Two sons and a daughter: sex composition and women’s reproductive behaviour in Madhya Pradesh, India

Publication Year


Publication Author

Edmeades, J., Pande, R., MacQuarrie, K., Falle, T., & Malhotra, A.

Publication DOI


Publication issues/theme

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Publication Title

Journal of Biosocial Science

This article examines how the sex composition of women’s current children at the start of a pregnancy interval influences both fertility desires and the full range of reproductive actions women may take. This study takes place in Madhya Pradesh, India, where popular notions of ideal family size and sex composition are dominated by son preference. The results indicate that women’s preferences go beyond a singular preference for male children, with the preferred composition of children being two boys and one girl.