Selective Gender Differences in Child Health among Small Families in Eight Replacement Fertility States of India

Ritwika Mukherjee, Jawaharlal Nehru University

This paper enquires the desired family size-sex composition of children and the role of the sex composition of the older sibling on gender differentials in health seeking behavior and outcome of the younger one using NFHS III data. Analysis confirms that the desired sex composition is one-son and one-daughter followed by two sons. The binary logit models reveal that boys who are born into a household with no other boys and an older sister appear to be most ‘wanted.’ They have significantly higher odds in favor of immunization and lesser chance of being underweight than a single girl child. Girls are seemed to be most discriminated when they are the younger ones. It is higher when they have an older sister than an older brother. In terms of same sex composition of siblings, younger girls are significantly more discriminated when they have a same sex sibling than the younger boys.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health