeding at that point in time, this conversation became strongly about natural biology versus unnatural science.

And if you want to ask, yes, so long as science is involved, I'll choose unnatural science over natural biology any day of the week.

Natural biological processes are, as you say, flawed as hell. Me , I see something like this and I think let's do this without the flaws and the stigmas.

The way people talk about natural childbirth, you'd think it's the only source of voice and power that women have, an appeasement to the rest of humanity about why we have a valid place. Like we're worried that a machine will "take our job" and we'll become unneccessary. Which is incongrous with how pregnancy and childbirth have been used to oppress us for so long.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:01 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Natural biological processes are, as you say, flawed as hell. Me , I see something like this and I think let's do this without the flaws and the stigmas.

The way people talk about natural childbirth, you'd think it's the only source of voice and power that women have, an appeasement to the rest of humanity about why we have a valid place. Like we're worried that a machine will "take our job" and we'll become unneccessary. Which is incongrous with how pregnancy and childbirth have been used to oppress us for so long.



I think you are inflating the attitudes of only a small number of women into something we, supposedly, use to oppress ourselves on a grand scale.

I can only guess - because that's how I read it - that Magons was trying to counter a tone in your post that put its own stigma on natural childbirth, as opposed to merely celebrating a greater amount of choice for all women.

That doesn't seem liberating but rather creates more division.

To offer a different perspective: It would be my preference to experience pregnancy and childbirth (with available pain relief, yes) because it is an intense human experience.

Not because I feel it is either a duty or a noble achievement or in some way a mark on my identity as a woman.

I completely respect anyone who would choose differently. But I would prefer to see the same respect awarded to my choices, not have self-oppressing motives attributed to them.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:46 PM

BYTEMITE


That's because there IS a stigma on childbirth and pregnancy. The primary reason women are paid less is due to lingering beliefs that they'll eventually become pregnant and be distracted from their job or even leave their job, horror of horrors, because they decided to start a family. Even if they're single and have been for years, somehow somewhere, BABY will happen so better pay them all less.

Also my comments about pregnancy as a validation for women were not really about anything anyone here said, though G's remarks come rather uncomfortably close.

However I recognize your intense human experience - though I caution that I am not sure it is a defining human experience and that being deprived of this doesn't make someone inhuman. I also would like to say that it would still very likely be safer and more convenient for you if you took the unnatural option.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 3:51 PM

AGENTROUKA


I get the stigma you are describing. But what I was referring to was the fact that erasing birth isn't, in my eyes, the right response, because it validates that stigma instead of removing it. Pregnancy and birth aren't the issue in that context, attitudes toward them are.

Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
However I recognize your intense human experience - though I caution that I am not sure it is a defining human experience and that being deprived of this doesn't make someone inhuman. I also would like to say that it would still very likely be safer and more convenient for you if you took the unnatural option.



I didn't say defining, and - heh, good one - I phrased it as human mainly to make it distinct from being "merely" female. It's one of the most intense physical and emotional experiences in the human repertoire, is what I meant.

I do agree on safety and convenience, btw, but my life priorities lean toward a calculated risk in this case.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:30 PM

THGRRI


As a man I am reading these exchanges with great interest, only to realize once again being male I have no say in this. Chalk that up to my being an independent and not alliance.


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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:18 PM

BYTEMITE


Okay AR. I think I understand where you are coming from then.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:32 PM

BYTEMITE


Agreed, this is probably another benefit. It's tricky though, DNA in egg and sperm cells does degrade over time.

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