Gender preference among post-natal women for the next child: A study from coastal south India

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Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health


A balanced sex ratio is important for a stable society. However, son preference and discrimination towards the female gender has resulted in an adverse sex ratio. The objective of this cross sectional study was to assess the preference of women in post natal period, regarding gender of their next child. In this hospital based study 155 post-natal women from two tertiary care hospitals of Mangalore, in Karnataka State, India were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25.0. Of the study participants, 41.3% (n = 64) were in the age group between 23 and 27 years. Majority (n = 115, 72.9%) of the women preferred having two children. Among the 76 post-natal women with male newborn child, 52.6% (n = 40) wanted their next child to be a female. While among 79 post-natal women with a female newborn child, 69.6% (n = 55) wanted their next child to be a male. The overall son preference index in our study was 1.6 which showed strong tendency towards son preference. As son preference still prevails in our community, it is necessary to educate people regarding the adverse outcomes of an imbalanced society and its consequences.

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