Son Preference and Sex Composition of the Living Children: The Effect on Future Fertility Intention of Women in India

Aradhana Singh , Jawaharlal Nehru University

This paper attempts to see the effect of son preference on fertility level and future fertility intentions using National Family Health Survey data for all four rounds. This paper analyses the trend of future fertility intention by the given sex composition of the existing children and its effects on the future fertility intention. Further, it attempts to show the fertility trend in presence and absence of son preference in Indian states. The finding of this paper reveals that the number of women who desire to have an additional child quadruples among those who have two daughters than those women having two sons and the chances of having additional birth are higher among women with female children than the male children. The total fertility rate is also found to be greater in the presence of son preference than in the absence of it in all the states of India with few exceptions. This research universalizes the truth that gendered composition of family has become the most common demographic phenomenon witnessed by many developing countries in the phase of fertility transition and the fertility decline leads to limiting of family size but do not minimize the desire for son among couples.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course