Journal article

Missing girls and son preference in rural India: looking beyond popular myth.

Mridula Bandyopadhyay

Health Care for Women International | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2003


Survival chances of girls in parts of South and East Asia have been adverse. Female foeticide, infanticide, abandonment, out-adoption, under-reporting of female births, and selective neglect of girls leading to higher death rates, have contributed to this adversity. Here, I reflect on an observed skewed sex ratio at birth in rural West Bengal, and discuss female foeticide, infanticide, son preference, and abortion. More boys were recorded at birth, and the majority of women desired sons. Trajectories of selective neglect of and discrimination against daughters have been researched extensively, but the related issues of female foeticide and infanticide have been less examined.