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Son Preference in India

Men and Masculinities, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Violence Against Women and Girls

In India, gender inequality manifests in many different ways, including a preference for sons over daughters.  Girl’s lack of value and son preference are key drivers of gender-biased sex selection at birth, which is responsible for skewing India’s female to male sex ratio in favor of boys.  


This large-scale study examines men’s and women’s underlying attitudes and behaviors around son preference, with a particular focus on how they conceptualize manhood and masculinity.  The study is being carried out in seven Indian states (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) involving more than nine thousand men and three thousand women, ages 18 to 49.  The study looks at what factors influence men’s views about masculinity, as measured by their support for gender equality and control of women’s behaviour, and how these views about masculinity impact on their preference for sons and perpetration of intimate partner violence.  

Duration: January 2013 - December 2013
Funder: UNFPA
Partners: UNFPA
Project Director: Priya Nanda
Project Countries: India
 
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