Osagie K. Obasogie, writing on the Bioethics Forum, discusses the possible impact of efforts to decode the genetics of skin color. He wonders whether the money is there to create prenatal diagnostic tools to allow couples to choose the skin colors they want for their children, and ponders the effect of such a development on social constructions of race. Good questions. Given that racial inequality has historically been based largely on skin hues, how would it feel to live in a society in which the haves could choose their offspring’s color and the have-nots could not?
What’s happening with genetic research into skin color is as much an ethical development as a scientific one.