ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Patricia JefferySubscribe to Patricia Jeffery

Declining Child Sex Ratio and Sex-Selection in India

The 2011 Census results on the sex composition of the Indian population have so far been discussed within the prevailing understanding of the reasons behind a declining child sex ratio: The use of prenatal diagnostic techniques followed by sex-selective abortion, female child neglect and female infanticide. This article questions aspects of this explanation and argues for a multi-causal approach to analyse the declining child sex ratio. Attention needs to shift towards those families who, under the infl uence of the prevalent small family norm and son preference, stop producing children when one or two sons are born.

Polio in North India: What Next?

India has continued to report cases of wild poliovirus and acute flaccid paralysis throughout the 2000s. Indeed, in 2009 the numbers of both exceeded the totals for 2008, by 26% and 9.5%, respectively. Confirmed wild poliovirus cases are increasingly concentrated amongst Muslim children and localised in western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Pulse Polio Initiative has responded by pressurising parents into complying with the administration of multiple doses of polio vaccine to their children. But almost all new cases occur among children who have been vaccinated many times. The problems inhere in the weaknesses of government health services and in the PPI's inadequacies and errors: a focused top-down programme using the wrong vaccine and with dubious targets. It has lost its way and requires a radical shake-up.

Saffron Demography, Common Wisdom, Aspirations and Uneven Governmentalities

?Saffron Demography? has been instrumental in perpetuating myths relating to claimed differences between Hindu and Muslim populations. This paper examines this by now ?common wisdom? in the light of contemporary demographic reality in India. Based on extensive research in a western Uttar Pradesh district, it argues that the scale of Hindu-Muslim demographic differences has been exaggerated, and that the explanations provided for these differences are equally pernicious. Instead, it attempts an understanding of these ?causes? leading to differences in fertility through an analysis of the kind of governmentality seen in post-independence India and argues for new policy initiatives that avoid the punitive victim-blaming approach that has thus far been the norm.

Religion and Fertility in India

The recent contribution by Moulasha and Rama Rao (1999) to the debate on the relationships between religion, fertility and family planning, uses National Family Health Survey data in misleading ways. By failing to consider regional patterns in the distribution of Hindus and Muslims they exaggerate the role of religious group membership in understanding fertility differences. They give spurious credence to arguments that suggest that Islam in some way encourages higher fertility, they fail to consider issues of risk and uncertainty faced by religious minorities, and they come to unwarranted policy conclusions. In order to understand inter-religious fertility differences, analyses must be based on the understanding of specific social, economic and political contexts.

Female Infanticide and Amniocentesis

the Cultural Revolution, return to the centres of the political scene in China? The mere fact that this question can be posed shows that the process of economic reforms in China is very different from the economic reform process in East- em Europe.

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