Sex Selection


Sex selection is the practice of determining the sex of the unborn foetus and eliminating it if found to be female.

In recent years, the use of ultrasound technology has become the most common mode of sex determination followed by elimination of the female.  Easy access to ultrasound since the early 1980s has contributed to increased sex selection and the rapid decline in the child sex ratio.

Understanding Child Sex Ratio and Sex Ratio at Birth

This ratio is calculated as the number of girls per 1000 boys in the 0-6 years age group. In India, the ratio has shown a sharp decline from 976 girls to 1000 boys in 1961 to 914 as per the 2011 census. As per global trends, the normal child sex ratio should be above 950. However, in certain parts of the country such as Punjab and Haryana, there are less than 900 girls for every 1000 boys. The child sex ratio reflects the imbalance between the number of girls and boys, indicating that the practice of sex selection (along with other factors such as selective neglect of girls) have led to a drastic decline in the number of girls compared to the number of boys.

When the ratio is calculated at birth (i.e. the number of girls born per 1000 boys), it provides a clearer indication of sex selection, which happens before birth.  The sex ratio at birth for the country for 2007-09 is estimated as 906 girls born for every 1000 boys.  This data is available as a three year moving average from the Sample Registration System.  Though sex ratio at birth is a better indicator of pre-natal sex selection, the child sex ratio is still most widely quoted because of its easy availability at the district level and throughout the country.

Cause of sex selection

Sex selection is not only about misuse of technology. At the heart of the matter, is the low status of women and girls, and the deep-rooted prejudices they face throughout life. The issue needs to be seen in the context of a male-dominated social and family structure and a value system based on son preference. Further, the practice of dowry and the tag of ‘paraya dhan’ translate into daughters being seen as liabilities.

Discrimination and neglect of the girl child, could be in terms of inadequate nutrition, denial or limited access to education and health, and domestic violence. In one of its worst forms, it leads to complete rejection of daughters even before birth, as practiced through sex selection.

Highlights Census 2011

The child sex ratio in the country (0-6 years) has declined to touch the lowest levels since Independence, provisional results of Census 2011 have revealed it. The child sex ratio (0-6 years) in 2001 was 927 females per 1000 males born, which declined to 914 females per 1000 males. ”The child sex ratio at India level (914) is lowest since Independence,” he said. Although overall sex ratio has shown an improvement since 1991, the decline in child sex ratio (0-6) has been unabated since 1961 census. Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have recorded an increasing trend in the child sex ratio (0-6 years). In all the remaining 27 states and union territories, the child sex ratio shows decline over 2001 census. Mizoram (971) and Meghalaya (970) are top two states in 0-6 years sex ratio while Haryana (830) and Punjab (846), despite improvement, are the bottom two states.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mahendra
    Jun 01, 2013 @ 09:00:51

    its not good


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