A bioethicist has called for it to be made legal to allow parents to choose a child's sex.
Writing for the BBC, Stephen Wilkinson claimed that for many parents their child's sex was simply a matter of preference.
Some may have had several sons and wish to balance their family with a daughter but current UK law prevents them from doing so.
But according to Mr Wilkinson, a "carefully regulated reproductive medicine sector" could allow prospective parents to make the decision.
The expert dismissed concerns that legalising the procedure in the UK would encourage countries like China and India to increase their discrimination against female children.
As the law stands, in the UK parents are only allowed to use the procedure to pick the sex of their child in order to prevent gender-specific genetic problems.
But providing they are "able and willing to pay for it", Mr Wilkinson sees no reason why it should be banned.
Independent advice on private healthcare