Selecting Egg and Sperm Donors: The Role of Age, Social Class, Ethnicity, Height and Personality


This paper reports two studies where respondents were asked to help a friend make a decision about egg and sperm donation. In both studies they were presented with 16 hypothetical person’s which they were asked to rate for suitability. In the first study on egg donation the hypothetical donors differed on age (18 - 20 years vs. 30 - 33 years), social class (I/II vs. III/IV), Ethnicity (Caucasian vs. Asian) and Personality (Extraversion vs. Introversion). Effects were strongest for age and ethnicity with a preference for younger Caucasians. In the second study 16 sperm donors were described who differed similarly in age, social class and ethnicity, but personality was substituted for height (5'6" to 5'8" vs. 6'1" to 6'3"). There were strong main effects for social class, ethnicity and height with the respondents choosing middle class, tall, Caucasians. There were various significant interactions. Between subject factors (sex, ethnicity and religion) were also examined. Implications and limitations were considered.

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Furnham, A. , Salem, N. and Lester, D. (2014) Selecting Egg and Sperm Donors: The Role of Age, Social Class, Ethnicity, Height and Personality. Psychology, 5, 220-229. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.53033.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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