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Gender preference and awareness regarding sex determination among pregnant women – A hospital based study

Vinod Vedpathak, Vandana Kakrani, Ajit Nagaonkar, Deepali Deo, Prashant Dahire, Umesh Kawalkar.


Background: Sex ratio, an important social indicator measuring extent of prevailing equity between males and females in society.

Aims & Objective: To find out awareness regarding sex determination and attitude towards gender preference among pregnant women.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional, hospital-based, descriptive study was undertaken among pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic. Information recorded regarding on the sociodemographic factors viz. education of study subjects, socioeconomic status; residence (rural / urban); religion and type of family etc. Information was also collected on the obstetric details. Socioeconomic status of family was calculated by using modified BG Prasad Classification. Views of pregnant women regarding awareness of sex determination and attitudes toward gender preference and female feticide were also recorded.

Results: Total 840 pregnant women were interviewed during study period. It was observed that 622 (74%) pregnant women aware about availability of sex determination facility. Among all 496 (59.05%) had knowledge about the method of sex determination. In our study 294 (35%) of pregnant women gave preference to male child. A preference to male child was significantly associated with education of mother, socioeconomic class and sex of the last child whereas insignificant association with religion and gravida of women.

Conclusion: Awareness regarding availability of sex determination facility and different methods of sex determination was found to be raised, but it is still not reflected in attitude and practice. This situation calls for two pronged strategy i.e. by women empowerment and by ensuring effective implementation of PCPNDT Act so that families found it difficult to undertake sex determination and selective abortions.

Key words: Gender Preference; Sex Determination; Pregnant Women

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