Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

sex ratios in Tamil Nadu, India

Posted by Chris on September 24, 2007

On Jet Airways flight to Kolkata, I read the Hindu Times newspaper. Coincidentally, there was an article on “Sharp decline in sex ratio at birth,” in reference to the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. States are divided into districts, and in all but one of the districts, the ratio of girls to boys declined from 2003 – 2006. Overall, 2-3% drop I’m guesstimating. Which is a big deal, that calculation comes from, for example, there being 985 girls per 1000 boys in one district, down to 930 girls per 1000 boys (biggest drop). Worldwide, I THINK that there are slightly more girls than boys, either way, it is generally about 1:1.

Quoting from article:
“The Supreme Court judgment in 2001 made it mandatory for scan cnetres to register… unless severe punitive action is taken against violatins scan centres, no headway can be made in improving sex ratios.”

“Scan centres” would be place that can tell gender of unborn child through ultrasound or amniocentesis. Indian law says you cannot get these tests if it is to determine gender for purposes of sex selection. Obviously, it’s hard to enforce motives. Furthermore, there is this judgment from 2001 that I did not know about.

How serious is the problem in Tamil Nadu? The Directorate of Public Health estimate is that there are 30,000 (I assumed that meant per year). There were 1,091,016 births in 2004.[http://www.tn.gov.in/misc/tnataglance.htm#VITAL STATISTICS]. That is 2.7%. If half of births are generally girls, then effectively 5.4%. I won’t try to mess around with the number anymore, but you might want to factor in margin of error in the DPH estimate, the number of births to impoverished families, etc…

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