India's sex ratio

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A look at the disturbing downward trend in India's sex ratio.

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India's sex ratio

  1. 1. India’s Sex Ratio<br />Global Health & Healing<br />April 2011<br />Suffolk University<br />Guest Lecturer: Diane D’Souza<br />
  2. 2. What is a “sex ratio”?<br />The proportion of females to males in a population. <br />It is calculated as the number of females per thousand males. <br />It is measured at different points in the life cycle.<br />
  3. 3. What’s a “Normal” Sex Ratio?<br />Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female <br />under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female <br />15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female <br />65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female <br />total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)<br />Source: CIA Factbook; accessed on 20 April 2011 from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html<br />
  4. 4. India’s Missing Girls<br />Today, 2,000 girls a day go missing in India. <br />That’s 700,000 a year.<br />Demographers estimate that 10 million girlsdisappeared from 1981 to 2005. <br />Source: P. M. Kulkarni, UNFPA Report: "Estimations of Missing Girls at Birth and Juvenile Ages in India”, United Nations Population Fund, 2007. <br />
  5. 5. How it happens has changed over time:<br />Death of mothers in childbirth.<br />Neglect during early infancy and young childhood.<br />Killing after the female child is born.<br />Illegal sex determination and consequent abortion.<br />
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  7. 7. State-wise diversity in sex ratio at birth<br />What might cause these differences?<br />Source: “Seven brothers: An aversion to having daughters is leading to millions of missing girls”, The Economist, 7 April 2011; accessed on 20 April 2011 at: www.economist.com/node/18530371<br />
  8. 8. What contributes to India’s low sex ratio?<br />Females perceived as an economic burden (dowry, marriage costs).<br />Males perceived as providing for one’s parents in old age (and inheriting property).<br />A punishing patriarchal view of female worth—which has been internalized by women.<br />

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