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High and growing disapproval of sex-selection technology in Australia

Overview of attention for article published in Reproductive Health, September 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (69th percentile)

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High and growing disapproval of sex-selection technology in Australia
Published in
Reproductive Health, September 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12978-018-0577-5
Pubmed ID

Rebecca Kippen, Edith Gray, Ann Evans


In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council has banned the use of assisted reproductive technology for social sex selection, but notes "there is limited research into the question of whether Australians support the use of sex selection for non-medical purposes". This paper investigates Australian attitudes to sex-selection technology by different means (IVF, abortion, and a hypothetical pill), for different reasons (medical, family balancing, any reason), and by differing respondent characteristics (age, sex, education and religiosity). In 2007 and 2016, the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA) collected data on the attitudes of Australian adults to sex selection through IVF, abortion, and a hypothetical pill. We calculate population-weighted distributions and 95% confidence intervals of responses, and carry out logistic regressions to investigate the demographic characteristics of Australians who strongly disapprove of IVF or abortion for sex selection. In 2016, around three-quarters of AuSSA respondents were opposed to legalising sex selection through IVF for any reason, or for family balancing for a second or third child. Thirty-seven per cent were opposed to IVF for medical sex selection. Two-thirds of respondents in both 2007 and 2016 disapproved or strongly disapproved of IVF for sex selection, while the proportion who strongly disapproved increased from 31 to 40%. Disapproval/strong disapproval of abortion for sex selection increased from 74 to 81% from 2007 to 2016, while strong disapproval alone rose from 44 to 55%. More than 70% of respondents in both 2007 and 2016 stated that a hypothetical pill for sex selection should not be legal. Our analysis finds that female, young, more-educated, and more religious respondents are more likely to strongly disapprove of sex selection via IVF or abortion, and that the increase in those who strongly disapprove from 2007 to 2016 is statistically significant. Australians generally disapprove of the use of sex-selection technology. If legislation is to be guided by community attitudes, then the prohibition against sex selection for non-medical purposes through assisted reproductive technology should be maintained.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 12 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 12 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 2 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 17%
Researcher 2 17%
Student > Bachelor 1 8%
Student > Postgraduate 1 8%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 4 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 2 17%
Social Sciences 2 17%
Philosophy 1 8%
Psychology 1 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 8%
Other 1 8%
Unknown 4 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 September 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,477,526 outputs
Outputs from Reproductive Health
of 895 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 265,470 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Reproductive Health
of 4 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,477,526 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 76th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 895 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 8.8. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,470 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 4 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 2 of them.