Procreative Justice and genetic selection for skin colour

Herjeet Kaur Marway*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Should nonprejudiced reproducers genetically select embryos for light skin under background conditions of racism and colourism, given that darker skin will be disadvantageous for their child? Many intuit that there are strong moral reasons not to select light skin in these contexts. I argue that existing procreative principles cannot adequately account for this judgement. Instead, I argue that a more compelling rationale for this intuition is that such selection completes an instance of race or colour injustice. Given this, I propose a new, complementary principle—Procreative Justice—which holds that reproducers have strong pro tanto moral reasons to avoid completing race and colour injustices via their selection choices. While these reasons may be overridden by competing considerations, they nonetheless continue to exert normative force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-398
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023


  • procreative justice
  • skin colour
  • discrimination
  • genetic selection
  • procreative beneficence


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