The trouble of sex: Political debates about prenatal diagnosis and sex-information in Sweden

Project leader: Helena Tinnerholm Ljungberg

This sub-project analyses Swedish political debates about sex-information through prenatal diagnosis from the end of the 1980s and onwards. The political debates took place against the background of the Swedish abortion law, which allows women the right to abortion until the end of pregnancy week 18, while prenatal diagnosis may reveal sex-information at earlier stages of the pregnancy. The aim of the project is to explore how access to information about the unborn’s sex has been politically debated and regulated in Sweden. By drawing on theoretical insights from feminist Science and Technology Studies (STS) this project analyses sex-information as a kind of unwanted “trouble” in the political debate.

Publications and presentations:

• (with Lisa Lindén), ”The trouble of sex: Sex-determination, prenatal diagnosis and politics”, Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, vol. 27, no. 1, 2018, 33–45. Full text.

• “Putting feminist STS to work: The political debate about sex-determination of the unborn”, paper presentation at seminar organized by Feminist and Critical Studies in Politics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 9 June, 2017.