A descriptive study of gender preference and its relation to willingness for sterilization in pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in Goa

Deepa B. Karmali, Guruprasad Pednekar, Radha Valaulikar, Umesh S. Kamat


Background: There is an association between male gender preference and avoidance of ligation if preferred sex is not born. We therefore undertook this study to systematically analyze this association between the gender preference and willingness for sterilization in Goan women.

Methods: A hospital based cross sectional descriptive study was undertaken among 216 women attending antenatal clinic at a tertiary hospital in Goa between August to December 2015. The data was analyzed in SPSS for Windows, version 14.0. The results are described as percentages and assessment of statistically significant difference was done using the Chi-Square test at 95% level of significance (p<0.05).

Results: Of the 216 women who participated in the study, 50 (23.1%) had a male preference. Age, education of the women and religion were not found to be having a statistically significant association with the male preference. Occupation, socio-economic status of the women and parity were found to be having a statistically significant association with the male preference. The women with one surviving male child did not mind if the second child was female but those with previous female child desired for male child in most instances. Eighty three percent of women with preference for female child were willing for ligation even if their preference was not met compared to only 50% of those with male preference.

Conclusions: The decision on completion of family as evident from willingness for sterilization is influenced by the sex preference and the outcome of pregnancy in terms of the sex of the child.


Gender preference, Male preference, Ligation

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