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Sex selection occurs throughout history and takes many forms, and is most often rooted in cultural traditions that favor sons over daughters. Parental motivations for wanting to control the biological sex of their future child are complex and include patriarchal cultural systems that devalue girls, inheritance traditions that enable sons to keep property in the family but deny inheritance to daughters, the economic cost of daughters in cultures where dowry is paid on marriage, and other cultural and religious traditions.

The most drastic form of sex selection is female infanticide, which can be either direct killing or abandoning of female infants or indirect killing through neglect, such as withholding of food when resources are scarce. There are numerous nontechnological methods used to increase the chances ...

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