Sex Selection for Daughters: Demographic Consequences of Female-Biased Sex Ratios

Martin Kolk, Karim Jebari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Modern fertility techniques allow parents to carry out preimplantation sex selection. Sex selection for non-medical purposes is legal in many high-income countries, and social norms toward assisted reproductive technology are increasingly permissive and may plausibly become increasingly prevalent in the near future. We explore possible outcomes of widely observed daughter preferences in many high-income countries and explore the demographic consequences of the adoption of sex selection for daughters. While concerns over son preference have been widely discussed, sex selection that favors female children is a more likely outcome in high-income countries. If sex selection is adopted, it may bias the sex ratio in a given population. Male-biased populations are likely to experience slower population growth, which limits the long-term viability of corresponding cultural norms. Conversely, female-biased populations are likely to experience faster population growth. Cultural norms that promote female-biased sex ratios are as a consequence therefore also self-reinforcing. In this study, we explore the demographic consequences of a female-biased sex ratio for population growth and population age structure. We also discuss the technology and parental preferences that may give rise to such a scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1639
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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