Understanding factors influencing adverse sex ratios at birth in Bangladesh

Type Report
Title Understanding factors influencing adverse sex ratios at birth in Bangladesh
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher Population Council
City Dhaka
Country/State Bangladesh
URL https://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/2015PGY_SexSelectionBangladesh.pdf
Nationally, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) has persisted at its natural level of 105 male per 100 female
newborns for the past half century in Bangladesh (UN 2013). However, at the regional level,
Bangladesh is characterised by an east-west divide in sex ratios at birth. While the western region
shows normal sex ratios at birth, the eastern region displays distorted sex ratios. To understand the
factors that contribute to regional variations in the sex ratio at birth, a household survey was
conducted among married women aged 18-49 years who had at least two living children, the
youngest of whom was aged 0-5. Views of healthcare providers on gender-biased sex selection and
of program implementers on the impact of gender-focused programs on the importance of having a
daughter in the family were also gathered. The study was located in Comilla district from the eastern
region which had an adverse sex ratio at birth and Rangpur district from the western region having a
normal sex ratio.
Caution should be exercised in interpreting the findings from this study, as the size of the sample of
women interviewed (1,037 respondents) was not adequate to reach a definitive conclusion. Future
studies are needed that work with a larger sample, so that findings on differentials across
characteristics can be generalized.

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