- MLA Seventh Edition Essay with Notes –
Problems with Assisted Reproductive Technology
The title should provide a clear indication of the focus of the essay. It should be precise and not necessarily
phrased in the form of a question.
IB Extended Essay
Renaissance International School Saigon
5 December 2013
Word Count: 726
Extended Essay Word Maximum is 4000 words and does not include acknowledgements, abstract, contents page, appendices, diagrams, diagram notes or Works Cited page
(Essays written in Chinese: 1 word = approximately 1.2 Chinese characters)
The benefits of assisting families to bear children are well known. But what are the problems associated with assisted reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination or surrogacy? Whereas once helping heterosexual couples conceive was the rule, new homogenous family groupings and single women or men wishing to raise biologically related children are testing the boundaries of moral and ethical consideration. Consideration of the needs of surrogate mothers is also given careful consideration within this essay. Also deserving consideration is the emotional and social needs of the children conceived with assisted reproductive technologies? My interest in this topic came from studying assisted reproductive technologies in Biology. I narrowed my topic to the problems associated with human beings and assisted reproductive technologies after considering the broad scope of moral and ethical problems associated with genetic research and cloning. My sources include books and online journals. Unfortunately many of my queries to physicians practicing assisted reproductive technologies went unanswered. It became clear throughout my research that a biological connection between parents and children is the ideal sought at high costs by some people who are unable to conceive naturally, and turn to artificial insemination or engage a surrogate mother. The emotional and social costs for these reproductive technologies are high
, and may outweigh the benefits in some cases.
Word Count: 215
The abstract is written last. A well written abstract helps make the essay more understandable. The maximum word count of the abstract for the extended essay maximum is 300 words.
The abstract goes immediately after the title page.
It is worth 2/36 marks, and MUST include the following 3 elements:
Explanation of your research question [about 100 words]
Scope: brief methodology – how you went about answering the research question and which sources of information you chose. [about 100 words]
Conclusion – very brief summary of the important points in your conclusion [about 100 words]
I couldn’t have written this essay without the help of my teachers at Renaissance International School Saigon and the support of my friends and family. Thank you to Mr. Joe for your undying support and encouragement as I delved into this topic that I had very little previous knowledge. Thank you to Mr. Mark and Mr. Simon for keeping us on track with dates and deadlines, for inspiring me and making me laugh when things seemed overwhelming.
I’d also like to acknowledge the strong support of my parents and all my friends and classmates. There were many times that I wanted to quit, but none of you ever gave up on me. Thank you.
(Acknowledgements are optional, but show good character, humility and appreciation)
Use a standard easy-to-read font throughout that recognizes italics well – Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri
Prepare and print your essay on A4 paper.
Set the margins of your document to 2.54 cm (1 inch) on all sides.
Create a header that includes your last name and numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, .5 inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
Indent each new paragraph 1.27 cm or one tab (.5 inch)
Additional Family Groupings 4
Detrimental Results 6
Appendix (if any) 7
Works Cited 8
It is not unusual for people to think of a family in its basic form as a mother and a father and the child or children they conceive together. But a genetic connection between parents and children is not necessary for a family to exist. New families are often created by remarriage after a divorce or the death of a spouse, so that only one parent is genetically related to the child or children. Also, the practice of adoption is longstanding and creates families where neither parent is genetically related to the child or children. There are many single-parent families in the United States, and some of these may be families where the parents live together but are not married (Coontz 147). (Each citation must match with an entry in the works cite, and each works cited must be cited within the essay)
Additional Family Groupings
Couples that consist of two men or two women are also increasingly common, and more of these couples now also have or want children (Buchanan). Although there is no universal definition of the family, in recent years scholars have established that the “normative” definition in most societies is “at least one parent and one child.” This definition goes on to say that a child does not have to be genetically related to the parent, and “children conceived through artificial insemination or a surrogate mother” count (Munro and Munro 553).
Artificial reproductive technology is used to produce families, but it can also turn the biological father into a genetic instrument who is not required or expected to help raise the child.
More ordinary “choice mothers,” as many single women using AI [artificial insemination] now call themselves, are usually not openly hostile to fathers, but they boast a language of female empowerment that implicitly trivializes men’s roles in children’s lives. The term “choice mothers” frames AI as a matter of women’s reproductive rights. Only the woman’s decision-making—or intention—carries moral weight.
This reduction of a biological parent into a mere instrument occurs with surrogate mothers as well. A series of dramatic lawsuits starting in the 1980s demonstrated the dangers of treating a woman as primarily a womb. In the case of “Baby M” in 1988, Mary Beth Whitehead was artificially inseminated with the sperm of William Stern. A contract between Whitehead and Stern said that the child must be given up to Stern and his wife at birth. Though the court involved ended up giving Stern parental rights, it found that the contract was against “public policy” (“Developments” 2069-71). Beyond the legal complexities, however, what the case dramatizes is that a surrogate mother can bond with the child in her womb to such a degree that she may not want to give him or her up. This bonding may occur even when the baby is the result of assisted reproductive technology where the surrogate mother’s egg is not the one used. A judge may have to decide whether the birth mother or the genetic mother whose egg was fertilized in vitro and implanted in the birth mother is the legal mother of a child produced by assisted reproductive technology (2071-72). Treating women’s wombs as commodities to buy and sell conjure several moral and ethical dilemmas (see fig. 1).
(Fig. 1, Book Jacket Cover, Surrogate Motherhood and the Politics of Reproduction, Univ. of California Press, 2007) “The use of photographs and other images is acceptable only if they are captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate a specific point made in the extended essay.” (IBO EE Guide) Label and Include a detailed description below each image, then you don’t need to add it to the works cited list.
Assisted reproductive technology has many unintended consequences. Despite the fact that the ability to produce children that are genetically related to at least one parent might seem to make the technology a source of family stability, it sometimes can create dissension, emotional pain, and legal quandaries. Liza Mundy points out that the technology has produced family arrangements where genetic connection is “often both affirmed and denied, . . . simultaneously embraced and rejected” (99).
Indeed, the great lengths people will go to in order to establish a genetic connection between themselves and their children—bypassing the possibilities provided by adoption—show that genetic connection between parents and children remains an ideal for many people, even if it is not necessary for a family to be “normative.” If a genetic connection between parent and child, then, remains the ideal that drives the use of assisted reproductive technology, it is proving to be a questionable ideal. When pursued at all costs by means of this technology, the biological bond between parents and children can become a negative force, producing detrimental results that actually work against the very values of love, trust, and stability that the family is supposed to cultivate.
You must cite all information that is not common knowledge and/or you learned from your research.
The quality of your essay depends heavily on the quality of your sources of information. Make sure to use a variety of sources and use only high quality sources of information.
Appendix (if any)
“Appendices, footnotes and endnotes are not an essential section of the extended essay and examiners are not required to read them, so care should be taken to include all information of direct relevance to the analysis and argument in the main body of the essay. An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in notes or appendices risks losing marks under several criteria.
Unless considered essential, complete lists of raw data should not be included in the extended essay.
Students should not constantly refer to material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay.” (IBO Extended Essay Guide)
Buchanan, Wyatt. “More Same-Sex Couples Want Kids: Survey Looks at Trends among Homosexuals.” San Francisco Chronicle 25 Apr. 2006, final ed.: B3. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 21 Feb. 2009.
Coontz, Stephanie. “Not Much Sense in Those Census Numbers.” Uncommon Threads: Reading and Writing about Contemporary America. Ed. Robert D. Newman, Jean Bohner, and Melissa Carol Johnson. New York: Longman, 2003. 146-48. Print.
“Developments in the Law: The Law of Marriage and Family.” Harvard Law Review 116.7 (2003): 1996-2122. JSTOR. Web. 21 Feb. 2009.
Hymowitz, Kay S. “The Incredible Shrinking Father.” City Journal 17 (2007): 64-73. Web.
Mundy, Liza. Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World. New York: Knopf, 2007. Print.
Munro, Brenda, and Gordon Munro. “Family, Definition Of.” International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family.Ed. James J. Ponzetti, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Print.
There are many free online tools to help generate a Works Cited List:
Make sure to select MLA Seventh Edition!
MLA Citation Producer Tool: http://citationproducer.com/mla-citation/
Son of Citation: http://citationmachine.net/index2.php
Or use the reference tools in Word or Mendeley to manage your sources to create in-text citations and Works Cited lists automatically!