A community based cross sectional study on gender preference, awareness and attitude regarding sex determination among married women in rural field practice areas of North Karnataka, India
Keywords:Antenatal clinic, Cross-sectional study, Gender preferences, PCNDT act, Sex determination
Background: Female infanticide has been practiced in India since 1789. The child sex ratio in India is declining from 947 to 927 girls for 1000 boys within a span of ten years. This decline can be attributed to arrival of affordable and widespread adoption of Ultrasound in the early 1990s in India. Like other countries around the world, India is patriarchal. A set hierarchy prevails in all tiers of its social order, and a fanatic preference for male children is especially common in India. Still in India value system based son mania prevails. In this view our study regarding awareness and attitude towards gender preferences was relevant. Objective of the study was to evaluate gender preference, awareness and attitude regarding sex determination among married women in rural field practice Areas of North Karnataka, India.
Methods: Community based cross-sectional study conducted by interviewing married women of reproductive age group attending general OPD and antenatal clinics in rural field practice areas. Statistical analysis was done by tables and charts in percentage.
Results: In this study when asked about gender preferences most (49.4%) of the study subjects showed interest towards male child. Majorities (91%) of study participants were unaware about the pre natal sex determination, 4.5% were aware and 3.8% knew that sex determination was done in both private and government hospitals. When enquired about the method of sex determination majority (84%) were unaware, 15% knew that it is done by Ultrasonography. Among the study participants 75% were unaware about the fact that sex determination is considered as a crime in India and in the remaining, only 13% knew that there is a 13% knew that there is a strict punishment or penalty exists in India for sex determination.
Conclusions: In present study we found that son preference is still more in rural areas. Government should impose High fines and should take strict judicial action against parents who try to kill their unborn baby girl. More IEC activities to create awareness about ill effects of female feticide among rural women.