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State Worst Performer In Sex Ratio At Last Birth: Survey

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by kds1980, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110217/punjab.htm#4

    State worst performer in sex ratio at last birth: Survey
    Amaninder Pal/TNS

    Jalandhar, February 16
    Amid claims that there is a drastic improvement in the sex ratio profile of Punjab, the unpalatable truth is that preference among couples of not having children once they have a son is the highest in the country. This has established that a desire for a son is as desperate as ever.

    Although the sex ratio in the age group of 0-6 years is being used as a simplified indicator, there is yet another important scientific indicator, sex ratio at the last birth, which gives inference regarding the preference of couples for male and female children. This indicator establishes that in case of a preference for a male child in any society, sex ratio at the last birth will be low since couples would stop having children once they completed their family with a son.

    Punjab is the worst performer in the country if one goes by this indicator. According to the National Family Health Survey-III, the sex ratio at the last birth is 504 in Punjab, which means if 1,000 couples decide not to go in for another child after a son, there will be only 504 couples who decide otherwise after the birth of a girl.

    This ratio is worst even than the neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh where the NFHS-III has registered the ratios at 540 and 572, respectively.

    “The very low sex ratio at the last birth in most of the states suggest that son preference is continuing to influence fertility decisions in such states even today,” reads the survey report, which was conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the Indian Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, as a nodal agency.

    However, Dr JP Singh, Director (Health Services) said this indicator was not enough to decide the trends of male-female child preferences in Punjab. Ironically, the picture was equally grim at the national level. All three surveys, including NFHS-I and II, established that the sex ratio at the last birth was decreasing with every passing year.

    “The declining sex ratio at the last birth suggests that if a girl is born, it is unlikely to be the last child for a couple,” the report mentions.
     
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  3. Caspian

    Caspian
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    I've heard (and seen music videos about) the selective abortion of girls in Punjab. Any stats on that? Cuz the problem seems to be deeper then just not having kids after you have a son.

    YouTube - "Sister"

    The music video says 274 girls die in Punjab before their born.

    "Based on data generated by the National Family Health Survey in 1990-92 and 1996-98, the UNFPA undertook a study last year in nine States known for high rate of abortion - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. It found that Punjab and Haryana led in sex-selective abortions. In fact, the Census 2001 results have shown a decline in sex-ratio in the 0-6 age group, which the UNFPA team traces to the practice of sex-selective abortions.

    The number of sex-selective abortions in Haryana rose to 69,000 from 62,000, and in Punjab, from 51,000 to 57,000, in the last six years.

    Had there been no such abortions in the two States, the fertility rate would have been 3.2 (instead of 2.9) in Haryana and 2.9 (instead of 2.2) in Punjab." - http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/10/19/stories/0219000p.htm

    Attributing the difference in sex ratio solely to an unwillingness to have more childern, after already having one son, seems out of place to me. Selective abortion probably plays a huge role—It's a shame the article above made no mention of it.
     
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  4. Caspian

    Caspian
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Is there anywhere written in the article that unwillingness to have more children is the SOLE reason.The article is about How many people stop Thinking about having more children after a boy or girl is born and its effetct on gender ratio.Female foeticide is a separate issue and several articles have been written about it.
     
  6. Caspian

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    My main beef is that I feel that female foeticide is the MAIN reason for the difference in gender ratio. Simply choosing not to have more kids after having a son does not, in my mind, lead to such a large difference (unless, it is in combination with the act of female infanticide). I feel like the reason they mentioned (in the original article) is marginally significant at best, and totally insignificant in all likelihood.

    It seems, mathematically at least, that even if punjabi parents were opting to not have more childern after the first son—a gender imbalance would not be created because some families may have 2 or more daughters before having their 1 son and deciding to stop which would, in theory, counter-act the families that are having sons right off the bat and no children thereafter. However, female infanticide explains such a disparity in the gender ratio far more easily.

    While the article doesn't mention it to be the sole reason, you cannot really have a discussion on the gender imbalance without mentioning the "main" reason. I simply don't think female foeticide is a separate issue as you think it is. And i think the two issues go hand in hand. Indeed, I believe the general attitude of "son favoritism" amongst punjabi families is also part of this issue and not seperate from it. So here we have, three issues all of which seem intimately linked.

    So its still a shame that the article didn't mention female infanticide whatsoever (especially considering that it is most likely, the main reason behind the statistics)—The more awareness the better.
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Caspian

    You will be surprised to Know that Sex ratio of Punjab at present is one of the best in last
    100 years

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...dX7XLh&sig=AHIEtbSaUeqlZwABruHSoG9Ju4hB6q6yng

    The worst was in 1911 when there were only 778 women for 1000 men.
     
  8. Caspian

    Caspian
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    I wouldn't be surprised of that. But the fact is, compared to the rest of the country, the sex ratio is still one of the worst! At 876 women for 1000 men in 2001, thats still a pretty big disparity. Naturally speaking there should be something like 105 men for every 100 women, it should be roughly 50/50.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY The sex ratio amongst young childern (age 0-6) has been steadily getting worse for the past 40-50 years ever since the stat has been counted in the census. Going from

    901 girls for 1000 men in 1961 to
    798 girls for 1000 men in 2001

    That is hugely disturbing!

    Anyways, I am curious about their reasoning. That they attribute a portion of this decline to the tendancy of punjabi parents to stop having kids after getting their first son. I want to test this hypothesis very simply. For all extensive purposes, lets say that the chance of having a baby daughter and a baby son is 50/50 (in real life it isnt, you are like 1 or 2 percent more likely to have a son, but i think we can assume 50/50 for sake of simplicity). I will roll a dice in a 100 trials, numbers 1-3 represent a girl being born and numbers 4-6 represent a boy being born. Every trial will end the moment a boy is born and at the end of 100 trials I will tell you how many girls and boys were born respectively. Keep in mind, this is the most extreme case possible in which every one of those 100 families (represented by 100 trials) is having a kid until they have a son. Lets see what it does to the gender ratio, my guess is that it wont have much of an effect and certainly wont scale up to the disparity in gender ratio counted in 2001.
     
  9. Caspian

    Caspian
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    My Earlier Hypothesis + Experimental Design :p

    Results:

    After 100 trials, the resulting gender imbalance was:

    **Drum Roll Please***

    99 Girls for every 100 Boys!

    Even with all the families in my hypothetical experiment having a "son bias" there was no gender disparity! So much for that hypothesis then.

    ALSO, the original article mentions the gender ratio at last birth as being a useful indicator. In my simple experiment, that ratio of girls to boys at last birth was 0 to 100! That is the worst case scenario and still nothing! Meaning that even if all the last borns were male, it can still not account for disparity in gender ratio (which right now, is something like 80 girls for every 100 guys).

    Admittedly, the experiment is very simple. However, I believe it is sufficient evidence to throw out the articles original reasoning. The tendancy to stop having kids after the first born son has NO EFFECT on gender ratio.And keep in mind, This experiment assumed the worst case scenerio in which 100 percent of the families involved had a bias for sons (in real life, this isnt the case) and that the "gender ratio at last birth" was ensured to be 0:100 (even at 0:10000000 it wouldn't have an effect) SO i gave the reasoning its best shot for finding a disparity. And even if alll the families involved had a "son bias" and the gender ratio at last birth was heavily skewed to favour boys 100 percent of the time—the gender ratio in general is still roughly 50/50.

    I can only assume then that female infanticide has more to do with the gender disparity then the notion that punjabi families just stop having kids after they've had a son. If anyone is interested, I can post my results in graph form or you can sample my EXCEL spread sheet if you want. I encourage you to try the experiment yourself. Even after 50 rolls of the die, the gender disparity was 49/50. Its safe to assume then that the ratio would hold into the thousands.
     
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  10. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Great foray into clean debate and analysis, Caspian ji! I would love to see your model and EXCEL spreadsheet.
     
  11. Caspian

    Caspian
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    {Reserving this spot}

    Ill put up my graph and data soon
     
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