First Birth Sex Selection in Delhi, India: The Role of Progressive Gender Attitudes

Artemisa Flores Martinez, University of Warwick

This paper uses a latent factor model to create an index to measure how progressive women's attitudes towards gender are. It then assesses the effect of progressivity on the sex of the first child and on the duration from marriage to first birth in Delhi, India. More progressive women are those who decide on their own healthcare, are free to visit the health facility on their own, do not justify wife beating, and think that it is justified to refuse sex to husbands under certain circumstances. The paper finds that: (i) A one-standard deviation increase in the progressivity index increases the likelihood of a female firstborn by 5.8 percentage points compared to women who have not yet given birth. (ii) More progressive women do not experience longer first birth intervals which, consistent with the first result, may indicate that they are less inclined to sex-select their first child.

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Presented in Poster Session 6