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

Articles By sex ratio

Are We Measuring Son Preference Correctly?

Despite the reduction in son preference by half since the early 1990s, it has failed to exert a concomitant influence on the sex ratio at birth. This contradiction forms the premise of our attempts to validate the parallels between stated son preference and revealed son preference. This article divulges several lacunae associated with the questions designed to measure son preference in the National Family Health Survey questionnaire
and suggests alternate ways to study the prevalence of son preference in India.

Gender Norms, Domestic Violence, and the Southern Indian Puzzle

This study suggests that compared to NFHS-3, in NFHS-5, justification for wife-beating in most southern Indian states has increased or remained the same despite increasing prosperity, levels of female education, and better indicators of human development in the region. While the reasons for why this has occurred against the backdrop of improved conventional indicators for development are unclear, what is clear is that macroeconomic changes do not necessarily lead to changes in gender norms.

Sex Ratio at Birth in Urban India

An exploration of the trends and patterns of sex ratio at birth in urban India and the processes behind son preference suggests a systematic worsening of SRB with increasing urban district size classes. The likelihood of giving birth to a son at the first order is highest among women with a stated son preference, which continues to effect second and third order births, given the sex of the previous child. The interrelationship between SRB and educational attainment shows an inverted U-shape. A balanced SRB among poor women corroborates their unbiased gender preference. In contrast, wealthier women and those with exposure to mass media exhibit poor SRB, although they report a neutral preference. 

 

Update on Trends in Sex Ratio at Birth in India

With additional data available at more regular intervals on sex ratio at birth, it is easier to track changes without depending on the decennial censuses. However, the diversity of sources also means differences in trends across sources and regions. A brief analysis of the latest available data is presented to identify the most recent trends and concerns in states that need attention, like north-western and eastern states of India.

Confronting Gender Discrimination in Punjab

The 2011 Census revealed the welcome fact that both the child sex ratio and the overall sex ratio in Punjab had improved considerably over the previous census data. However, subsequent rounds of National Family Health Survey data show that gender bias against the girl child in terms of health coverage and nutrition is not only higher than in the developed states but also the poorer ones. The central and state governments need to take note of this aspect in policymaking.