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

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Juvenile Sex Ratios in India-A Disaggregated Analysis

Juvenile Sex Ratios in India A Disaggregated Analysis S Agnihotri This paper studies the regional variations in sex ratio patterns in India in the juvenile age group (0-9 years). Such study offers two major advantages; (a) the juvenile sex ratios (JSRs) are not affected by migration and therefore, (b) their analysis provides useful insights into patterns of differential mortality among children by sex. A disaggregation of these sex ratios into the 0-4 and 5-9 age groups brings into sharper focus the pattern of excess female mortality beyond the age of one year. This is a socially driven phenomenon as against excess infant male mortality which is essentially a biological phenomenon. The female to male ratio (FMR) in the 5-9 age group emerges as an appropriate parameter for analysis of the sex ratio variations across the country. It reveals significant differences in the sex ratio patterns among three major social groups, viz, the tribal, the scheduled castes and the resr of the population. It displays a remarkable spatial contiguity across different geophysical regions of the country. These regions turn out to be a more suitable unit for analysis of spatial variations in the sex ratios than the administrative units of different Indian states. Certain regions, cutting across the state boundaries, stand out for their alarmingly low FMRs. The observed patterns raise important questions about design of women and child welfare programmes and indicates the need for plurality in their design and for area and group specific interventions.

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