© 2020

Gender-Biased Sex Selection in South Korea, India and Vietnam

Assessing the Influence of Public Policy


Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Laura Rahm
    Pages 1-8
  3. Laura Rahm
    Pages 79-100
  4. Laura Rahm
    Pages 101-159
  5. Laura Rahm
    Pages 161-228
  6. Laura Rahm
    Pages 229-283
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 319-340

About this book


This book provides an in-depth analysis of the influence of public policy on sex selection. Three Asian countries were chosen for the comparative policy analysis, namely South Korea, India and Vietnam that share in common a historical legacy of son preference, high levels of sex imbalances and active policy response to curbing the growing demographic masculinization of their nations. The research based on the data collected from field work in the three countries shows that despite the adoption of very similar anti-sex selection policies the outcomes have been markedly different for each of the three countries. These unexpected diverse outcomes are explained partly by their different historical and cultural contexts, and partly to the different social, political and economic institutions and dynamics. This monograph offers careful and detailed explanations of both within and across country diversities in policy outcomes, pointing to the importance and the limits of cross-national policy learning and adoption, and raising questions about the efficacy of international organizations’ current approaches to global policy and knowledge transfer.


Comparative public policy Gender-biased sex selection Political demography Policy impact evaluation Policy transfer Sex-selective abortions South Korea, India and Vietnam Sex imbalances Son preference Demographic masculinization

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Population and DevelopmentParisFrance

About the authors

Laura Rahm is Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Sociology at the Center for Population and Development (CEPED). She specializes in public policies and programs against son preference, gender-biased sex selection and other harmful practices. Her recent publications appeared in Population and Development Review, Critique Internationale, and Men and Masculinities Journal. Laura holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Passau and a PhD in Political Sociology and Demography from Sorbonne University Paris. She serves as a consultant and trainer in the first Global Programme to Prevent Son Preference and Gender-biased Sex Selection carried out by UNFPA with funding from the EU. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Gender-Biased Sex Selection in South Korea, India and Vietnam
  • Book Subtitle Assessing the Influence of Public Policy
  • Authors Laura Rahm
  • Series Title Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development
  • Series Abbreviated Title Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-20233-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-20236-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-20234-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXVI, 340
  • Number of Illustrations 53 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Demography
    Development and Social Change
    Population Economics
    Gender Studies
    Asian Politics
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