What do Sunni Muslims think about religiously forbidden reproductive options?

Ya'arit Bokek-Cohen, Mahdi Tarabeih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study explored the attitudes of Sunni Muslims towards religiously forbidden reproductive options: gamete donation, sex selection, surrogacy, and adoption. A total of 824 married Sunni Muslim people read 12 hypothetical vignettes depicting five types of assisted reproductive technologies: (i) sperm donation; (ii) egg donation, (iii) surrogacy; (iv) sex selection of a male foetus; and (v) and sex selection of a female foetus. They also related to the option of adopting a baby. Each vignette was presented twice: once depicting a relatively younger couple and once again describing a relatively older couple. The respondents were asked to state the level of their objection or acceptance for each of the twelve vignettes. In accord with the Islamic ruling, respondents reported objections to sex selection, egg and sperm donation, and surrogacy. However, they expressed a moderate level of acceptance of adoption of a baby. The greatest objection was directed at sperm donation, followed by objection to egg donation. Our study shows that the Sunni Muslims do not support the provision of fertility care for reproductive options that clearly contravene Islamic religious ruling. The findings may help fertility experts understand the cultural and religious complexities in treating Sunni Muslim couples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-775
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Fertility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The British Fertility Society.


  • Adoption
  • Islam
  • attitudes
  • egg donation
  • reproductive donation
  • sperm donation
  • surrogacy


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