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


This chapter covers the Vietnamese case study. Son preference endured from the Confucian past to the Communist present. With access to reproductive technologies emerging after the Doi Moi reformation and a two-child population policy in place, sex-selective abortions gained increased popularity. Subsequently, a distinct rise in birth masculinization at national and regional levels can be observed. Vietnam responded promptly to the situation by outlawing sex selection in 2003 with the Population Ordinance. However, the timeliness of the policy roll out suggests that the Ordinance triggered the onset of sex imbalances in Vietnam pointing to a perverse policy effect. Efforts to address sex selection have been continuously stepped up through various legal and policy changes, awareness-raising campaigns and advocacy. With the help of UNFPA, a specific intervention was rolled out in Hai Doung Province to tackle sex selection and measure policy efficacy. Changes in knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) and a slight reduction in SRB in the intervention area could suggest policy efficacy if these results weren’t overshadowed by methodological shortcomings. Sex selection and son preference persist in Hai Duong and Vietnam at large. It remains to be seen whether a policy focused on awareness raising or tackling the motives of sex selection can outweigh strong medial interests to continue the practice.


Son preference Sex selection Public policies Policy impact Vietnam 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Rahm
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Population and DevelopmentParisFrance

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