Human Reproduction in the Twenty-First Century


Publish Date:
March 14, 2018
Publication Title:
Journal of Posthuman Studies
Journal Article
  • Henry T. Greely, Human Reproduction in the Twenty-First Century, 1 Journal of Posthuman Studies 205 (2017).
Related Organization(s):


New technologies will offer new possibilities for human reproduction over the rest of the twenty-first century. Genetic selection, particularly through preimplantation genetic diagnosis; genetic modification, especially through CRISPR and other methods of DNA editing; and direct changes in methods of reproduction, including stem-cell-derived eggs and sperm and possibly ectogenesis through “artificial wombs,” will be available to future would-be parents. This article first describes those technologies and their likely stages of development and speculates about how widely they will be used. These technological changes will present challenges to individuals and societies. Both will have to decide what use, if any, to make of them—individually and collectively. The challenges include those raised by most new technologies: safety, fairness, coercion, and naturalness. Two other issues, though, will be particularly prominent with these new reproductive technologies: human enhancement and family structures. These issues are especially relevant to both posthumanism and transhumanism.