Historically, in areas concerning mating and childbearing, research has promoted intelligence as the prominent choice for a child's characteristics based on the ability to select male sperm. However, recent scientific breakthroughs have also allowed for selection of female ovum. Given society's pre-occupation with beauty and its relation to success for females, it is unclear as to what extent offspring selection would be made on beauty alone. The objective of this study was to examine the extent that the physical attractiveness stereotype versus the desire for an intelligent offspring would influence the selection of a potential egg donor. Participants (n = 119), 59 men and 60 women, were randomly assigned to read one of four scenario conditions depicting a potential egg donor as varying in both attractiveness and intelligence. Next, they completed a variety of measures regarding personal history, gender role beliefs, body image, perfectionism level, and scenario-based questions. Results revealed that the participants did not make clear-cut choices. When assessing for beauty of a potential female child, the beautiful woman was chosen regardless of her intelligence level. Intelligence was not related to the production of a child when beauty was the measured trait. When rating for perceived intelligence of the child, both beauty and intelligence were significant factors in donor choice. Implications for egg donations and infertility are discussed.
Frost, Lauren A. and Gibson, Marian E.
"Purchasing the Golden Egg: Perceptions of the Making of a "Designer" Child,"
FSU Journal of Behavioral Sciences: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.framingham.edu/journal_of_behavioral_sciences/vol5/iss1/2