Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Most Popular Sperm Donors

I had a thought when I was reading this article on the New York Times site. The article is about children conceived through donated sperm who find their half-siblings through the Donor Sibling Registry. Interesting idea that I'd never considered.

Illustrating the online version of the article, however, are two pictures of two different sets of half-siblings. The eight children in the pictures all happen to be blond. The article describes one sperm donor as being "6 feet tall, 163 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes" according to his sperm bank profile.

Given that fewer people in the population have blond hair than brown or black hair, I wonder why these pictures show only blond-haired children. Is it because these photographs were the best of all the ones the photographer took? Is it because of the newspaper's preference for images of attractive, blond-haired children? (I realize the print edition of the article probably includes more photographs.) Or is it because the mothers interviewed deliberately looked for blond-haired, blue-eyed sperm donors? That would lead me to wonder about the most popular sperm donors -- are they all men over 6 feet, for example, because our society values height? Just some thoughts.

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