Fewer girls-only families now, says report

A protest in New Delhi against sex selection.

A protest in New Delhi against sex selection.

In the context of falling sex ratios in India, a United Nations report points to a new level of ‘daughter aversion,’ most starkly visible in the negligible number of girls-only families in some parts of the country.

“Sex Ratios and Gender Based Sex Selection, History Debates and Future Directions” by Dr. Mary E. John, senior fellow, Centre for Women’s Development Studies for UN Women, was released on Tuesday. The report, which reviews existing studies, says it’s time to look at girls-only families, which are starting to disappear — they are only two per cent in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

The report says there is no doubt that contemporary India is witnessing a highly gendered version of fertility decline in northwest India.

Extra sons are no longer wanted either. This cannot be read as reduced son preference, says Dr. John who feels that families are planning to have at least one son and at most one daughter. It points to institutions and personnel directly mediating sex ratios at birth, for example clinics and medical practitioners, as an important area for research.

There are studies on the skewed sex ratios of children of doctors and gynaecologists that make it clear that they are guilty of practising sex selection for themselves, the report says.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 5:12:43 am |