Analysis of trends in sex ratio at birth of hospitalised deliveries in the state of delhi



Download 165.35 Kb.
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size165.35 Kb.
Draft

ANALYSIS OF TRENDS IN SEX RATIO AT BIRTH OF HOSPITALISED DELIVERIES IN THE STATE OF DELHI

Joe Varghese

Vijay Aruldas

Christian Medical Association of India

In Collaboration with

Office of the Registrar General of India
Summary

Increasing masculinity child sex ratio in different parts of India has been an important aspect noted in the last few census reports of India. The misuse of medical technology for the identification of the sex of the child before birth and selective abortion of female fetuses is considered as the major reason for that. The State of Delhi is one of the affected areas in the country with severe demographic imbalance in child sex ratio.

The study is an attempt to identify the emerging pattern of sex ratio at birth [SRB] of hospitalised deliveries in the state of Delhi and various demographic and socio-economic factors affecting it based on certain available hospital data.

In the first stage of the study, SRB of eight large hospitals for ten-year period from 1993 to 2002 is calculated to examine any emerging trend. In the next stage, certain socio-economic and demographic variables are correlated with the SRB estimates from about 11,268 birth information of the year 2000 and 2001 available with one of the hospital. Births are taken as the unit of analysis and SRB is used as the indicator for sex selective abortions.

Ten-year study of SRB of hospitalised deliveries shows sharp increasing trends in masculinity from the beginning of the study period 1993/94 till 1997/98 period and thereafter showing stabilisation. Existence of intensive son preference is evident from the estimation of SRB according to the order of birth and sex composition of the previous children. Most of the sex selective abortions are occurring for the second or higher order of birth when the previous children are females. Evidences show that among parents who have more than high school education, sex selective abortions are more widely practiced by those who have post- graduation or professional qualifications. The probable explanation for this unexpected finding is the decreasing levels of fertility among the highly educated mothers forcing families to resort to sex selective abortions to have their desired number of sons in a small family. Result also shows that women who are ‘not working outside home’ tend to undergo more sex selective abortions compared to those who are employed suggesting the influence of women’s economic empowerment and autonomy in shaping the family organization strategies.

Only interventions focusing far-reaching social changes in improving value of girl child, increasing female autonomy and women’s opportunity in employment etc are likely to change the current scenario.
Introduction

Sex Ratio At Birth [SRB] refers to the ratio of male to female children born in a specific period or all the children ever born to a cohorts of women. In all human populations, there is a fairly stable Sex Ratio At Birth observed in countries with good vital registration which is approximately 104 to 106 boys per hundred girls [Census of India, 2001]. This advantage is because of the conception more boys than the girls even though there is increased male foetal loss than female fetuses during gestation period. Evidences suggest that unless there is conscious effort at intervention by humans, the sex ratio at birth will not change even over a century [Visaria L, 2002]. However in some regions of the world especially in the south and East Asia the strong preference for sons have distorted the SRB. The abnormal SRB have been found to be due to widely prevalent sex selective practices.

The strong patriarchal values in certain societies are reflected in their practices. Son preference has been one of the most evident manifestations of patriarchal society which depict the powerlessness of women within such societies. 1980 onwards, in countries like China where there is strong population control programmes, the fertility decline intensified the manifestation of son preference [Zhao 2000]. In India too with the declining fertility combining with the persistence of strong preference for sons, parents are taking steps to ensure the birth and survival of the sons compared with the females.

Over the years, the son preference in India had worked against the female sex particularly in their infancy and early childhood. She is discriminated against in many ways – ranging from abandonment of girl children, fewer months of breast feeding, less of nurturing and play, lesser medical treatment if falls ill etc- all working against the very existence of girl children. The level of discrimination comparatively reduces the chances of survival girl children is clearly evident by the differential child mortality among boys and girls [Agnihotri, 2001, Miller 1989, Das Gupta,1987]. Dreze and Sen [1995] have pointed out that the persistence of gender inequality and female deprivation are among India’s serious social failures. Today, with the technological advancement in medical diagnosis this discrimination begins even before her birth. Various medical technologies have been put into practice to identify the sex of the child before the birth and selective abortion, if found female. Of the various medical technologies, ultra sound machines are the most misused one in the sex selective practices [Ganathra, 2001]. Evidences shows growing incidence of pre-birth elimination of the girl children in India [Sabu George,1998].



Trends in juvenile sex ratio in India

The data on child sex ratio provides a broad indicator of the ground realities as they exist in the fabric of our society in its attitude and outlook towards the girl child.[Census of India, 2001] The Juvenile sex ratio in India as published by the last few census reports show enormous masculinity. According to the 2001 census report, while the overall sex ratio has increased from 927 females per 1000 males to 933 females per 1000 males, the Child Sex Ratio of 0 – 6 has reduced from 945 to 927girl children per 1000 male children. The child sex ratio at birth of 927 for the country as a whole is less than the universal sex ratio at birth. Of the total of 577 districts in the country, 48 districts showed inordinately low levels of child sex ratio of below 850. In the 1991 census report not a single district showed child sex ratio below 800. It is shocking to note that in next 10 years, 16 districts fell under this category. There were as many as forty eight districts where child sex ratio is under 850 during 2001, while there was only one districts in 1991. It is difficult to comprehend that as many as 456 districts constituting 79 per cent of all districts in the country have registered a decline of child sex ratio between 1991-2001. Of these, in seventy districts the decline is in the order of over fifty points.

The State of Delhi is one of the severely affected areas with severe demographic imbalance in child sex ratio. The over all child sex ratio in Delhi is 865 with 6 out 9 of its districts showing a drastic drop [more than 50 points] over the past one decade.

Factors determining the son preference

Son preference is deeply entrenched and has its social and economic basis. Various earlier studies and the census figures are suggestive to a certain extent the association of son preference to various socio-cultural, economic and certain demographic factors. In south Asian countries such as India, South Korea and China not only do sons have important roles in rituals, they may be the only source of support for the parents for the old age [Zhao,2000; Chen et al, 1981; Dasgupta, 1987].

One anticipated correlation was that between the rising women’s status in terms of entry into education and employment and reduced son preference or dependence. However a number of demographic researches show that daughter discrimination continues to occur in populations where women enjoy education and employment [Croll, 2002]. A study on the impact of son preference among north Vietnamese community suggests ‘more empowered female adults are more likely to resort to modern strategies in order to have a son, such as sex selective abortions’ [Belenger, 2002]. The national census data shows that most regions characterized by the adverse child sex ratio are the advanced regions of India in terms of per capita income as well as literacy level [Census of India, 2001]. The data also shows more adverse child sex ratio in urban areas, though the urban areas are characterized by higher literacy level especially among the females, more employment opportunities for women etc.

A study of the sex ratio at birth [estimated indirectly from SRS data] of select six states in India indicates its association with the socio-economic conditions, total fertility rate and mother’s mean age at fertility [Dutta P, 2001]. The examination of the patriarchal societies of Asia noted that the combination of fertility decline and son preference triggers the incentive for sex selective abortion [Zhao,2000, Bairagi, 2001]. The effect of the sex composition of previous children on subsequent fertility reveals the intensity of son preference in the Chinese society [Wen 1992]. Various studies looking at the India context are also showing that when the fertility declines and the preference for male children remains strong, parents still take the steps to ensure the birth and survival of male children [Sudha and Irudaya Rajan: 1998, Clark and Shelly, 2000]. A study of female foeticide in rural Haryana by Sabu and Dahiya [1998] had pointed at the linkages between sex of the living children with the family organising strategies. The assessment of sexual preferences of women in NFHS 2 also reveals the same. It shows among women with two living children, the proportion wanting more children is far greater among those with two daughters [53%] than those with two sons [17%] [Remez L, 2001]. Another assessment of NFHS 2 data reveals the association of high sex ratio at birth with geographic region, child’s birth order and mothers number of living sons and two socio economic characters – mother’s education and mother’s media exposure [Retherford, 2003]. A community based study of the reasons of induced abortions shows that husbands of the women undergoing sex selective abortions were less educated than the husbands of other abortion seekers [Ganathra et all, 2001].

The study is an attempt to identify the emerging pattern of sex ratio at birth of hospitalised deliveries in the state of Delhi and various demographic and socio-economic factors affecting it based on certain available hospital based data. The study is to evaluate the impact of son preference under conditions of social and economic development, changes in fertility etc on sex ratio at birth.

Objectives of the study


  1. To understand the trends in sex ratio at birth of last 10 years among hospital deliveries in Delhi

  2. To identify the effect of different demographic and socio-economic factors on the sex ratio at birth.

Justification of the study

The widespread misuse of medical technologies for the selective elimination of the female foetuses had evoked the civil society response for long in India. Unfortunately, a law enacted in 1996 to regulate pre-natal diagnostic techniques and prevent sex selection was very laxly implemented resulting in the rampant malpractice. Very recently, for the last three years, the country had witnessed an intensification of campaign against sex selection by the civil society with the judicial intervention following a public interest litigation by Cehat, Masum and Sabu George and also with the alarming revelation of demographic profile [0-6 sex ratio] brought out by the national census 2001. The Law implementation machinery was also revamped as evident by the increase in the registration of the ultra-sound machines though out the country. In the state of Delhi, both the civil society action and the government law enforcement mechanisms were on an upsurge over this period. Whether this has changed the ground realities in terms of reduction in the elimination of female fetuses need to be further probed. Studying the trend in the sex ratio at birth from different hospitals over the last 10 years is expected to provide this information.

Much of the evidence on the spread of sex selective abortion in India is anecdotal. There is no reliable statistics on the practice at either state or national level [Retherford, Roy 2003]. The main determinants in the child sex ratio are sex selective mortality, sex selective migration and sex selective omission on enumeration and sex ratio at birth. The first three reasons can confuse in drawing conclusions on the actual severity of sex selective abortions. In a state like Delhi selective migration of families coming only with the male children are often sited as one reason for the skewed child sex ratio [Times of India, 2002]. Visaria [2002] opinions that the contribution of sex selective abortion on the sex ratio at birth requires a careful analysis of data from various sources, such as SRS, census and birth records from hospitals or institutions. It was further stressed that more data is needed on the extent of female foeticide, the demographic and socioeconomic status of women who undergoes sex selective abortions. Information on sex ratio at birth is likely to reflect more light in to the actual scenario. According to Sudha and Raja [1998], in India available data help us to understand the juvenile sex ratio rather than sex ratio at birth. They too emphasis the need to have future research examining the demographic behaviors in India from a gendered perspective that scrutinises the nexus between cultural and economic factors and household organisation and strategies. Vina Mazundar in comparison of studies on sex selection practices using foeticide and infanticide have pointed out the lack of information on cast, culture and life styles of those who practice foeticide practices.

Data and Methods

The study is based on the data available with the birth records of select large hospitals in Delhi. Births are the unit of analysis and sex ratio at birth [SRB] based on the hospital birth is the indicator for sex selective abortions. The study is designed in two stages. In the first stage of the study each year’s SRB of eight hospitals for the previous 10 years will be calculated and plotted on a graph to examine any emerging trend. The birth data was collected from three public sector hospitals and five private hospitals belonging to various geographical areas of the state. The state of Delhi, being well connected with roads and public transport system, it is assumed that people do not have geographical preference in accessing any of these large hospitals.

In the next stage of the study, socio-economic and demographic variables were correlated with the SRB estimates from about 12,000 birth information of the year 2000 and 2001 available with one of the hospital. The hospital is purposely selected for the study because of the availability and accessibility of the data.

Based on the existing evidences and data availability the study conceptualises the relationship between sex ratio at birth with the following predictor variables.



Socio-economic factors


  • Occupation of father

  • Occupation of mother

  • Education of mother

  • Education of father

  • Religion

Sex of the child


Demographic factors


  • sex of the living children

  • order of birth

  • Age of the mother

  • Age of father

In the analysis of the data, births are the unit of analysis. SRB for various categories were calculated as number of boys born divided by number of girls born based on the indexed birth of hospital records during the 2000 –01 period. SRB is used as an indirect indicator for sex selective abortions. Each of the variables is correlated with the SRB to identify the relation between them. Finally logistic regression is applied to analyse the effects of selected demographic and socio-economic variables on sex ratio at birth. For the logistic regression, sex ratio at birth is taken as binary coded as 1 if, birth is male and 0 if it is a female.



Our estimates of SRB based on hospital data are in many cases substantially affected by sampling variability and therefore highly approximate. Difference between SRBs that are not statistically significant must be interpreted with caution.

Results

Part 1




Trends in the Sex Ratio at Birth of Hospitalised deliveries of Delhi




The trend is calculated from the data of hospitalised deliveries of eight large hospitals of Delhi for ten year period between the year1993 and 2002. These hospitals belong to various geographical locations in the state of Delhi. Analysis is pertaining to a total of 375499 births in ten years of which 249964 are from the government hospitals and 125535 are from the private hospitals. The SRB of total births of the study hospitals in ten year is 115, that of the government hospitals is 113 and private hospitals is 120 boys per 100 girls. The total number of births in each year is as given in the table no. 1. On an average, the data is pertaining to about 37550 births per year. As per the SRS data [2002], the birth rate for the state of Delhi is 20.3 for the year 1996-1998. Applying the same crude birth rate to the population of Delhi according to the 2001 census [13,782,976], it can be estimated that 279794 births are taking place in Delhi every year. Since only 59% of births are taking place in health facilities [NFHS– 2] the sample is roughly about 23% of hospitalised deliveries of Delhi.


Table No. 1 Total Number of births in the study hospitals each year

Year

Number of births

1993

34707

1994

36064

1995

37262

1996

36512

1997

37701

1998

35317

1999

39852

2000

40039

2001

39229

2002

38816

The trend in SRB over the ten year period is verified by calculating the floating average of three years and plotted on the graph as given below [Figure 1].



Figure 1 Three-year floating average SRB of hospitalised deliveries of Delhi [ between 1993- 2002]



The above figure shows increasing SRB trend from 1993-95 period [111 boys per 100 girls] onwards up to the period of 1996-98 where it reached 117 boys per 1000 girls. There after SRB shows slight reversal of the trend. The data shows that for the next few years it remains between 116 to 118 boys per 100 girls.


Part 2

Correlates of Sex Ratio at Birth of hospitalised deliveries

The results are pertaining to the detailed birth information for the year 2000 and 2001 that was collected from one of the study hospital. There were 11267 births occurred in the hospital in the two-year study period, SRB of which is 1.24. The SRB for the year 2001 is 1.18 and that of the year 2000 is 1.30. All the following analysis are done for both the years together. The birth information are taken from the labour room records which are entered in the just before and after the delivery as reported by the mother.

SRB by birth order and sex of previous children




Sex Ratio at Birth by number of existing children indicates the intensity of sex selection in the higher order of births. It can be seen from the figure 3 that the SRB for the first order of birth is 107, which falls slightly above the normal range showing that only minimal sex selection happening for the first child. However for the 3rd and above order of birth, SRB is significantly masculine at 247 boys per 100 girls. This is other words explains that there are only about 30 percent chance for a girl to be born in 3+ birth orders.




Figure 3 SRB by Birth Order
Table 1 SRB by Birth Order

Birth Order

N

SRB

1

5929

107

2

4142

138

3+

1196

147

SRB by birth order may conceal the intensity of the sex selective abortions, if the sex selective abortions are happening to eliminate both boys and girls to achieve ideal sex composition of children. Therefore to capture the realistic picture of sex selective abortions that are occurring, it is necessary to examine SRB by both birth order and sex composition of the existing children. Table 1 shows that, as expected the sex composition of the existing children is an important determinant for the sex of the next child. The difference is very conspicuous for the second child depending on whether the first child is a boy or a girl. The SRB for the second order birth for those who have already one male child is 1.04 [959 girls per 1000 boys], which is within the range of normally occurring SRB. However when the first child is a girl, the SRB for the second order of birth is as high as 1.85 [542 girls per 1000 boys]. Similarly, SRB is as high as 4.56 [219 girls per 1000 boys] for the 3rd order birth when both the earlier children are girls.



Table 1 SRB by sex of the previous children


Birth Order

Sex composition of existing Children

N





Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

SRB Hospitalised Deliveries

SRB

NFHS –2


[Delhi]


2nd order

One male child

2091

959

1.04

1.08

One female child

2075

542

1.85

1.21


3rd Order


One male child and one female child

391

558

1.79

1.03

Two male children

161

894

1.12

0.87

Two female children

474

219

4.56

1.56



Age of parents


In the sample the average age of mother is 25. 73 years and that of the father is 29.19. The table 4 shows direct relation of high sex ratio at birth with the increasing age of parents. However this is inconclusive as the increase in SRB could be due to high SRB in higher birth orders as suggested in the figure 2.


Table 4 Age of parents



Age of mother

[Number of birth]


SRB

Number of female birth per 1000 male birth


Age of father

[Number of birth]


SRB

Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

Less than 24 years [3371]

1.11

902

Less than 27 years

1.16

860

Between 24 and 28

[ 5631]

1.26

792

Between 27 and 32

1.23

814

More than 28

[2325]

1.58

634

More than 32

1.6

627

Table 3 describes SRB of first born by mother’s age. SRB of younger mothers [less than the sample average age of mother for the first order birth] for the first child falls within the normal range of universal SRB. However there is increase in SRB for more aged mothers for the first order of birth showing that some sex selective abortions of girls are happening even for the first order of birth, when the mothers age at first birth is increasing. SRB is increased from 1.05 to 1.08 when the first order birth for the higher age group mother, which is categorised above and below the sample average.


Table 3 SRB for the first order of birth by mother’s age






N


SRB

Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

Age of the mother less than 23.94 years

2769

1.05

949


Age of the mother more than 23.94 years*

3205

1.08

926

* Average age of the mother 23.94 years

Sex Ratio at Birth and Religion


The table 4 illustrates the SRB of current birth according to mother’s religion. All the major religions except Muslim religion show higher than universal sex ratio at birth. The severity is stronger among the ‘other religions’ category compared to Hindus and Muslims community. However it should be noted that 66.2% of the information of the current birth and 67.8% of the existing children in the ‘other religions’ group is that of the Sikh community. The similar trends are followed when we consider the over all sex ratio of all existing children, though with much less severity. The lesser severity sex ratio for all the children reveals family organisation practices to achieve the desirable sex composition of children.



Religion



N


Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

SRB

Number of existing children including the current birth

Sex Ratio of existing children

Hindu

10308

781

1.28

16492

1.06

Muslim

442

982

1.02

826

0.86

Other Religions

500

713

1.40

772

1.23

Table 4 Sex Ratio at Birth according to religion

Education of Parents

Education of parents is taken as a continuous variable and is calculated as the minimum number of years of study required in reaching the reported educational qualification. The sample shows the average years of education of the mother is 12.59 years and that of father is 13.26 years.

The level of education appears to have an impact on the SRB. SRB of current births of those parents who have more than high school education is 1.24 [806 female birth per 1000 male birth]. At the same time SRB of parents with less than 10 years of education is 1.35 [739 female birth per 1000 male births]. A separate detailed examination SRB by education of father, mother and both parents together shows similar trends as the level of education goes up. It is interesting to note that the only category that has normal SRB is when both the parents have minimal education. It also shows that SRB is highest among those with medium levels of education [high school education].

Analysis of SRB of hospital deliveries shows that among parents who are educated [more than 10 years of education] SRB is increasing with increase in education. While SRB of the graduate parents is 1.22 [822 girls per 1000 boys] for parents with postgraduate qualification it is 1.30 [769 girls per 1000 boys].



Table 5 SRB by education of parents




Mother

Father
Both Parents


N



SRB


No. of female birth per 1000 male births


N


SRB

No. of female birth per 1000 male births


N



SRB

No. of female birth per 1000 male births

0 to 7years of schooling


[up to middle school complete]

897


1.27


787


415


1.15


869


271


1.02


978


8 to 10 years of schooling

[


2383


1.33


755


1059


1.43


702


1059


1.42


703


11 to 15 years of schooling []

6177

1.25

803

7047

1.23

814

4795

1.22

822


More than 15 years of education

[higher than graduate education]



1897


1.28


780



1820


1.30


769


948


1.30


769



Occupation of Parents

The table 6 shows different pattern of SRB for father and mother according to their different occupational status. Mother’s better employment status has a positive impact on SRB [as reflected by the declining masculinity of SRB] as it moves from mothers who are not working outside home to those are employed in high end job professional job.


Table 6 SRB by Occupation of Mother






Employment status of mother


N


SRB

Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

High-end professional job

469

1.19

839

Employed

981

1.24

809

Not working outside home

9904

1.28

783

Further analysis of SRB among educated mothers [higher secondary complete and above] categorised according their employment status is also showing association of SRB with mothers’ employment status [Figure 3]. SRB for mothers who are employed is 1.21 [827 girls per 1000 boys] compared to those who are not working outside home [787 girls per 1000 boys].


Figure 3 Sex ratio at birth among Educated mothers [12 years or above of education]


Father’s employment status, the SRB value does not show any such trends, as seen in the case of mothers [table 7]. In contrast to low SRB among mothers with high-end professional jobs, SRB is relatively high when father is having high-end professional employment.

Table 7 SRB by Occupation of Father


Employment status of Father


N


SRB

Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

High end professional job

645

1.29

777

Employed

6930

1.26

793

Business

2896

1.26

796

Employed in the unorganised sector

644

1.36

736


Analysis of SRB according to both the parent’s occupation reinstate the fact that SRB is consistently masculine when mother are not employed outside home.

Table 8 Occupation of Parents





Occupation of father

Occupation of Mother
N

SRB


Number of female birth per 1000 male birth

High-end professional job

Employed

197

1.17

859

High-end professional job

Domestic Work

448

1.35

743


Business + Farmer

Employed

196

1.25

847

Business + Farmer

Domestic work

2815

1.26

800

Employed

Employed

1050

1.22

823

Employed

Domestic work

6524

1.28

783



Logistic Regression

Logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the effects of selected demographic and socioeconomic factors on the sex ratio at birth. Following variables are used in the logistic regression analysis of factors affecting the sex ratio at birth; age of the mother, religion, occupation of the mother, occupation of father, education of father, education of mother, sex of previous children and birth order. The analysis looked into the differentials in the SRB of various categories of each variable taking into account the effects of all other variables, which are held constant at the mean values. Logistic regression indicates significant levels of relation between SRB and religion, sex of previous children and birth order.

Discussion and Conclusions

In our analysis of ten-year hospital birth data of Delhi shows increasing trends in SRB from 1993-94 period and then stabilises after 1997-98 period. The information assumes importance when we relate this data with another set of birth data of hospitalised deliveries of Delhi collected by Registrar General’s office for five-year period of 1987 –92 [Raju and Premi, 1992]. The study, based on about 35000 hospitalised births noted an increase in SRB from 1.06 in the initial year to 1.09 in the last year. The present study also shows the continuation of such trend up to the year 1997/98. The SRB of overall births of Delhi estimated from the NFHS 1 [for the period 1978-92] and NFHS 2 [for the period 1984-98] also shows an increase from 1.11 to 1.12 [Retherford, Roy 2003]

From 1997-98 period onwards the sex ratio is hovering around 860 female birth per 1000 male birth. This is slightly worse than the child sex ratio of 865 according to 2001 census for the state of Delhi. Even at this level the SRB is at a dangerous point to produce serious social consequences in the coming future. However it should be kept in mind that our estimate of hospital data has been from large hospitals of Delhi, which may tend to differ from that of smaller nursing homes, though we argue otherwise.

It is unclear that whether the stabilization of sex ratio from 1997-98 period has any relation to the PNDT Act 1994, which came in to existence from 1996 onwards. If at all we attribute the stabilization factor to the 1994 Act, it could only able to arrest further spread of misuse of technology and could not reduce the level of malpractice that had been already happening.

Existence of intensive son preference is evident from the estimation of SRB according to the order of birth and sex composition of the previous children. Most of the sex selective abortions are occurring for the second or higher order of birth when the previous children are females. There is also evidence that some amounts of sex selective abortions of girls are taking place for the third order birth even while the families have existing children of both the sexes. NFHS-2 survey [2000] has reported that women in Delhi wanted more number of sons than the daughters. It shows that for an average ideal family size of 2.4 children, the desired number of sons is 1.2 and daughters is 0.9 and 0.3 of either sex. It also reports that the proportion of women expressing desire for a son increases with the number of living children. Among women with two living children, 71 percent want their next child to be a son, 10 percent want a daughter, and only 19 percent say that the sex of the child is up to God or does not matter.

Pressure on families to have male children is clearly evident from table 1 showing SRB by order of birth and sex of previous children. It also helps us to visualize the picture of the probable nature of India’s population under any coercive population control policies. Experience of China shows that coercive population control policies did reduce couple’s demand for children, but did not change their attitude towards having male children [Wen 1992, Zhirong [2000]. Any vigorous measures for control of population growth in India will be disastrous for the SRB, which will be highly skewed against females.

The ideal sex ratio [the ratio of ideal number of sons to ideal number of daughters] and actual sex ratio at birth are tend to be opposite in direction for the Muslim religion. According to NFHS 2 [2000] report for the state of Delhi, the indicators for the son preference [desire to have son] is highest among the Muslim women compared to both Hindu and Sikh women. The hospital data shows that in spite of their high desire to have a son; the actual practice of sex selection is rare among Muslim community. This behavior needs to be studied further.

The impact of parent’s education on SRB appears to be rather inconclusive. Analysis shows a better SRB values for parents who are educated more than 10 years compared to those who are less educated. In the NFHS 2 report [2000] for the state of Delhi has also noted that the son preference [as indicated by the percentage who want more sons than daughters] is relatively week among mothers with high school or more of education and also for women whose husbands had completed higher secondary school. However a detailed analysis of the hospital data shows that for parents who are educated [more than 10 years of education] SRB is increasing with increase in education. The data also illustrates a better SRB for parents who have minimal level of education [less than 5 years of schooling].

This finding contradicts the popular belief that education helps to bring down the gender disparities. The probable explanation for this unexpected finding is the decreasing levels of fertility among the educated women forcing families to resort to sex selective abortions to have their desired number of sons in a small family.

SRB according to employment status of mothers suggest the influence of women’s economic empowerment in shaping the family organization strategies. Women who are not working outside home show worse SRB figures compared to those who are employed. Comparison of SRB figures according to the women’s employment status and number of years of education strengthens the argument that even improvements in women’s education unless resulted in employment and therefore economic empowerment, may not alter the status of women in the society. A community based study of sex selective abortions in the state of Maharashtra also noted that women who seek abortions for sex selective reasons appear to be differ from other abortion seekers; they have lesser autonomy, weaker decision making power within the households and therefore more vulnerable to produce male heirs [Ganatra,2001].




References


  1. Agnihotri Satish, declining infant and child mortality in India, How do girl children fare? Economic and Political Weekly, January 20, 2001

  2. Bairagi Radheshyam; Effects of sex preference on contraceptive use, abortion and fertility in Matlab, Bangladesh, International Family Planning Perspectives, 2001, 27(3); 137-143

  3. Belanger Daniele [2002], Son preference in rural village in north Vietnam, Studies in Family Planning 2002; 33[4]; 321-334

  4. Clark, Shelly; 2000; Son Preference and Sex Composition of Children: Evidence from India; Demography 37(1): 95-108

  5. Census of India 2001: Provisional Population Totals, Series 1; Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India

  6. Chen LC, Huq E, D’Souza: 1998, Sex bias in the family allocation of food and health care in rural Bangladesh; Population and Development Review 7, No. 1, pp 55-70

  7. Croll Elisabeth J, 2002, Fertility decline, family size and female discrimination; A study of reproductive management in east and south Asia, Asia-Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 17, No. 2, PP 11-37

  8. Das Gupta M; 1987; Selective Discrimination against female children in rural Punjab, India; Population and Development Review (13), No. 1 P 77 - 100

  9. Dreze, J, Sen, A, [1996]; India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity, Oxford University Press, Delhi

  10. Dutta Paramita: Factors associated with sex ratio at birth: a case study based on six selected states in India: IIPS; 2001

  11. Ganatra Bela, Hirve Siddhi, Rao VN, Sex selective abortion: Evidence from a community based study in western India, Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 2001, Vol.16, No. 2, pp 109- 123.

  12. Miller DB 1989; Changing patterns of Juvenile sex ratios in rural India, 1961 to 1971; Economic and Political Weekly; June 3. 1989; P 1229 - 1236

  13. Mutharayappa R, Choe MK, Arnold F and Roy TK ;1997, Effect of son preference on fertility in India; NFHS subject report No. 3

  14. National Family Health Survey [NFHS –2], India 2000; IIPS and ORC Macro: International Institute for Population Sciences.

  15. Raju S, Premi MK; Decline in sex ratio: Alternative explanation re-examined. Economic and Political weekly, 1992; 27; 911-12.

  16. Retherford D R, Roy TK [2003]; Factors affecting sex selective abortions in India; National Family health Survey; Bulletin; No. 17

  17. Retherford D R, Roy TK [2003]; Factors affecting sex selective abortions in India;National Family health Survey, Subject Reports Number 21

  18. Remez L [2001], Prevention of unwanted births in India would result in replacement fertility; Digests; International Family Planning Perspectives; 27; no. 2; pp 104-105

  19. Sabu M george, Ranbir S Dahiya: Female foeticide in Rural Haryana: Economic and Political Weekly 33(32): August 8-14, 1998: 2191-2198

  20. Sudha S. Irudaya Rajan: Intensifying Masculinity of Sex ratio in India: New Evidence 1981-1991: Centre for development studies, Thiruvananthapuram; 1998

  21. Visaria Leela, 2002, Deficit of women in India: Magnitude, trends, regional variations and determinants; The National Medical Journal of India; vol 15, supplement 1; pp 19-25

  22. Wen Xingyan [1992], ‘The effect of sex preference on subsequent fertility in two provinces of China; Asia-Pacific Population Journal; Vol. 7, No. 4, PP 25-40.

  23. Zhao Zhirong [2000]; Controlling theskewed sec ratio at birth in China: An implementation perspective; http://www.wiapp.org/spapers/zhaozr01.html, Website in Institutional Analysis and Public Policy


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page