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.


  • 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 ?
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 ?
Cape Verde Africa ?
Central African Republic Africa ?
Chad Africa ?
Chile Latin America ?
China Asia ?
Colombia Latin America no policy
Comoros Africa ?
Cook Islands Oceania ?
Costa Rica Latin America ?
Croatia Europe ?
Cuba Latin America ?
Cyprus Asia ?
Côte d'Ivoire Africa ?
Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa ?
Denmark Europe ?
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 ?
France Europe ?
Gabon Africa ?
Gambia Africa ?
Georgia Asia ?
Germany Europe ?
Ghana Africa ?
Greece Europe ?
Grenada Latin America ?
Guatemala Latin America ?
Guinea Africa ?
Guinea-Bissau Africa ?
Guyana Latin America ?
Haiti Latin America ?
Honduras Latin America ?
Hungary Europe ?
Iceland Europe ?
India Asia ?
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 ?
Lebanon Asia ?
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 ?
Marshall Islands Oceania ?
Mauritania Africa ?
Mauritius Africa ?
Mexico Latin America ?
Micronesia Oceania ?
Moldova Europe ?
Monaco Europe ?
Mongolia Asia ?
Montenegro Europe ?
Morocco Africa PROHIBITED
Mozambique Africa ?
Myanmar Asia ?
Namibia Africa ?
Nauru Oceania ?
Nepal Asia ?
Netherlands Europe ?
New Zealand Oceania PROHIBITED
Nicaragua Latin America ?
Niger Africa ?
Nigeria Africa ?
North Korea Asia ?
Norway Europe ?
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 ?
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 ?
Sao Tome and Principe Africa ?
Saudi Arabia Asia Social uses prohibited
Senegal Africa ?
Serbia Europe ?
Seychelles Africa ?
Sierra Leone Africa ?
Singapore Asia ?
Slovakia Europe ?
Slovenia Europe ?
Solomon Islands Oceania ?
Somalia Africa ?
South Africa Africa no policy
South Korea Asia PROHIBITED
Spain Europe ?
Sri Lanka Asia Social uses prohibited
Sudan Africa ?
Suriname Latin America ?
Swaziland Africa ?
Sweden Europe ?
Switzerland Europe PROHIBITED
Syrian Arab Republic Asia Social uses prohibited
Taiwan Asia ?
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 ?
United States
Uruguay Latin America ?
Uzbekistan Asia ?
Vanuatu Oceania ?
Venezuela Latin America ?
Yemen Africa Social uses prohibited
Zambia Africa ?
Zimbabwe Africa ?