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Global Debates, local dilemmas : sex-selective abortion in contemporary Vietnam

Hang, Tran Minh

Description

Sex-selective abortion has been the subject of vigorous debate around the world. While the ethical implications and consequences of sex-selective abortion have been intensely debated within the field of bioethics and feminism, anthropological contributions to these debates have been surprisingly limited. In Vietnam, demographic data indicates that the proportion of male births has increased over the last decade, especially since 2003. The national average sex ratio at birth, an indicator of sex...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHang, Tran Minh
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-22T00:07:51Z
dc.date.available2018-11-22T00:07:51Z
dc.date.copyright2011
dc.identifier.otherb2879991
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/151323
dc.description.abstractSex-selective abortion has been the subject of vigorous debate around the world. While the ethical implications and consequences of sex-selective abortion have been intensely debated within the field of bioethics and feminism, anthropological contributions to these debates have been surprisingly limited. In Vietnam, demographic data indicates that the proportion of male births has increased over the last decade, especially since 2003. The national average sex ratio at birth, an indicator of sex selection, today is close to 111, and may rise to 115 in the current decade. Although demographic research indicates that the trend is the result of the practice of sex-selective abortion, very little is understood about the incidence of sex-selective abortions in Vietnam: who undertakes them, why they decide to do so, how they take place and why policy measures to prevent them apparently have had such little effect. Also noticeably missing in discussions of this problem in Vietnam is attention to the identities, circumstances and experiences of those who provide and undergo sex-selective abortions. Adopting a processual and phenomenological approach to sex-selective abortion, this study aims to examine how and why sex-selective abortions occur and to explore the motives, circumstances and experiences of the people, especially women, who undertake them. As the first ethnographic study of sex-selective abortion in Vietnam, the research sheds light on the social, cultural, institutional and personal contexts in which such abortions take place and contributes to debates on the global and local factors that influence the utilization of new reproductive technologies for sex selection. This study suggests that sex-selective abortion in Vietnam is driven by three important factors: the perception of son preference rooted in the structure of the society; the desire for smaller sized families that reflects personal ambitions, economic imperativeness and policy constraints; and the development and market-driven proliferation of new reproductive technologies, particularly ultrasound, that facilitate sex determinations. The study identifies the people who engage in sex selection and investigates who they are sociologically, what motivates them, what procedures they follow, and how the practice of sex selection impacts upon them physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. The thesis includes eight chapters, in which the five substantive chapters give an ethnographic account of how sex-selective abortions take place. The account traces women's experiences of this process, from their involvement in sex determination and abortion decision-making, through to their experiences of abortion procedures and the after{u00AC}effects of abortions. It concludes with a discussion of societal responses to this phenomenon.
dc.format.extent1 volume
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subject.lccHQ767.5.V5 H36 2011
dc.subject.lcshAbortion Vietnam
dc.subject.lcshSex preselection
dc.subject.lcshSex of children, Parental preferences for Vietnam
dc.titleGlobal Debates, local dilemmas : sex-selective abortion in contemporary Vietnam
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University
dc.date.issued2011
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationAustralian National University.
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d514d90d9699
dc.date.updated2018-11-21T08:51:22Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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