A Study on Perception for Gender Preference among Married Women of Urban Field Practice Area of a Medical College in Davangere, Karnataka

A M Preethi, R G Geethalakshmi, K Prakash

Abstract


 

 Background: Sex ratio in India has always remained unfavorable to females. Variations in sex ratio reflect the underlying socioeconomic, cultural patterns of a society. The girl child faces the neglect of the family in the form of providing basic needs of life in terms of food, clothing, love, education, and medical care. The objectives of the study were to determine the gender preference and to describe factors influencing gender preference among married women of urban field practice area of a medical college, Davangere, Karnataka. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing all married women (n=120) with at least one child attending Urban Primary Health Centre. Results: In our study, 62% of the married women had son preference, 32% had daughter preference while only 6% of them had no preference for any gender. Old age dependency, growth of family, and women not staying with parents after marriage were the main reasons for preferring a son, while dowry and women unsafety were the reasons for not preferring a girl child. Conclusion: Son preference is still prevalent among women of urban Davangere and there is a complex association of many factors which determine gender preference. Efforts to address patriarchal gender norms, strengthening the existing laws against dowry and Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act, and educational and occupational opportunities for females are crucial, if girls are to be perceived as important and desired in our society.

Key words: Gender preference, girl child neglect, married women, son preference


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