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Library Sex-Selective Abortions, Fertility, and Birth Spacing

Sex-Selective Abortions, Fertility, and Birth Spacing

Sex-Selective Abortions, Fertility, and Birth Spacing

Resource information

Date of publication
February 2015
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Previous research on sex-selective
abortions has ignored the interactions between fertility,
birth spacing, and sex selection, despite both fertility and
birth spacing being important considerations for parents
when deciding on the use of sex selection. This paper
presents a novel approach that jointly estimates the
determinants of sex-selective abortions, fertility, and
birth spacing, using data on Hindu women from India's
National Family and Health Surveys. Women with eight or more
years of education in urban and rural areas are the main
users of sex-selective abortions and they also have the
lowest fertility. Predicted lifetime fertility for these
women declined 11 percent between the 1985-1994 and
1995-2006 periods, which correspond to the periods of time
before and after sex selection became illegal. Fertility is
now around replacement level. This decrease in fertility has
been accompanied by a 6 percent increase in the predicted
number of abortions during the childbearing years between
the two periods, and sex selection is increasingly used for
earlier parities. Hence, the legal steps taken to combat sex
selection have been unable to reverse its use. Women with
fewer than eight years of education have substantially
higher fertility and do not appear to use sex selection.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Portner, Claus C.

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