Chinese men are being encouraged to donate sperm to earn enough yuan to buy the latest iPhone. The Guardian reports that sperm banks from several Chinese provinces have begun advertising to attract men willing to donate.
“The Shanghai Sperm Bank is promising 6,000 yuan for 17 millilitres of semen for those who qualify to donate. Donors needs to be university educated, disease-free and over 5 foot 5.”
Now, certainly it makes sense for donors to be disease free. And, sadly, height is still a desirable trait among potential offspring. But how is university education genetic in any way? That said, men in China have previously sold, or offered to sell, their kidney to afford the latest iPhones, so this seems far less invasive.
Sperm donors are in short supply in China; but it’s not the only place that’s true. The Bristol Post notes that nearly one-third of the sperm used in the UK comes from America or Denmark. Since only the strongest sperm is fit for donation, only one in one hundred potential donors are eligible, which makes meeting demand even harder. Again, donors tend to seek the sperm of professionals such as doctors and lawyers, who have the least time or financial need to donate. And any high school guidance counsellor can tell you a successful career depends on far more than just one’s genes.
Giving sperm is not without potential future ramifications. In the UK, children born of donors have the eventual right to learn the identity of their biological father. The same issue is before the courts in Canada, where compensating sperm donors isn’t even legal. Is it any wonder Canada has only one remaining sperm bank?
What’s worse is, according to The Calgary Herald, that bank now only has 55 remaining donors. Add in a few clinics in Quebec who service only their own clients, and the number comes closer to 60. You read that right, there are 60 donors for a country of over 35 million people. These days, most Canadians seeking sperm donors must look outside the country.
In Australia, help for a chronic shortage is coming from a surprising source, gay men, according to Australia’s ABC. With an American woman recently losing a lawsuit against a sperm bank for giving her sperm from a donor of a different race, will we see lawsuits in the future if children of gay sperm donors themselves end up being gay?
It’s odd that John Oliver closed his self-created church recently in part because people were sending him “seed” in the mail, when so many people are in need of donor sperm. So men, what would it take to get you to line up to attempt to donate? And, having read this, will you ever be able to look at an iPhone 6s owner the same way again?
[Image from reinshaw.com]