Skewed Child Sex Ratio in Rural India: Revisiting ‘Landholding-Patriarchy Hypothesis’

Srinivas Goli, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Arokiasamy Perianayagam, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

A central tenet in eco-feminism states that male ownership of the land has led to patriarchal culture and to date, the patriarchal currents running through rural lives of Indian society. The imbalance in sex ratio is an outcome of the patriarchal intra-familial economic structure coupled with the perceived cultural and economic utility of boys over girls. This paper explores the relevance of ‘landholding-patriarchy hypothesis’ for explaining the dynamics of sex discrimination and its relation to family building strategies by taking reference from global and Indian contexts. It is evident from the paper that landholding is closely associated with sex ratio patterns. The sex ratio of the population shows an increasing trend with size of the landholding. This relationship is attributed to the higher preference for sons in order to maintain large sizes of landholdings in accordance with the cultural context of division of labour in Indian society.

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Presented in Poster Session 3