Factors influencing gender preference among women of Ambala, Haryana: a cross-sectional study

Nabeel Ahmed Gadi, Randhir Kumar, Anmol Goyal


Background: Preference for male child is well known phenomenon from ages. Sex ratio is an important social indicator measuring extent of prevailing equity between males and females in society. Changes in sex ratio reflect underlying socioeconomic, cultural patterns of a society. The situation has seemed to have gone out of hand in North India. The objectives of the study were to determine the factors influencing the gender preference of a child among women in reproductive age group; to assess the knowledge and practice about female feticide and pre-natal sex determination among them.

Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing married women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) attending general OPD and antenatal clinics in rural and urban health centers which are the field practice area of MMIMSR Mullana, Ambala district, Haryana. Data was analyzed using SPSS 21.0.

Results: Out of 400 women, 353 participated in the study. Preference towards male child was observed among 47% of women while only 14.2% preferred female child and 38.8% don’t state any specific preference. Literacy level and type of family significantly influenced gender preference among women p=0.0007 and p<0.0001 respectively.

Conclusions: Female feticide is still in practice in spite of awareness programs and existing law. There is a dire need to gear up the efforts against this social malady of son preference by intensive IEC campaigns about rules forbidding pre-natal sex determination and strict implementation of PC-PNDT Act especially in rural areas.


Gender preference, Female feticide, PCPNDT act

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