A framework for analyzing sex-selective abortion: the example of changing sex ratios in Southern Caucasus
Sophie A Hohmann,1 Cécile A Lefèvre,2,3 Michel L Garenne4–6
1CNRS, CERCEC, Paris, France; 2Université Paris Descartes, UMR CEPED, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France; 3INED, Paris, France; 4Institut Pasteur, Epidémiologie des Maladies Emergentes, Paris, France; 5IRD, UMI Résiliences, Bondy, France; 6Medical Research Council/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract: The paper proposes a socioeconomic framework of supply, demand, and regulation to explain the development of sex-selective abortion in several parts of the world. The framework is then applied to three countries of southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) where sex-selective abortion has developed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors argue that sex-selective abortion cannot be explained simply by patriarchal social systems, sex discrimination, or son preference. The emphasis is put on the long-term acceptability of abortion in the region, on acceptability of sex-screening by both the medical establishment and by the population, on newly imported techniques of sex-screening, and on the changing demand for children associated with the major economic and social changes that followed the dismantlement of the Soviet Union.
Keywords: sex-selective abortion, sex-screening methods, value of children, demand for children, sex-preference, Southern Caucasus
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