Child sex ratio
In India, the Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0–6 years in a human population. Thus it is equal to 1000 x the reciprocal of the sex ratio (ratio of males to females in a population) in the same age group, i.e. under age seven. Obviously an imbalance in this age group will extend to older age groups in future years. Currently the ratio of males to females is generally significantly greater than 1, i.e. there are more boys than girls.
According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).
Impact of skewed ratio
The impact of the current skewed sex ratio with more male children than females is already being felt in some parts of India, and is likely to continue to be so felt:
- Having less women of marriageable age will mean that a significant proportion of men will in the first instance have to delay their marriage. This will initially affect younger generations of men in their 20s. These men will not only be in surplus within their cohort (age group), but they will also face competition from a backlog of older, unmarried men, who will still be in the marriage market.
- This problem will not be overcome simply by delaying marriage, due to the cumulative impact of the skewed sex ratio over several generations. Thus a proportion of men will in due course have to forego marriage altogether. The poorest males will be disproportionately affected by this marriage squeeze. This may cause destabilisation, and may translate into class-based tensions.
- "India's female freefall". staff and wire reports (CNN). June 19, 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
- Arnold, Fred, Kishor, Sunita, & Roy, T. K. (2002). "Sex-Selective Abortions in India". Population and Development Review 28 (4): 759–785. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2002.00759.x. JSTOR 3092788.
- "Sex-ratio imbalance in Asia - Trends, consequences and policy responses". United Nation Population Fund. p. 6. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
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