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

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Trends in Sex Ratio

Commenting on my review article (EPW, April 1), K Srinivasan (EPW, August 5) resurrects the female undercount hypothesis to explain the decline in sex ratio during the 1980s. He maintains that even now facilities for sex determination are not easily available in rural areas, especially in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where the female ratio has declined substantially.

He seems to have read only that part of my paper which has a brief reference to his earlier work, ignoring the greater part where I have summarised the recent work of some well known demographers. All this work specifically refers to the decline in sex ratio among children and suggests female foeticide as perhaps a very significant factor behind the overall decline. When they talk about the ‘mushrooming’ of sex determination clinics, the demographers are not suggesting that it is taking place within villages; what matters presumably is the access to such facilities in towns nearby.

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