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Laura Rahm: Bioethics, Sex Selection, and Gender Equity

In her book chapter in International Handbook of Population Policies, our Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow Laura Rahm examines the emerging challenges and ethical dimensions of technological developments in reproduction as well as their policy implications.

“Recent decades have seen major advances in assisted reproductive technology, allowing couples to have more autonomy over their reproductive goals. However, new technologies have also caused disturbing trends in sex selection that have threatened the gender balance in large countries like China and India,” she argues.

Drawing from latest population data, the chapter highlights “the impact of selective reproductive technology on demographic trends (in particular, on sex ratios at birth). It also assesses the influence and surprising backlashes of public policies that have been put in place to limit the negative aspects of these new technologies.”

“Bioethics and gender have long focused on individual rights, but the larger demographic consequences of reproductive technologies are invisible at this level,” she writes. The chapter calls on demographers “to enrich the bioethical debate through a population lens on bioethics.”

The volume examines contemporary population policies, their evolution, and their prospects, addresses key population challenges globally, and provides an up-to-date review of theoretical concepts and policy. Learn more about it here.

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