Title

Son Preference, Autonomy and Maternal Health in Rural India

Abstract

The primary objective of this paper is to identify factors that affect maternal health in rural India. This is important given the high maternal and infant mortality rates in India, particularly rural India. The paper will focus particularly on whether and how the culture and practice of son preference (which is well documented in South Asia) has had an impact on maternal health. Assuming parents do not have access to knowledge about the sex of their unborn child, this paper examines whether a pregnant mother's maternal care (prior to giving birth) is affected by the presence of son(s) from earlier pregnancies. Additionally, the paper will analyze the impact of mothers' autonomy on their maternal health. The results show that existence of sons reduces the likelihood of receiving maternal care for successive pregnancies. Maternal autonomy, especially the mother's education, increases the likelihood of receiving maternal care. The results have meaningful policy implications.

Department(s)

Economics

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2012.706274

Publication Date

2012

Journal Title

Oxford Development Studies 40

Citation-only

Share

COinS