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

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Decline in Sex Ratio An Alternative Explanation

Decline in Sex Ratio: An Alternative Explanation?
S Irudaya Rajan U S Mithra K Navaneetham SURPRISINGLY, the decline in SR as a matter of research has only recently attracted scholars from different disciplines other than trained demographers. Most of them neither provided any meaningful explanation for understanding the disparity/variation nor have added any new hypothesis which can be tested by further analysis. The present reaction on this issue is due to the fact that a reversal trend of 5 units decline was registered between 1981-91 after a positive expected trend of 4 units increase in SR during 1971-81. Up to 1981, the decline in SR was commonly explained by recourse to such features as the undercount of females and other discriminations against women. The 1981 census provided a relief for this explanation and most feminists believed that the increase in SR would continue for ever. In fact the provisional SR of the 1991 census (929) is lower than the 1971 (930). If one explains the present decline in SR with the same yardstick as earlier, it will mean that there is neither any improvement in the quality of census data nor have the measures taken to uplift the status of women been Quite successful. On this count, many scholars have come out with several possible alternative explanations. The article by Amitabh Kundu and Mahesh K Sahu (EPW, October 12) is one among them but has brought more confusion in place of suggesting any meaningful explanation.

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