Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 427–438 | Cite as

A Feminist Critique of Justifications for Sex Selection

  • Tereza HendlEmail author
Original Research


This paper examines dominant arguments advocating for the procreative right to undergo sex selection for social reasons, based on gender preference. I present four of the most recognized and common justifications for sex selection: the argument from natural sex selection, the argument from procreative autonomy, the argument from family balancing, and the argument from children’s well-being. Together these represent the various means by which scholars aim to defend access to sex selection for social reasons as a legitimate procreative choice. In response, I contend that these justifications are flawed and often inconsistent and therefore fail to vindicate the practice.


Sex selection for social reasons Assisted reproductive technologies Procreative autonomy Sexism Gender essentialism Harm 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Level 1, Medical Foundation Building (K25)University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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