‘Girls healthier where sex determination high’

For every 0.07 point increase in the male-female ratio (MFR) — the natural sex ratio at birth is 1.06 — there was a four percentage point drop in the number of underweight girls, an international study has said
By Priyanka Vora | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON OCT 26, 2015 07:47 PM IST

Girls born in states where sex determination is high — likely to lead to sex selective abortions resulting in fewer girl children — received better nutrition and medical care because they are wanted, an international study has said.

Published last month in the Economic Journal, the study looked at data from the National Family Health Survey periodically released by the Union government and at analysis of how healthy children are in states where there is a sex ratio imbalance, because of prenatal sex selection and sex-selective abortion.

For every 0.07 point increase in the male-female ratio (MFR) — the natural sex ratio at birth is 1.06 — there was a four percentage point drop in the number of underweight girls.

In other words, states where prenatal sex selection is rampant — while illegal — produced girls who were healthier. In states where the sex ratio is better balanced, perhaps because families do not have access to illegal prenatal sex-determination clinics, more girls were born, but were not cared for, leading to many of them being undernourished.

“Various factors are responsible. One, that girls are born into families that want them… they are better fed,” said the study’s co-author Analia Schlosser from The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

So, while the sex ratio in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are skewed towards boys, fewer girls are underweight. But there was near to no change in the proportion of underweight girls in Kerala or Nagaland – states with lower prenatal sex selection.

Schlosser and lead author Luojia Hu from the Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, studied  sex ratio at birth and nutritional outcomes in children between zero and 35 months.

“In the study, we look at changes in health outcomes of girls relative to changes in health outcomes of boys. We believe that economic prosperity would affect children of both genders, so any improvement we observe in girls’ outcomes relative to boys is after taking into account possible changes in the economic situation in those states,” explained Schlosser. said the financial situation of the families was also taken into account: “We look at changes in health outcomes of girls, relative to changes in health outcomes of boys. Economic prosperity will affect children of both genders.”

While many Indian experts agreed with the study, some others found holes in the findings, specific to our culture’s biases against the girl child.

Dr Sutapa B Neogi, additional professor, Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi, said the study was right in pointing out the association between prenatal sex selection and malnutrition among girls.

“But, to interpret that prenatal sex selection leads to a drop in malnutrition is misleading. It is well-known that sex selection practices are more common in relatively wealthier states, where malnutrition is bound to be less,” said Neogi.

“Prenatal sex selection has become the biggest reason for missing girls over the past decade in India.  Traditional causes, such as deliberate neglect, will become lesser as infanticide was rare in India,” said Dr Sabu George, a social activist and researcher who has studied female foeticide in several Indian states.

The study also pointed to research on breastfeeding in India – that girls tend to be breastfed for a shorter period.

“The bias against the girl child begins at her birth, from the reactions of the relatives when the doctor announces the baby’s sex. When the second child is a girl, these responses only get stronger, so mothers refuse to breastfeed or take the child home,” said Dr Basab Mukherjee, chairperson, family welfare committee, The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

Mukherjee said a child who has not been breastfed is vulnerable to infections.

“This affects the overall health and malnutrition is not surprising in such cases. Families with several children have little resources; they choose always feed the boy.”

With study highlighting the issue of malnutrition, activists have stressed on the need for schemes to tackle it among girls, as they are at a greater risk of neglect.

“The research shows discrimination. It will be wrong to interpret the research to allow free access to prenatal sex determination techniques. The state needs to increase the value of the girl child and help her access healthcare and education,” said Dr Neelam Singh, founder of Vatsalya, a non-profit working in Uttar Pradesh to reduce female foeticide.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The state has a total of 6,159 Active Corona Cases, with an overall recovery rate of 94 per cent.(ANI)
The state has a total of 6,159 Active Corona Cases, with an overall recovery rate of 94 per cent.(ANI)

Uddhav Thackeray reviews restarting local train services for general public

ANI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 07:47 AM IST
Many senior officials of Railways along with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner, Mumbai police commissioner also attended the meeting.
Close
School students participate in an awareness Campaign against Child Sex Abuse (CSA) in Hyderabad. (AFP File)
School students participate in an awareness Campaign against Child Sex Abuse (CSA) in Hyderabad. (AFP File)

HC order on ‘skin contact’ in sexual abuse to face test

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:06 AM IST
  • The HC stated that section 8 of the Pocso Act, which penalizes physical contact with sexual intent without penetration, did not apply here as the minor was still wearing her clothes when the accused groped her.
Close
(Right) Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). (HT FILE)
(Right) Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). (HT FILE)

Furnish relevant parts of charge sheet: Bombay HC to ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta

By K A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:51 AM IST
The bench directed Dasgupta to prepare a compilation of the relevant portions of the charge sheet and submit it to the court before the next hearing scheduled on February 2.
Close
Mumbai’s only existing cyber police station is at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). (HT FILE)
Mumbai’s only existing cyber police station is at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). (HT FILE)

Mumbai to get five new cyber police stations on Republic Day

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:48 AM IST
Each of these cyber police stations will be located in five policing regions of the city, said joint commissioner of police (CP) (law and order) Vishwas Nangre Patil. Chief minister Uddhav Thackerey will inaugurate the stations at DB Marg police station on Tuesday.
Close
NCP leader Sharad Pawar and ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Jitendra Awhad, along with other leaders, at the protest site. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)
NCP leader Sharad Pawar and ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Jitendra Awhad, along with other leaders, at the protest site. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)

Senior Shiv Sena leaders, ministers didn’t attend farmers’ protest in Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:48 AM IST
While Sena said it didn’t want to break Covid-19 rules, its senior leaders were at an inauguration in Kalyan where scores had gathered
Close
For representational purpose only. (HT FILE)
For representational purpose only. (HT FILE)

Mumbai: NCB nabs absconding drug dealer Arif Bhujwala

By Manish K Pathak, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:45 AM IST
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Monday arrested purported drug dealer Arif Bhujwala from Raigad in connection with the south Mumbai-based racket busted by the agency. so far, five people have been arrested in the bust.
Close
The teachers and non-teaching staff in the state participated in the farmers march on Monday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
The teachers and non-teaching staff in the state participated in the farmers march on Monday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

600 teachers, non-teaching staff protest new education policy in Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:44 AM IST
In a joint statement, the teachers have highlighted how NEP violates the constitutional mandates of the reservation policy and Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act
Close
Enforcement Directorate office at Ballard Estate,Fort in Mumbai. (HT FILE )
Enforcement Directorate office at Ballard Estate,Fort in Mumbai. (HT FILE )

Mumbai: ED raids 10 premises of Omkar Group in Yes Bank fraud case

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:41 AM IST
The group has allegedly misused various permissions given for slum rehabilitation schemes and diverted around 450 crore by way of loan from Yes Bank. The spokesperson for Omkar Developers declined to comment on ED raids.
Close
Mumbai’s air quality saw a slight improvement on Monday at 283, after two days of very poor air. (HT FILE)
Mumbai’s air quality saw a slight improvement on Monday at 283, after two days of very poor air. (HT FILE)

At 16.4°C, mercury drops to Mumbai’s lowest this year

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:37 AM IST
The city woke up to a chilly Monday morning as temperatures dropped to 16.4 degrees Celsius — the lowest so far this year. Earlier, on January 16, a minimum temperature of 16.6 degrees was recorded at Santacruz.
Close
NHSRCL displays a replica of the bullet train during the Magnetic Maharashtra summit at BKC in 2018. (Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)
NHSRCL displays a replica of the bullet train during the Magnetic Maharashtra summit at BKC in 2018. (Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)

Bullet train: NHSRCL calls for final bids for BKC station in Mumbai

By Aroosa Ahmed
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:35 AM IST
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had earlier questioned if the bullet train project was of any benefit to the state
Close
Work in progress for Metro-7 which is set to be operational by May this year. (HT FILE)
Work in progress for Metro-7 which is set to be operational by May this year. (HT FILE)

Mumbai Metro-5 corridor to be complete by December 2024: MMRDA

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:33 AM IST
A major line that will ease commute in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Metro-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan), is expected to be completed by December 2024, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Close
 (Bhushan Koyande)
(Bhushan Koyande)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar slams Maha governor, Centre at farmers’ rally in Mumbai

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:30 AM IST
Pawar took on governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not meeting the agitating farmers, saying that the latter had time to meet actor Kangana Ranaut, but not farmers
Close
 (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Maharashtra crosses 100,000 Covid vaccinations

By Swapnil Rawal, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:31 AM IST
Maharashtra added 1,842 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking its tally to 2,010,948. Mumbai, meanwhile, added 348 new cases to take its tally to 306,398
Close
Karad Municipal School recently held a meeting with parents of students about schools reopening.
Karad Municipal School recently held a meeting with parents of students about schools reopening.

Maharashtra: Schools expect good turnout with Class 5 to 8 starting from Wednesday

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:24 AM IST
Schools said that as opposed to the initial resistance from parents before schools reopened for Classes 9 to 12 from November 23, parents are now getting comfortable with the idea of schools reopening, and added that they are expecting a good attendance from the first week itself.
Close
Farmers march towards Raj Bhavan from Azad Maidan, to meet the governor on Monday. Later, they were stopped by the police at Dhobhi Talao. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Farmers march towards Raj Bhavan from Azad Maidan, to meet the governor on Monday. Later, they were stopped by the police at Dhobhi Talao. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Farmers march to Mumbai; nationwide protests today

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 03:29 AM IST
Maharashtra ruling parties attend sit-in in Mumbai; farmers announce plan to march to Parliament on February 1
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP