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Old 11-21-2018, 12:56 AM   #1
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Artificial Wombs

The technology is coming to aid in animal husbandry and will play an enormous role on conservation and ecology, potentially resurrecting extinct species like the woolly mammoth.

You'd have to be naiive to not think this would be available for human reproduction, though, so I ask - who benefits the most from easy access to artificial wombs, men or women?
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:49 AM   #2
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Women, duh.

I'm not sure on the viability of a trans woman having a pregnancy though. Pregnancy is a, uh, fucking process and there's a lot to make sure goes right.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:22 AM   #3
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Women, duh.
You need to elaborate on this...I think the exact opposite and that it's the apocalyptic outcome for women.

Not "a", "the".
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
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So I pretty much disagree. Men aren't conditioned in society to want to have children and again, its a lot more than just simply having an artificial womb for the baby to be in. There are huge hormonal things you have to regulate, and I actually pretty firmly believe that the first test of this will be trans women, and they will probably have to be hospitalized for nine months for a while just to make sure nothing goes potentially wrong.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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Men are just as conditioned as women to have children, especially if you're the only/eldest son and the family wants you to keep the surname alive. While women have a timer for fertility and safety issues, men still get asked stuff like "When are you getting married?" "When are you having kids?" This is of coarse cultural. Maybe some families don't give a shit. But you can't discount it just because you've not experienced it.

While I think this benefits women a bit more than men at first, this is based purely on the current society we're in. This technology can help couples who could have trouble with conception or at risk of complications during pregnancy. This can help homosexual couples potentially bypass the need for a third party surrogate.

In the novel, The Forever War though, this leads to the government takeover of all birthing practices and creates a society where heterosexuality is illegal and homosexuality is the normal so the government could control population and being eugenics of sorts. So should that happen, I don't think it would benefit anyone.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:51 PM   #6
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You need to elaborate on this...I think the exact opposite and that it's the apocalyptic outcome for women.

Not "a", "the".
I disagree with this on the sole premise that a womb doesn't particularly work that great at producing human children without, you know,the remainder of a woman's body to make it function the way it should. As much as I'd be hopeful for this being an option for trans women, realistically I only see it working for those who were able to get on HRT soon enough to experience real effects on stuff like skeletal structure, which is a relatively short window for an individual to learn enough about the subject to come to terms with themselves and then pray for supportive and proactive family and health insurance that covers the stuff.-right now, if I don;t get on HRT within about a year, I'm out of luck-pretty much all of my bones will have fully ossified, and at that point there's no fixing it. The stereotypical male pelvis bone doesn't have the space for carrying a child, so I have my doubts about men suddenly being able to abandon all need for women because they can give birth on their own or something. Besides, even if that were the case, women already beat men to the punch on that one since we've been able to make viable children from pairs of egg cells for a while now, which, given men are still very much a thing that exists, says to me that anything that we usually see as an apocalypse for one gender just isn't going to be. The straights are too powerful to let that happen.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Men are just as conditioned as women to have children, especially if you're the only/eldest son and the family wants you to keep the surname alive. While women have a timer for fertility and safety issues, men still get asked stuff like "When are you getting married?" "When are you having kids?" This is of coarse cultural. Maybe some families don't give a shit. But you can't discount it just because you've not experienced it.
That's not the same though. Yes, men are pressured in order to have families. That's not the same as the kind of pressure women face, often by other women, to have children. You see this a lot with infertile women and women who can have children naturally be decide not to: they are often treated as lesser because they have decided, or are unable to, have children. Womanhood often time in society is tied to motherhood and the ability to carry a child, for better or for worse. You can still be a good man, a celebrated man, without ever procreating.

And considering surgery, cost, other medical issues, why would a man want to deal with all of this when society simply doesn't expect him to? At best you can argue homosexual men would benefit because other men can...just get a woman pregnant instead.

If we're talking like...weird baby pods I assume they'll never actually catch on because science has shown there is a lot of essential development that happens in the womb between a mother/father and their bond with a fetal infant and simply growing them in artificial, exterior pods likely will result in huge issues down the road.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:57 PM   #8
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I feel like people are missing the big issue here - in a world where you have easy access to a test tube that can incubate a baby just as well as a woman, there's no longer a point to natural childbirth, as it completely erodes the mother's purpose.

They can still have children independent of men right now, if they choose. Fathers can't unless the mother is dead, and even then there's the possibility of the child being moved to faster care, anyway.

Arguments like "the risk to a woman's health outweighs the benefits of childbirth" will prevent natural births - it's the same language used to justify self-driving cars.

LGBT will benefit, as they'll be able to have biological children independent of biology. Men will benefit, as they now have the power to have children at any age without needing a woman. But men still need women, you say. They need companionship, they need someone to bang with, they still a caretaker.

Well what about gynoids? That technology is being developed right now as well. You have a persocom-like gynoid with ageless supernatural beauty, programmed with a personality that is 98% what the man wants, with a handful of easily dismissed flaws to simulate reality. So we have a future where you have a test tube designer baby, a robot wife, and an ordinary man.

I don't think this works on the woman's side. The woman's eggs lose viability long before a man's sperm does, even if a man's sperm is more disposed to genetic diseases with age, it's easier to sort those for viability in an artificial insemination case - there's way more sperm than eggs. Women age more visibly and dramatically than men, so I'm not sure if they would be able to mentally stomach seeing themselves with a supernaturally handsome android - they'd fall into an uncanny valley. And finally, they're still saddled with the side effects of their reproductive biology - the hormone releases, the fat distribution, and the slimmer/shorter size that makes it challenging to operate in a world of physical labour designed for men.

Artificial wombs don't benefit women, they obviates all incentive men have with dealing with them. Unlike the birth control issue where people claim that things were worse but undocumented prior to the pill, I think this is a pretty clear shift of power to men. It gives them control over something which they didn't before.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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Doppel needs to cite his source, because all the articles I found on the subject shows a lamb fetus grown in what looks like a fancy ziplock bag with tubes.

To reiterate, I think men have the same cultural and societal pressures to have children that women do. Infertile men can also be mocked by their peers. Men are just conditioned to be less vocal about their insecurities and keep it to themselves, but they still feel like failures to meet the standards of general life and can lead to depression just as hard as it hits women. I'm still saying this issue is equal between both genders. Both men and women are pressured by society to have children, it isn't specific to women.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Doppel needs to cite his source, because all the articles I found on the subject shows a lamb fetus grown in what looks like a fancy ziplock bag with tubes.
I only used Wikipedia, but there's a reference source to a recent journal about growing a human fetus outside of a woman for 13 days:

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In 2016 scientists published two studies regarding human embryos developing for thirteen days within an ecto-uterine environment. Currently, a 14-day rule prevents human embryos from being kept in artificial wombs longer than 14 days. This rule has been codified into law in twelve countries.
Note that using laws to forbid this isn't going to stop it from happening, since people will just go to a country where it's legal, and that just empowers the sole provider of the service with money to do what they want.

I know about this because of Sooam Biotech and its involvement with the woolly mammoth de-extinction efforts. Unlike the Zimovs and George Church, Sooam has the money from its cloning services, along with the infrastructure, to invest in artificial wombs for the growing of a mammoth. I personally disagree with this and would rather they use real Asian elephants...but there are far more lucrative applications of the technology than simply the mammoth resurrection project, so you can imagine why they'd invest in this.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:40 PM   #11
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I don't see how there's any kind of power shift towards men through an artificial womb. If a man in going to skip the whole female partner process, the woman is just as free to skip the male portion and also use an artificial womb without the worry of having to take maternity leave and fall behind at with her career. A woman could be older and still raise a child without any danger to her life from giving birth at an older age. Artificial insemination is already possible, so now that age is less important, the woman is given just as much freedom as a male in this scenario. Sure, she might need to freeze some eggs earlier in life, but there's no specific benefit purely to men here.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:01 PM   #12
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I already pointed out the flaw with that thinking - female eggs aren't as viable as male sperm at advanced age. Women also have hormone related side effects of their reproductive biology like the hot flash, which men do not experience. Women also have smaller, weaker bodies than men when it comes to physical activity.

Men can't have children without women, due to both legal and physical limitations. It's a much easier road for a woman, and in traditional couplings, the child brings and keeps the two together after infatuation fades.

An artificial womb by itself doesn't replace women, nor does a chobit-like gynoid, because individually they only offer an incomplete package. But together, they only offer upside over real women to men. The same offering doesn't benefit women nearly as much due to the biology inequality. Women are far more invested in their reproductive biology than men: they either have the most to lose, or the least to gain, from technology replacing that purpose.

Why this bothers me is people aren't putting two and two together with these two separate, but intrinsically linked developments. Like science fiction has spit out tons of doomsday scenarios for an AI singularity over the past 80 years, and nobody seems to be against it in 2018. In fact, they want it to happen...because it's progress!
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:43 PM   #13
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Honestly Doppel at some point science is going to be capable of removing the necessity of having either sex or a pregnancy. What you're predicting, the 'doom of womenkind', is probably going to be shortly followed by the redundancy of sex because we can artificially create sperm and eggs to form a child to the parents' liking and grow it in a specifically designed robot. That's how futuristic we could be talking here. And that's not going into the potential long-term implications of which we have no way of knowing for at least a solid fifty to a hundred years, which will likely need to happen before it becomes as mainstream as it'd need to be to fulfil that apocalypse vision. It's a start. That's all it is. The potential implications are big, yes. But frankly they're a long way off and we don't even know how good these things will be. Like, sure they may be able to sustain a foetus for a while. What's the long-term effect it has on the foetus? How will that being develop compared to a human-born child, and what will the side-effects be when that child grows up and lives the near-hundred years humans seem to be living these days? Your situation may happen, but it'd take a lot of shit going right to get it working.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:18 PM   #14
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There's one element that you can't remove, and it's that a person wants their DNA in their child. They're not as concerned with who their partner is so much as they are one of the parents.

Why I bring this up is that this technology isn't long-term, it's short term. Like within 20 years possible. In the 20 years since Dolly, cloning went from scientific breakthrough to a big business. Gene sequencing went from a biotech dream to a big business. What's suppressing wider adoption it is economics, which is why cloning is used on beyond stupid things like bringing back common dead pets instead of to supplement conservation or reverse extinction.

I think given that these technologies, along with the AI singularity, are going to arrive faster than everyone expects, there should be a much broader discussion on what it means to be human, and what aspects of that we should strive to maintain, and whether or not we really want these things. Because human greed, arrogance or fear is driving the development of these technologies, technologies with the potential to make human existence irrelevant or change what it is altogether.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:21 PM   #15
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I already pointed out the flaw with that thinking - female eggs aren't as viable as male sperm at advanced age.
But isn't he the one answering you? :

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Sure, she might need to freeze some eggs earlier in life, but there's no specific benefit purely to men here.
If there's a problem with the viability of eggs frozen arbitrarily early in life, then point that out.

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Women also have hormone related side effects of their reproductive biology like the hot flash, which men do not experience. Women also have smaller, weaker bodies than men when it comes to physical activity.
But men have their weaknesses too. It's not an "all or none" thing when discussing gender differences and superiorities. Men typically have higher basal metabolic rates (which may inherently mean that men are on a shorter timer than women -- something which appears to hold out given women's average lifespan of 81.2 years versus men's average lifespan of 76.4). Women typically are better at multitasking, more specifically at doing 2+ things simultaneously (like watching a television program while talking to a friend online); men, by contrast, tend to be much more focused. This can be both good and bad, either way! But surely you'd agree that there are at least some situations in which being the better multitasker is better. Of course there are ways in which men have advantages over women. Tossing one onto your pile is anemia, which seems to be far more prevalent in women than in men. At the end of the day, I don't feel comfortable labeling either sex as "the superior sex". I think each has ways in which they are objectively superior to the other. But I think that making an assessment of overall superiority is very much subjective -- we each of us weight the differences very differently and personally.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:14 AM   #16
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I was pointing out things that could negatively affect lifestyle, which less height, less strength, hot flashes, postpartum depression and breast cancer tend to uniquely affect women. Not strictly, but by and large they're a female-only phenomenon. Of the things you brought up, only age really strikes me as a big advantage over men, but the gradual senescence of the brain in old age doesn't make those years as valuable.

Women have to put up with these things as a side effect of being capable of bearing children. If you duplicate that, you remove the purpose of their biology without removing the negative downsides/side effects. Instead, men gain more power and don't really lose anything.
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