Sex Differentials in Childhood Feeding, Health Care, and Nutritional Status in India
AbstractStrong preference for sons in South Asia is well documented, but evidence on female disadvantage in childhood feeding, health care, and nutritional status is inconclusive. This article examines sex differentials in indicators of childhood feeding, health care, and nutritional status of children under age 3 by birth order and sex composition of older living siblings. Data are from India's 1992-93 and 1998-99 National Family Health Surveys. The analysis finds three reasons for inconclusive evidence on female disadvantage in aggregate analyses. First, discrimination against girls is limited to the relatively small fraction of children of certain birth orders and sex compositions of older siblings. Second, discrimination against girls when boys are in short supply and discrimination against boys when girls are in short supply cancel each other to some extent. Third, some discrimination against girls (e.g., in exclusive breastfeeding at 6-9 months) is nutritionally beneficial to girls. Separate analyses for North and South India find that gender discrimination is as common in the South as in the North, where son preference is generally much stronger. Copyright 2004 The Population Council, Inc..
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.
Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0098-7921
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- Emily Oster, 2006. "Does Increased Access Increase Equality? Gender and Child Health Investments in India," NBER Working Papers 12743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ashish Singh, 2011.
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- Singh, Ashish, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Indian children: the case of immunization and nutrition," MPRA Paper 32505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Oster, Emily, 2009. "Does increased access increase equality? Gender and child health investments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-76, May.
- Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2007. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," NBER Working Papers 13305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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