Sex selection

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Sex selection means choosing the sex of a future child, either before or after conception. In most of the world, it is used to promote the birth of boys, which exacerbates discrimination against girls and women. Prenatal screening followed by sex-selective abortion is still the primary means of ensuring sons, and has created lopsided sex ratios in countries such as India and China. New technologies such as sperm sorting and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which provide additional ways to select sex, are being openly promoted in the United States.

Sex selection raises concerns about exacerbating sex discrimination and violence against women, and normalizing the "selection" and "design" of children. The use and marketing of sex selection technologies are largely unregulated in the United States. Although the ongoing attacks on abortion rights complicate efforts to address even pre-pregnancy methods, a number of countries—including Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom—prohibit "social" sex selection without affecting abortion rights.

Table: National policies

The Table shows policies currently in effect regarding Sex selection.

Key

  • PROHIBITED: This practice is prohibited by national law or policies having the force of law.
  • no policy: This practice is not addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.
  • ?: It is unknown whether this practice is addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.


Note: The categories defined in the key and used in the table characterize the polices in any given country in a broad manner. Consult the page for each country for more detailed accounts of current policies.
 

You can click the icon in any column heading to sort by that column. To sort the other direction, click it again.


  Region Sex selection
Afghanistan Asia ?
Albania Europe ?
Algeria Africa ?
Andorra Europe ?
Angola Africa ?
Antigua and Barbuda Latin America ?
Argentina Latin America no policy
Armenia Asia ?
Australia Oceania Social uses prohibited
Austria Europe PROHIBITED
Azerbaijan Asia ?
Bahamas Latin America ?
Bahrain Asia regulated
Bangladesh Asia ?
Barbados Latin America ?
Belarus Europe Social uses prohibited
Belgium Europe ?
Belize Latin America ?
Benin Africa ?
Bhutan Asia ?
Bolivia Latin America ?
Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe ?
Botswana Africa ?
Brazil Latin America no policy
Brunei Asia ?
Bulgaria Europe Social uses prohibited
Burkina Faso Africa ?
Burundi Africa ?
Cambodia Asia ?
Cameroon Africa ?
Canada Northern America Social uses prohibited
Cape Verde Africa ?
Central African Republic Africa ?
Chad Africa ?
Chile Latin America ?
China Asia PROHIBITED
Colombia Latin America no policy
Comoros Africa ?
Cook Islands Oceania ?
Costa Rica Latin America ?
Croatia Europe Social uses prohibited
Cuba Latin America Social uses prohibited
Cyprus Asia ?
Côte d'Ivoire Africa ?
Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa ?
Denmark Europe Social uses prohibited
Djibouti Africa ?
Dominica Latin America ?
Dominican Republic Latin America ?
Ecuador Latin America no policy
Egypt Africa Social uses prohibited
El Salvador Latin America ?
Equatorial Guinea Africa ?
Eritrea Africa ?
Estonia Europe ?
Ethiopia Africa ?
Fiji Oceania ?
Finland Europe Social uses prohibited
France Europe Social uses prohibited
Gabon Africa ?
Gambia Africa ?
Georgia Asia ?
Germany Europe Social uses prohibited
Ghana Africa ?
Greece Europe Social uses prohibited
Grenada Latin America ?
Guatemala Latin America ?
Guinea Africa ?
Guinea-Bissau Africa ?
Guyana Latin America ?
Haiti Latin America ?
Honduras Latin America ?
Hungary Europe Social uses prohibited
Iceland Europe ?
India Asia Social uses prohibited
Indonesia Asia ?
Iran Asia ?
Iraq Asia ?
Ireland Europe ?
Israel Asia ?
Italy Europe ?
Jamaica Latin America no policy
Japan Asia no policy
Jordan Asia no policy
Kazakhstan Asia ?
Kenya Africa ?
Kuwait Asia ?
Kyrgyzstan Asia ?
Laos Asia ?
Latvia Europe Social uses prohibited
Lebanon Asia PROHIBITED
Lesotho Africa ?
Liberia Africa ?
Libya Africa ?
Liechtenstein Europe ?
Lithuania Europe ?
Luxembourg Europe ?
Macedonia Europe Social uses prohibited
Madagascar Africa ?
Malawi Africa ?
Malaysia Asia Social uses prohibited
Maldives Asia ?
Mali Africa ?
Malta Europe PROHIBITED
Marshall Islands Oceania ?
Mauritania Africa ?
Mauritius Africa ?
Mexico Latin America ?
Micronesia Oceania ?
Moldova Europe ?
Monaco Europe ?
Mongolia Asia ?
Montenegro Europe Social uses prohibited
Morocco Africa PROHIBITED
Mozambique Africa ?
Myanmar Asia ?
Namibia Africa ?
Nauru Oceania ?
Nepal Asia ?
Netherlands Europe Social uses prohibited
New Zealand Oceania PROHIBITED
Nicaragua Latin America ?
Niger Africa ?
Nigeria Africa ?
North Korea Asia ?
Norway Europe Social uses prohibited
Oman Asia PROHIBITED
Pakistan Asia ?
Palau Oceania ?
Panama Latin America ?
Papua New Guinea Oceania ?
Paraguay Latin America ?
Peru Latin America ?
Philippines Asia ?
Poland Europe ?
Portugal Europe ?
Qatar Asia ?
Republic of the Congo Africa ?
Romania Europe PROHIBITED
Russia Europe Social uses prohibited
Rwanda Africa ?
Saint Kitts and Nevis Latin America ?
Saint Lucia Latin America ?
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Latin America ?
Samoa Oceania ?
San Marino Europe ?
Saudi Arabia Asia Social uses prohibited
Senegal Africa ?
Serbia Europe ?
Seychelles Africa ?
Sierra Leone Africa ?
Singapore Asia Social uses prohibited
Slovakia Europe ?
Slovenia Europe ?
Solomon Islands Oceania ?
Somalia Africa ?
South Africa Africa Social uses prohibited
South Korea Asia PROHIBITED
Spain Europe ?
Sri Lanka Asia Social uses prohibited
Sudan Africa ?
Suriname Latin America ?
Swaziland Africa ?
Sweden Europe Social uses prohibited
Switzerland Europe PROHIBITED
Syria Asia Social uses prohibited
São Tomé and Príncipe Africa ?
Taiwan Asia Social uses prohibited
Tajikistan Asia Social uses prohibited
Tanzania Africa ?
Thailand Asia Social uses prohibited
Timor-Leste Asia ?
Togo Africa ?
Tonga Oceania ?
Trinidad and Tobago Latin America ?
Tunisia Africa Social uses prohibited
Turkey Asia ?
Turkmenistan Asia ?
Tuvalu Oceania ?
Uganda Africa ?
Ukraine Europe ?
United Arab Emirates Asia Social uses prohibited
United Kingdom Europe Social uses prohibited
United States
Uruguay Latin America ?
Uzbekistan Asia ?
Vanuatu Oceania ?
Venezuela Latin America ?
Vietnam Asia PROHIBITED
Yemen Africa Social uses prohibited
Zambia Africa ?
Zimbabwe Africa ?