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Sex-Selective Abortions in India

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  • Fred Arnold
  • Sunita Kishor
  • T. K. Roy
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    Abstract

    Provisional estimates from the 2001 census of India, which showed unusually high sex ratios for young children, have sparked renewed concern about the growing use of sex-selective abortions to satisfy parental preferences for sons. According to the 1998-99 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2), in recent years the sex ratio at birth in India has been abnormally high (107-121 males per 100 females) in 16 of India's 26 states. Data from NFHS-2 on abortions, sex ratios at birth, son preference, and the use of ultrasound and amniocentesis during pregnancy present compelling evidence of the extensive use of sex-selective abortions, particularly in Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab. The authors estimate that in the late 1990s more than 100,000 sex-selective abortions of female fetuses were being performed annually in India. Recent efforts to expand and enforce government regulations against this practice may have some effect, but they are not likely to be completely successful without changes in the societal conditions that foster son preference. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 759-785

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:759-785

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    Cited by:
    1. Tin-chi Lin & Alícia Adserà, 2013. "Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 553-584, August.
    2. Yong Yoon, 2006. "Gender Imbalance: The Male/Female Sex Ratio Determination," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 253-268, December.
    3. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Population Growth and Rising Dowries: The Long-Run Mechanism of a Marriage Squeeze," Working Papers 2006_9, York University, Department of Economics.
    4. Prabir C. Bhattacharya, 2012. "Gender Inequality and the Sex Ratio in Three Emerging Economies," Heriot-Watt University Economics Discussion Papers 1201, Department of Economics, School of Management and Languages, Heriot Watt University.
    5. Abay Asfaw & Francesca Lamanna & Stephan Klasen, 2010. "Gender gap in parents' financing strategy for hospitalization of their children: evidence from India," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 265-279.
    6. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
    7. Jain, Tarun, 2009. "Where there is a will: Fertility behavior and sex bias in large families," MPRA Paper 16835, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sundaram, Aparna & Vanneman, Reeve, 2008. "Gender Differentials in Literacy in India: The Intriguing Relationship with Women's Labor Force Participation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 128-143, January.
    9. Nandi, Arindam & Deolalikar, Anil B., 2013. "Does a legal ban on sex-selective abortions improve child sex ratios? Evidence from a policy change in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 216-228.
    10. Tom Vogl, 2012. "Marriage Institutions and Sibling Competition: Evidence from South Asia," NBER Working Papers 18319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Rohini Pande & Nan Astone, 2007. "Explaining son preference in rural India: the independent role of structural versus individual factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-29, February.
    12. Chaudhuri, Sanjukta, 2013. "A Life Course Model of Human Rights Realization, Female Empowerment, and Gender Inequality in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 55-70.
    13. Lefebvre, Pierre, 2006. "Discrimination sexuelle dans les dépenses des ménages : survol de la littérature et évidences empiriques pour le Canada," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(1), pages 119-153, mars-juin.

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