Determinants of negative preference for female fetuses amongst women of reproductive age group at rural medical college

Deepti Shrivastava, Vijaya S. Patil, Sandeep Shrivastava, Juhee Papalkar


Background: India is experiencing lowest child sex ratio of the world. The deficit of girl children has been progressively increasing, in spite of so many laws to favour them like Sharda act, act against dowry and law against female feticide, i.e. PC & PNDT. The present study attempted to explore the determinants of negative preference of female fetuses at rural setup and preferences for prevention of female foeticide.

Methods: In a prospective, multicentric, cohort study, 2203 married women of reproductive age group were interviewed by pretested piloted structured questionnaire. SPSS software was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Common causes for not preferring daughters were related to their marriages expenses, dowry along with exogamy and practices regarding death ceremonies of parents. Self deprived image of today’s woman by herself is mainly responsible for not allowing her to welcome another girl child in a family.

Conclusions: Female foeticide is still in practice inspite of awareness programmes and existing law. Main reason for it is societal need due to marriage related customs and cultures along with unethical practices by service providers. To increase in self-esteem of women can only reduce the volume of service receiver along with upliftment of moral and ethical values of service providers from the beginning of their medical training can prevent it to happen.


Negative preferences, Female foeticide, Societal need, Service provider

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