If you notice a mistake in the text , highlight it and press Ctrl+Enter in order to send information to the editor.

“Prevalence and Reasons of Sex Selective Abortions in Armenia” Report


UNFPA Armenia presented the “Prevalence and Reasons of Sex Selective Abortions in Armenia” Report

You may download report ( in Armenian) here :


Factsheet  in English here:




  1. The majority of surveyed women started performing a reproductive function at the age of 19-35, which is a favorable age for reproduction.
  2. Some patterns are clearly observable between the increase in the number of births and the reproductive behavior:
  • Pregnancy was wanted for 99.8% of the respondents at the time of first pregnancy, for 89.1% at the time of second pregnancy and for 16.8% at the time of sixth pregnancy.
  • The more births the women have had the lower the percentage of those among them who wish to have yet another child (the percentage goes down from almost 100% to 19.8%).
  • The more births the women have had the lower the percentage of pregnancies resulting in live births (the percentage goes down from 95.2% to 16.8%) and the higher the percentage of pregnancies ending in induced abortions (the percentage goes up from 0.3% to 81.4%).
  1. Son preference is about 2.7 times higher among surveyed women, regardless of the number of pregnancies the woman has had, even at the time of first pregnancy.
  2. The sex ratio at birth for the first and second children was 1.03 and 1.02 respectively, which virtually coincides with a natural sex ratio among newborns.
  3. The sex ratio at birth for the third and especially the fourth child was 1.5 and 1.7 respectively, thereby differing considerably from the natural ratio for births of both sexes.
  4. From the fifth child on, the sex ratio at birth tends to decrease gradually (1.4), while in case of the sixth child the ratio is 1.2, which indirectly indicates that families having many children have both daughters and sons.
  5. For urban women, from the third child on, the sex ratio at birth tends to increase and peaks in case of the fourth child (3.3).
  6. In rural areas, the sex ratio at birth in case of the first through fourth child is close to a natural sex ratio (1.1 and 1.0); the ratio tends to increase slightly in case of the fifth child (1.3).
  7. With regard to women with tertiary education, the sex ratio at birth in case of the second through fifth child tends to increase (1.2-1.6), reaching an unprecedented high value of 3.2.
  8. A certain correlation is observed between women’s income and greater predominance of boys. In particular, in comparison with low-income women, in case of women with a monthly income of 100,000 AMD  (300 USD) or more the sex ratio at birth among the first and second children is 1.22 and 1.33 respectively, while among the fourth and fifth children the predominance of boys becomes unprecedented, with the sex ratio being 8.2 and 7.6 respectively.
  9. Even though women interviewed in a pre-natal period are well-informed about the possibility to determine the sex of the fetus (91.7%), only 420 women (22.1%) underwent that procedure.
  10. After the sex of the fetus had been determined, an overwhelming majority of women who had undergone that procedure (397 (94.5%)) maintained pregnancy. Twenty three women (5.5%) got an induced abortion. Thus, the survey results indicate that within the last 5 years 0.8% of 2,925 women of reproductive age (15-49 year-olds) in 2,830 households covered by the survey had a sex-selective abortion. As the survey data is representative for the country, we may assume that 0.8 per cent of 900,000 Armenian women of reproductive age have had a sex selective abortion in the last five years.
  11. The decision to have a sex-selective abortion was made primarily by pregnant women themselves (82.6%).
  12. The percentage of the interviewed women who are aware that induced abortion is legal in Armenia is relatively low (only 57.4%).
  13. Even though son preference in the respondents’ families is 6 times higher than daughter preference, nevertheless, when born, female children are cared for and treated equally.
  14. With regard to gender preferences for children, there is a differentiated approach in the respondents’ families and immediate social environment. In the interviewed women’s immediate social environment the number of persons who have son preference (59.3%) is about ten times bigger than the number of persons who have daughter preference (5.6%). In the opinion of the majority of interviewed women from rural areas (70.4%), preference in their immediate social environment is given to sons; only 1.6% believes that in their immediate social environment preference is given to daughters.
  15. On the whole, the number of families with son preference is about six times bigger than that of families with daughter preference (43.8% and 7.6% respectively). In rural areas the former number exceeds the latter almost ten times (51.8% and 4.5% respectively), while in urban areas the difference is about fourfold (37.6% and 10% respectively).
  16. 41.5% of women participating in the quantitative survey pointed out that during their first pregnancy they wanted to have a son, while only every seventh respondent (14.6%) noted that she wanted to have a daughter. It is noteworthy that for about a half of the respondents (44%) the child’s gender did not matter during their first pregnancy.
  17. Gender of the first child also has an impact on family’s preferences. In families with daughter preference, the first child in 80.1% of cases was female, whereas in families with son preference, the first child in 60.8% of cases was male.
  18. When asked who makes a decision on how many sons and how many daughters they should have in their family, an overwhelming majority of the participants in the quantitative survey (77.8%) replied that it is their joint decision with their husbands.
  19. A synthetic analysis of interviews in the qualitative study gives grounds to conclude that son preference can for the most part be accounted for by the necessity to ensure continuity of the clan, by a position of influence that men enjoy in families as well as by boys’ greater social mobility and more active roles in the society.
  20. To the question of why families have son rather than daughter preference, 39.2% of the participants in the quantitative survey replied that sons are continuators of the clan and 30.9% replied that sons are inheritors of property.
  21. A conclusion can be drawn based on interviews in the qualitative study that there are no particular problems related to a differentiated approach to daughters and sons in the families and that the problem is prospects for women’s subsequent self-realization and women’s more vulnerable status in the society.

Views: 5297

Վերադառնալ վերև