For empirical evidence on the correlation between female bargaining power and the distribution of family resources that affect the relative health, nutrition, and mortality of female members of the family, see Hoddinott and Haddad , Lundberg, Pollak, and Wales , and Thomas , Sex ratio was the highest in the North; followed by the East; and then the South, where the sex ratio favored females. Several reasons are attributed to the decline in the number of girls — neglect of the girl child, high maternal mortality, female infanticide and now, female foeticide. Finally, because regions possess different factor endowments, economic structures, and political institutions, marriage and kinship behavior may differ by geography. The ratio varied positively with caste rank, was higher for Hindus than Muslims, was higher for northern Indo-Aryan speakers than the southern Dravidian-speaking people, and was higher in areas with higher rainfall. Although identifying when the problem of missing women first arose in India is difficult, British officials were well aware of the problem in North India during the mid-nineteenth century.
This article is organized as follows. Using detailed subcaste or jati-level data for each province at the district level, we find that sex ratios differed significantly by caste, language, and region. These are not the most economically backward areas of the country. The ratios for some of the states are: This regional pattern was extremely robust. The most disturbing decline is seen in the age group 0 -6 years. However, the extremely robust regional variations in sex ratios seem much more consistent with regional variations in kinship institutions than with variations in economic factors. In many instances, we believe that the kinship institutions reduced both the internal and external threat points of women simultaneously. All clinics in the country using pre-natal diagnostic techniques require to be registered. In India and elsewhere, the elites used religious and kinship institutions, in addition to their economic and military resources, to establish informal norms and beliefs to define property rights and resolve problems of cooperation and conflict Greif a. Because the distribution of family resources between the sexes depends on the bargaining power of men and women within marriage and kin group, the kinship systems are likely to influence sex ratios. As a part of the awareness campaign, religious and spiritual leaders have been approached to speak against sex selection, video spots on girl child and sex selection aired on national and private television networks. However, despite the efforts of the government, civil society organizations, NGOs, UN agencies and the media to keep the issue of female foeticide high on the public and policy agenda, little or no desired results have been forthcoming. In many parts of Asia, however, a kinship system based on patrilineal descent, the importance of joint family i. The most significant feature of the data is the variation in sex ratio by region. By contrast, the southern kinship system, based on cross-cousin marriages, increased the autonomy of women and contributed to sex ratios that favored females rather than males. The ratio varied positively with caste rank, was higher for Hindus than Muslims, was higher for northern Indo-Aryan speakers than the southern Dravidian-speaking people, and was higher in areas with higher rainfall. Violation of the Act is punishable with imprisonment. Because kinship rules vary by caste, language, religion, and region, we construct sex ratios by these categories at the district level by using data from the Census of India for Punjab North , Bengal East , and Madras South. In this article, we delve more deeply into the relationship between kinship and sex ratios by studying sex ratios by caste, language, religion, and region at the turn of the twentieth century in India. We conclude with a short summary. The male-to-female sex ratio was highest in northern regions, such as Punjab; relatively equal in eastern regions, such as Bengal; but relatively low and favored women in southern regions, such as colonial Madras Dyson and Moore ; Visaria For many scholars, the family and kinship systems, which often determine the rights of women in traditional societies, are the most likely factors for the historically persistent pattern of missing women see Agarwal ; Das Gupta et al. See McElroy for a comprehensive treatment of the empirical content of family bargaining model. There are two types of family bargaining models: We argue that these systematic patterns in the data are consistent with variations in the institution of family, kinship, and inheritance. In contrast to Europe and North America, where the male-to-female sex ratio is 0.
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