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Biotech Idle Science

Good SAT Scores Lead To Higher Egg Donor Prices 175

alphadogg writes "Analysis from Georgia Institute of Technology of college newspaper egg donor ads showed that higher payments offered to egg donors correlated with higher SAT scores. 'Holding all else equal, an increase of 100 SAT points in the score of a typical incoming student increased the compensation offered to oocyte donors at that college or university by $2,350,' writes researcher Aaron D. Levine in a paper published in the March-April issue of the Hastings Center Report. Concerned about eggs being treated as commodities, and worried that big financial rewards could entice women to ignore the risks of the rigorous procedures required for harvesting, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discourages compensation based on donors' personal characteristics. The society also discourages any payments over $10,000."
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Good SAT Scores Lead To Higher Egg Donor Prices

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  • by cryfreedomlove ( 929828 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:06PM (#31660736)
    I don't think society has any legitimate interest at stake here that is not covered by allowing the free market to set prices for human eggs. It should be interesting to see what egg buyers will place real $ value on.
    • by Bartab ( 233395 )

      I don't think society has any legitimate interest at stake here that is not covered by allowing the free market to set prices for human kidneys. It should be interesting to see what kidney buyers will place real $ value on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That might be an interesting argument if human eggs were necessary for the continued health and well-being of an individual, as kidneys are.

        It may be disappointing for someone who is infertile to not be able to have a child, but it is by no means lethal; it certainly is lethal to not have a kidney. As a result, allowing market forces to determine which infertile people get to go to extreme lengths to have a child is much more reasonable and fair than allowing market forces to determine who gets to live or d

        • by khallow ( 566160 )

          It may be disappointing for someone who is infertile to not be able to have a child, but it is by no means lethal

          Thing is some people rather would die early than die childless.

          • "Rather" implies a choice. I'm sure that if I didn't have a working kidney I'd "rather" live, but unfortunately I don't think I'd have much of a choice.

            People can learn to live with disappointment, they can't learn to live without kidneys.

        • by tmosley ( 996283 )
          Living without a kidney is a lot less lethal than dying in the streets of starvation.

          Preventing people (poor or otherwise) from marketing whatever goods or services they have available to them is always harmful. Even child prostitution is often a choice between sex or starvation/neglect.
          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            If child prostitution is a choice between that and starvation that society has failed. Pure and simple the society that allows that is no better than the pedophiles that use these services.

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            Then fucking feed them. We pay to have food destroyed in this country, buy it and ship it over there instead. The problem isn't that they can't sell their kidneys- the problem is people who think its acceptable to force them into that choice.

        • Food prices are set, for the most part, by the market, and have been for a long time. In that time, food prices have plummeted dramatically. People today eat like the kings of the Dark Ages (at least in the West). There is now enough food to feed billions more than in the past. When food prices are set by something other than the market, such as they were in the USSR, things go to hell very quickly. There are very often unintended side effects, shortages, etc.
          • "For the most part" food prices are set by the market... Except for massive subsidies for staple foods, secondary factors like welfare and foodstamps enabling people who can't afford food to have food, etc. There are also varying tiers of food as far as pricing goes - I can eat incredibly cheaply (and healthfully) if I'm willing to go through some effort and cook with various beans and cheap veggies, or I can spend staggering sums - more than some people's monthly wage in the US - on a single meal.

            The marke

      • by phlinn ( 819946 )
        Well, given the number of people who die each year for the lack of a kidney donation, the fact that one kidney is generally sufficient, I would suggest that allowing people to sell a kidney would be in our overall best interests... I'm awaiting any actual reason other than the 'ick' factor to ban paying kidney donors. There would be a hell of a lot more kidneys available and fewer people dieing if they were sellable.
        • by selven ( 1556643 )

          Apparently it's morally wrong for rich people to get preferential treatment, even if the total number of lives saved by kidney transplants is the same regardless of who gets them.

      • by selven ( 1556643 )

        I don't think society has any legitimate interest at stake here that is not covered by allowing the free market to set prices for human kidneys. It should be interesting to see what kidney buyers will place real $ value on.

        I agree.

    • Since cloning is increasingly easy to do, I would think the value should be near $0 very soon.

      However, I hope there is some maximum number of children that any single person is able to (indirectly) have. If it gets to the point that thousands of people have the same biological mother or father, which technically should be quiet easy now or very soon, we are going to see a lot of inbreeding problems.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a surprise? Just take a look around any big name campus - there will usually be some kind of ads posted looking for egg donors. I'm a student at Columbia University and I've seen posters offering $18,000 for eggs from any Columbia student for years.

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:08PM (#31660790) Journal

    I called them and asked about what their going rate was for a high-SAT scorer like me, and they offered me $12,000!

    Things went badly when I asked if the eggs had to be organic, and what size they should be, and was styrofoam OK or did they prefer paper cartons. Oh, and when they found out I was a guy.

    Sexist bastards.

  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:09PM (#31660802)

    This should lead to geeks lessening jocks' reproductive advantages.

  • Tuition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c++0xFF ( 1758032 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:10PM (#31660818)

    Egg donation: yet another way that a high SAT score help you get through college.

  • Cha-Ching! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:11PM (#31660834)
    Each woman has two ovaries with 300,000 eggs each. At $35,000 per egg, that's $21-billion per woman. You'd think more women would cash in on this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I don't think you donate just one. I think itis $35K per procedure.

      Anyone familiar with what is involved with "donating" these eggs?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't think you donate just one. I think itis $35K per procedure.

        Anyone familiar with what is involved with "donating" these eggs?

        It's not like it is for men - wham, bam, checks clears in 6 months man. The donor woman gets drugged with the unfun kinds of drugs - hormones and what not to make her the same batshit crazy menstral cycle as the rich woman. Then, after months of that, they reach up (so to speak) and scoop out as many eggs as they can. They try to implant the rich woman. Lather, rinse, repeat, as needed. You don't get paid until (and if) the rich woman gets knocked up properly. It's pretty messed up. But if the choice is tha

        • Re:Cha-Ching! (Score:5, Informative)

          by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:29PM (#31661810) Homepage Journal

          Specifically, the woman will typically be placed on an oral contraceptive that suppresses ovulation to "stabilize" her natural menstrual cycle. Then she will come off it at a known point so that her ovulation can be managed with about a 12 hour accuracy.

          During this time, she will typically take drug that stimulates ovarian activity -- Follistim is common -- so that she produces multiple mature egg follicles during a single cycle. She'll typically have a few vaginal ultrasounds during the cycle to estabish follicle count and development. Finally, at the pointed time she'll take a dose of medicine that causes the eggs to be finished/matured/released. The following day she goes in for a procedure where a large syringe punctures the vaginal wall and retreives the eggs.

          If you remember nothing else from this writeup, these are the key points:
          - woman takes a fuckton of ovary-exploding drugs
          - doctor puts enomrous syringe THROUGH THE SIDE OF THE VAGINA

    • 1) Marry chick with high IQ
      2) Train her to do whatever you tell her
      3) ???
      4) Profit!

      Gentlemen, I think we've figured out what to put in step 3. Harvest away!!!

      • by ajrs ( 186276 )

        1) Marry chick with high IQ
        2) Train her to do whatever you tell her
        3) ???
        4) Profit!

        Gentlemen, I think we've figured out what to put in step 3. Harvest away!!!

        I think you'll run into trouble before step 1...

        • As the article shows, it only takes a small modification:

          1a) Find chicks with high SAT scores
          1b) Offer big $$ to marry you

    • Except that if every woman would do it, they would only get $0.000,53 per egg. ;)

  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:18PM (#31660924)

    I think that the worries expressed betray a double standard. How does it make sense to worry about high-SAT women "ignoring the health dangers" of forced ovulation, when you don't worry about low-SAT women ignoring the same dangers and getting a tenth of the money for the ordeal? To be clear: these people don't want women to stop donating eggs. They don't want high-SAT women donating eggs for a lot of money. But the risk in each donation is the same!

    In any case, an egg donor will suddenly get a quick and large pile of money. I think the real question should be: How will the money be spent? If the donor gets $50,000 and uses it to help pay for three semesters of her Princeton tuition, I don't see a problem. If another donor, who is not in college, spends $5,000 on shoes and handbags, I don't see a great deal of good having been done.

    I know someone who has donated an egg, and she was actually pretty sick for a part of the procedure. Smart women in Princeton, who have other options, will not want to undergo something like this unless you offer them more money. That just seems like a fact. But if the people who want the eggs have the money, and their satisfaction is increased by the knowledge that their donor is academically talented, and the donor herself will use the money to develop her talents further, it's a clear case of "everyone wins."

    So why does the American Society for Reproductive Medicine need to shit on this optimal outcome? I think they should be encouraging it!

  • Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:18PM (#31660942)

    Back in college our daily newspaper had standing offers in the $15-50k range for eggs of a woman above a certain height, below a certain weight, and above a certain SAT score.

    • by bmajik ( 96670 )

      I am trying to decide if you are being perfectly serious here and exactly on topic, or if this is a witty commentary on "dating" and the commoditization of women -- whereby men know what they are looking for and many talentend and intelligent women focus on leaving college with their Mrs. Degree, as it proves to be more profitable long-term than the diploma the university issues.

      • While I can't speak for the person you're responding to, I can say that when I was in college I considered donating eggs. Once I found out what the procedure was I decided not to do it, but I got over a dozen phone calls asking me to reconsider, and each time I was offered more money. The last offer I got was for $37.5K - which still wasn't worth it to me for the whole process I would have had to go through. This was back in 1991, and I imagine the prices have gone up since then.

        I'm 5'11", was #150 at the t

        • by bmajik ( 96670 )

          That's honestly amazing. If you were a woman today with a fertility problem such that you needed an egg retreival done from your own body, for your own use, and were paying 100% out of pocket.. it would cost you under $8k for the entire procedure and medicines. Additional stuff [like doing an IVF fertilization and re-inserting an embryo] would cost more, of course.

          So the high price offered for donor eggs must be attributed to the following:
          - the tremendous invasiveness of the procedure, to be borne by som

          • Part of the pricing was, actually, exactly that - I am, genetically speaking, rather lucky, and my parents and grandparents were fairly accomplished. I filled out a rather detailed screener and had a physical as part of the process before I dropped out. I think my parents and grandparents were a big part:

            - One case of cancer in my family, ever, in the case of my grandfather who used to work with radiation; he died at age 94.
            - No heart attacks or other coronary disease in my family.
            - Other grandfather died o

          • by Profound ( 50789 )

            The funny thing about the donor egg market is that people ought to be looking at _your_ mom as an additional fitness indicator: IIRC, all of your immature egg cells were present when you were in-utero.

            What do you mean? The eggs form while still in utero, but they come from the babies cells which contain both maternal & paternal genes.

        • Being 5'11" is actually a selling point? That seems very strange to me, considering how powerful the sexual selection pressures are for women to be between 5'2" and 5'4". To the point that many women have an avowed preference for being 8" shorter than their partner. The selection criteria of the prospective parents seems very unusual to me.

          • Not really - both were fairly tall, so that's one part of it. But there's also this societal thing where taller people are seen, rightly or wrongly, as being more serious, capable, charismatic, what-have-you.

            As for the 8" shorter - I've actually dated a guy who was almost 7' tall, and it was fucking hilarious. We went as Frankenstein & Bride of for Halloween and rocked the look. I've also dated a guy who was 5'4" and that was likewise pretty funny - jokes about him needing mountain climbing gear etc. I

    • So that’s the reason women do so much stretching in their aerobic courses?

  • by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:22PM (#31661004)
    It seems ironic that women of higher learning who might, as some suggest, fund their education from their ovaries, would need to go to a fertility clinic after their successful education and careers that kept them way from the maternity ward until their 30s or 40s.
    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      It seems ironic that women of higher learning who might, as some suggest, fund their education from their ovaries, would need to go to a fertility clinic after their successful education and careers that kept them way from the maternity ward until their 30s or 40s.

      What if they were not planning to have kids? May as well get "something" for those eggs.

      So the medical quacks are all bundled up because the "best" chicks get too much money. Little concern that the "not so best" get a fraction of the money. And no care at all that some chicks actually have to pay money to get their tubes tied.

  • by Trip6 ( 1184883 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:47PM (#31661274)

    SATs over 750 each
    Certified Mensa IQ
    Concert pianist
    Well endowed
    High metablosim - hint, hint
    Blonde, blue eyes

    Starting bid: $youcantaffordit

    • And yet you've thrown gallons of the stuff dried up on a Kleenex straight into the trash... sad, isn't it?
    • SATs over 750 each
      High metablosim

      For some strange reason I find myself doubting the veracity of your SAT claims...

    • by adisakp ( 705706 )

      SATs over 750 each Certified Mensa IQ High metablosim

      Can you explain to me what a metablosim is? I must not be the genius you are since I've never heard of that word.

    • I think you forgot to list "excellent oral skills" on there!
    • High metablosim - hint, hint

      - An F in grammar!
      - More full of himself than a French-American-Nazi-hybrid. ;)

  • Quality (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThePlague ( 30616 ) *

    You pay for quality, and this is just an example of that. You wouldn't pay $15 for a McD's burger, at least most people wouldn't, but a Red Robin (or similar high end) one could command that sort of price.

    I know some people might think that's horrible, but the cold-hard truth is that some people are higher quality than others. We might be equal before the law, and have equal rights, but when people are given a choice in potential breeding partners, they will opt for as high as they can afford. In the soc

  • by zero_out ( 1705074 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:04PM (#31661454)

    So we know that certain people have higher risks of developing certain diseases based on genetic factors, such as gender (color-blindness in men) or 'race' (Tay-Sachs in Ashkenazi jews). People are even willing to pay more for eggs or sperm from people with high SAT scores or PhD's. Yet, when a Harvard University President suggests that maybe certain aspects of intelligence are based on genetics, it causes an uproar.

    I'm not suggesting that a certain race or sex is inferior to another, but why is the mere suggestion that intelligence is based on genetics (and therefore gives inherent benefits to certain genetic groups) considered so taboo? Can't we at least consider, discuss, and perform rigorous research on the subject?

    • by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:13PM (#31661550)
      "Intelligence" is a poorly-defined concept and it is very hard to devise a test which gives fair results regardless of the culture of the subject.

      In case you haven't noticed, culture is a pretty significant confounding variable for "race" (which is also a poorly-defined concept).
      • I am frustrated to note that my Linux box does not allow me to cat /dev/mem

        # cat /dev/mem | strings | grep -i llama
        cat: /dev/mem: Operation not permitted

        This means I cannot check for llamas myself, and yet your signature makes me suspicious that my RAM, too, may be full of llamas. This would explain the recent slowness of my box.

        Obviously one can't scrub the llamas out of RAM without finding them, but are there any open source programs which encourage the llamas to leave?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There has been rigorous research on the matter, but the results aren't politically correct so they're considered bogus.

      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        The sensationalist headlines ignore the rigor put into the research.

        So do the mouth-breathers who have the headline tattooed under their "88".

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by cmdr_tofu ( 826352 )

      Hmm are you talking about the same Harvard president who suggested that the reason there were less postdoc women was because they were innately inferior?
      www.dailyprincetonian.com [dailyprincetonian.com]

      There are facts that women are under-represented in a lot of careers, particularly engineering, but rather than funding rigorous studies "on whether or not women lack the same mental abilities as men", shouldn't we be looking at social problems? Perhaps those women were told at a young age that they couldn't be good at math, or en

  • My coworker suggests that the process involves a roughly six month process of pretty nasty drugs, which makes the money a lot less attractive.

    Are these offers generally for a few eggs, for fifty, for one which implants properly, for one which comes to term, etc?

  • So they're worried that the smart people are going to act stupid and risk their health when offered an extra $2300?

  • For some weird reason, I'm irked by the standard disclaimer in the article that discourages egg donation for (implied) paying your way through college. Risky as any surgical procedure may be, it's a far cry from any Ayn-Rand-gone-amuk dystopian cliche.

    (says one geek with laissez-faire ethics...)
  • Not surprisingly, higher SAT scores correlate with a higher eventual annual income, something to the tune of $20k/yr per 40 points [nytimes.com] in the combined SAT score (critical reading + math + writing). Assuming wages increase at the inflation rate of 3%, income is earned from ages 23 through 65, and a discount rate of 10%, the average additional lifetime earning potential of +100 points equates to $162k in present dollars.

    Obviously not all eggs result in a baby; only about 10% of eggs result in a live birth. [advancedfertility.com] Even

  • I pulled an 1180. I should have done a lot better - my pretests we all around 1300 - 1400. I figured - heck that was easy, so I dropped a shitload of acid and was tripping my butt off the whole time. My pencil kept melting.I had a kneadable eraser and when I pulled on that thing - damn - I lost a solid 20 minutes just stretching that thing around. Then I panicked, and instantly there was this smelly horde of bats hovering on my right shoulder, making fun of me like they were a bunch of greasers... "YO RALP

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN