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The Future of Sperm
Posted July 20, 2010 to photo album "The Future of Sperm"
The reproductive technology at the heart of The Kids Are All Right is, as Joel Bleifuss reports, part of the wild and wacky history around artificial insemination.
Slide 11: The Super Smart Future Family
Add to the search for beauty and the beast the desire for brainiacs, and you have Robert Graham’s Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that specialized in the semen of the intellectually gifted. Between 1980 and 1999, the Repository provided sperm that fathered more than 200 children—however none of them were the offspring of the three Nobel Prize winners Graham recruited for his scheme. David Plotz, in his book The Genius Factory, explores Graham’s attempt to raise the IQ of the nation. “He thought too many stupid people were having too many children,” said Plotz. “He wanted to change the world one sperm at a time.” While the success of Graham’s experiment is unknown, what he did succeed at was change the way that sperm was marketed. Today, consumers wanting to buy some sperm are able to peruse donor information, and pick out the attributes that are most important to them in a sperm contributor—height, weight, color of eyes, kind of hair and ethnic background.