Background: A balanced sex ratio is needed to stabilize India, a patriarchal subcontinent.
Aim and Objective: The study aims to find out whether there is any association between the socio-demographic characters and perceived gender preference among the study subjects.
Materials and Methods: The study is an observational, descriptive study with cross-sectional study design. An exit interview of 80 pregnant mothers, both primi and multigravida, selected by systematic random sampling attending antenatal clinic of Medical College, Kolkata for 1st time was conducted for 1 month, using a pre-designed pre-tested semi-structured data collection form after ethics committee approval. Statistical analyses were done using Chi-square tests, at P ≤ 0.05 level of significance in Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results: Mean age of study participants was 24.15 ± 4.38 years. The majority (77.5%) of them belonged to age group 20–29 years. 58.8% mothers were nulliparous, 53.8% from rural areas, 63.7% followed Islam, 52.5% from joint family, 31.3% belonged to middle class. 95% of the mothers had no history of abortion. Regarding education, the majority (32.5%) of the study participants were educated till secondary level. Among their husbands, 28.7% were educated till middle level. 40% study participants had no any gender preference, 40% had male preference and 20% had female preference. Main reason behind male preference was an earlier female child. Some preferred daughters due to their earlier male child. Nulliparous mothers had no gender preference while lesser-educated mothers had gender preference.
Conclusion: The majority of the study participants had gender preference. Male preference was more than female preference.
Key words: Gender; Gender Preference; Sex-Ratio; Antenatal; Kolkata