sex

We won't need to have sex by 2036, expert says.

Image: iStock.

Good news for anyone who regularly pretends to be enthralled in a book whenever their partner starts pulling sexy moves.

An expert from Stanford University has declared that in 20 years’ time, there won’t be any need for sex. Well, at least with the intent of making babies.

Director of the Centre for Law and the Biosciences, Professor Henry Greely, argues in his new book The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction that most of us will stop having sex to procreate by 2036. (Watch: People reveal their last sex dream. Post continues after video.)

In the future, Greely believes the majority of baby-making in developed countries will occur in the laboratory rather than the bedroom. Yes, you’ll now be able to outsource the conception process.

In fact, Greely goes so far as to suggest that the natural process of conception (SEX) that humans have been doing for thousands of years will be the one stigmatised, rather than the other way round as it (unfortunately) currently stands.

It’s a major evolutionary move that would set us apart from all other animals, for whom many procreation rather than pleasure is the only purpose of sex. (Post continues after gallery.)

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“In 20 to 40 years, when a couple wants a baby, he’ll provide sperm and she’ll provide a punch of skin,” Professor Greely told The Times.

The skin will be used to create stem cells and in turn eggs, which will then be fertilised with sperm cells to create multiple embryos – which can then be tested for certain diseases to work out which is the most desirable.

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“The prospective parents will be told, ‘These five have really serious diseases, you don’t want them’. Of the other 95, they will be given the pluses and minuses,” he said.

While the advancement is a major breakthrough for people who have trouble conceiving (particularly with the difficulty in harvesting eggs for IVF) as well as presenting a promising opportunity for same sex couples to have their own genetic children, it also opens up a whole new world of moral and ethical dilemmas.

This is because it’s not just potential diseases or conditions that can be identified and then selected or disregarded, Professor Greenly argues that technology could soon be available to choose embryos based on two other categories including cosmetic and behavioural characteristics.

Image: iStock

"The third is cosmetics: hair, eyes, shape, whether the hair goes white early. We don’t know much about this yet, but we will. A fourth category is behavioural. I think here information will be limited. We won’t be able to say, 'This child is in the top one per cent of intelligence'. We probably will be able to say, 'This child has a 60 per cent chance of being in the top half'," he says.

However he says this process could change things so much that a woman who chooses to get pregnant through sexual conception could be labelled 'irresponsible'.

"Particularly in countries where you pay for healthcare socially, if children are born after this is a possibility there may well be a stigma to doing so naturally. People will say, 'You go ahead and have a child with Tay-Sachs disease then, we’re picking up the bill'," he says.

What do you think of the prediction - ridiculous or makes sense?

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