Pink and Blue! Assemblages of Family Balancing and the Making of Dubai as a Fertility Destination

Charlotte Kroløkke, Filareti Kotsi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Selective reproductive technologies (SRTs), such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, enable enhanced clinical success rates, create reproductive choices, and produce new commercial opportunities. Drawing upon empirical material acquired during a ten-month period in 2016, this study uses a total of twenty-two in-depth interviews with doctors, CEOs, clinical directors, marketing directors, patient counselors, and embryologists to discuss how traveling for the SRT of gender selection for nonmedical reasons is mediated by fertility clinics and clinicians in Dubai. Multimodal analysis was used to analyze the clinical websites’ key rhetorical and visual features. Meanwhile, interviews and observational studies highlighted the context within which gender selection takes place. Findings revealed that gender selection is promoted as a form of “enhancement” and “family balance,” which, when combined with the ways that Dubai is assembled as a sensory (fertility) tourist destination, routinize SRTs and lead to an understanding of gender selection as not merely an individualized reproductive journey but an optimization of the family unit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience, Technology & Human Values
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)97-117
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Dubai
  • family balancing
  • gender selection
  • multimodal analysis
  • selective reproductive technologies


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