ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Declining Child Sex Ratio and Sex-Selection in India

A Demographic Epiphany?

The 2011 Census results on the sex composition of the Indian population have so far been discussed within the prevailing understanding of the reasons behind a declining child sex ratio: The use of prenatal diagnostic techniques followed by sex-selective abortion, female child neglect and female infanticide. This article questions aspects of this explanation and argues for a multi-causal approach to analyse the declining child sex ratio. Attention needs to shift towards those families who, under the infl uence of the prevalent small family norm and son preference, stop producing children when one or two sons are born.

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