The demand for sperm from blue-eyed, blonde, white American males is skyrocketing in Brazil.
Women are importing the sperm of American men at unprecedented rates, says a report from The Wall Street Journal, and blue-eyed Caucasian males are the most sought after donors.
"Over the past seven years, human semen imports from the U.S. to Brazil have surged as more rich single women and lesbian couples select donors whose online profiles suggest they will yield light-complexioned and preferably blue-eyed children," says the report.
Last year, over 500 tubes of frozen semen entered Brazil, up from 16 in 2011, notes the report.
"The vast majority of what we have and what we sell are the Caucasian blond-haired, blue-eyed donors," Fredrik Andreasson told the Journal. Andreasson is the CFO of Seattle Sperm Bank, a bank that procures about a fourth of the country's sperm imports.
With increasing gender equality, more and more Brazilian women are putting off marriage and children to establish themselves in the workforce. Additionally, the purchasing of sperm within the country is illegal. Thus, the demand for foreign sperm is unsurprising.
But why are Brazilian women yearning for the sperm of blonde, white males in a country where so much of the population is mixed race or black? The reasoning is seemingly economic, but also social, being tightly tied to the country's racial history.
Race is perceived as an indicator of wealth and prosperity in the country; it is estimated that over 80% of the wealthiest top 1% in Brazil are white.
"More than 50% of Brazilians are black or mixed-race, a legacy of Brazil having imported more than 10 times as many African slaves than the U.S.; it was the last Western country to ban slavery, in 1888. The descendants of white colonizers and immigrants — many of whom were lured to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the ruling elite explicitly sought to 'whiten' the population — control most of the country’s political power and wealth," explains the Journal. "In such a racially divided society, having fair-skinned offspring is often viewed as a way to provide a child with better prospects, from a higher salary to fairer treatment by the police."
Brazilian women are reportedly requesting blue-eyed donors specifically to up their probability of having a child with fair skin.
And for the women with less money to spare on such a pricey process? They are looking to obtain the sperm they desire via Facebook. "Every month, scores of Brazilian men post offers there to impregnate women free, either by having sex or with a needleless syringe," the Journal reports.
A 61-year-old blonde, blue-eyed male and his wife essentially run a one-man sperm manufacturing business from their home. João Carlos Holland de Barcellos "sees children as a way to perpetuate his genes and ensure his existence beyond death," says the report.
"It’s an atheist’s way to achieve immortality," said the sperm donor.