Review an article “The XY Files”

Published 02 Nov 2017

Usually, before having a baby, a married woman who considers herself in a secure relationship, weighs heavily the pros and cons involved in this critical decision. However, a mature single woman weighs the same pros and cons-finances and freedom-and a few more. The author, Lori Gottleib, of the article “The XY Files” is a mature, thinking woman who wanted to conceive. Having the resources for many options, she pondered the parenting process as a modern woman. The only option she did not have was a husband. As she chose how to conceive, she pondered the following: love, choices, and honesty.

She knew she had not found love. Now her biological clock ticked more loudly every day, and the arguments with her current boyfriend seemed a bit louder, too. Although one friend suggested she simply marry the boyfriend and divorce him later, Gottlieb rejected that idea. When she married, she wanted to have a “core connection” (1) Therefore, just using a man to gain her goal of having a baby wasn’t for her.

Once Gottlieb decided to have a baby sans husband and sans boyfriend, she wanted the father to be someone not just anyone. She decided to find a sperm donor. Happily This woman who described herself “desperate but picky” in the dating world now seemed to be empowered with the ability to choose (1). She looked at several profiles of several different men. She waited until the sperm bank had an abundant supply of sperm from one particular donor, not only so she could choose this child’s father, but also so she could reserve an ample amount of sperm for future children; thus guaranteeing that all her offspring would be related.

Finally, in the end, Gottlieb felt as if her decision had been the right decision because she had been honest. As she wrote the article, she was pregnant. She did not deceive a man and “accidentally” get pregnant. She honestly paid for another man’s sperm. Now when she dates she finds that men react to her decision with respect. They realize that this woman is totally self-sufficient and does not want to use them. These men realize that when she dates them, she is still looking for three things: love, choices (now in a husband), and honesty.

A process that seems natural in a marital relationship-having a baby-becomes more complicated for a woman left to her own devices. The traditional “it takes two” arguments are waning in the media. The author, Lori Gottleib, of the article “The XY Files” chose to use a sperm bank and successfully became impregnated without the assistance of a boyfriend or a husband. She openly discusses the pros and cons concerning her decision. A woman considering this same choice should consider both the financial aspect and nature v. nurture involved in this matter.

Financially, a woman would need to have a good reserve of expendable money in order to make the same decision. The initial visit with the doctor costs $400. Since the chances of becoming pregnant with frozen sperm are smaller (only 10%) with frozen sperm compared to “fresh” sperm. A woman must realize that she may need to try numerous times before becoming pregnant. Each month a woman spends about $1,750. to $20,000 for the insemination and the sperm. Although this method is free of the attachments and relationships-a freedom for some women-the monetary charge is an expense.

The woman who chooses to use a sperm donor has the option to choose her father’s baby characteristic by characteristic. When you fall in love with someone, you do not have this option. Never will you find the guy who scores over 90% in every area. Nose-91% perfect; teeth-94% in whiteness; SAT score 100% acceptable, and on and so-forth. However, when choosing a sperm donor as opposed to a mate, a woman doesn’t have to like him personally, just his characteristics. The woman can “engineer” her baby by deciding which characteristics really matter, finding the profile that matches, and buying the sperm from that particular donor. However, something is missing here. If you believe in nature over nurture, the woman may be trading the 91% perfect nose for a personality type she really doesn’t like in her son or daughter. How can a woman choose a personality from a profile?

People lie on those things, you know. Personally, I think I’ll stick to the old-fashioned way of making a baby. Even if my husband “Ed” isn’t perfect characteristic-by-characteristic, it would be nice to cuddle with Ed and know that if my son is like him, and in turn, I will like my son.


  • Peter Fisk ‘Give and take with Eb and Flo : the marital relationship’ Santa Barbara, Calif. : Fithian Press, 1993.
  • Anne Richardson Roiphe ‘Married : a predicamen’t New York : BasicBooks ; Plymouth : Plymbridge, 2002.
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