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Unpacking ‘Son preference’: the trajectory of a demographic variable Danièle Bélanger, PhD Associate Professor The University of Western Ontario.

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Presentation on theme: "Unpacking ‘Son preference’: the trajectory of a demographic variable Danièle Bélanger, PhD Associate Professor The University of Western Ontario."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unpacking ‘Son preference’: the trajectory of a demographic variable Danièle Bélanger, PhD Associate Professor The University of Western Ontario

2 Son preference in Vietnam Are Sex Ratios Increasing in Vietnam? Population. 58-2: Son Preference in a Village in Rural North Vietnam. Studies in Family Planning. 33-4: Childhood, Gender and Power in Vietnam. In: Communities in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Responses. H. Lansdowne et al. (Eds). Victoria: Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, Sex selective abortions: short term and long term perspectives. Reproductive Health Matters Social Policy Reforms and Daughters' Schooling in Vietnam. International Journal of Educational Development. 24:

3 Questions What is ‘son preference’ in demography? How is the concept constructed?

4 Introduction Review paper Also informed by my research All research investigating the causes or consequences of a parental or societal desire or preference for male children

5 Peer-reviewed articles on sex preference (Population Index, )

6

7 What is son preference? Encompassing term Underlying assumptions of the term Causes, manifestations, consequences

8 Son preference as a determinant of fertility Independent variable of fertility ‘Traditional’ behavior Should disappear with ‘modernization’

9 MANIFESTATIONS OF SON PREFERENCE FERTILITY Fertility behavior Fertility ntentions Contraceptive behavior Contraceptive intentions SEX RATIOS By age groups Mortality

10 Son preference as a determinant of health and mortality Differential treatment Focus on the family environment Lack of context

11 Son preference as a reminder that culture matters 1990s: clash between low fertility and desire for sons Missing girls

12 CONSEQUENCES Gender-based discrimination Prenatal Sex selective abortions Missing daughters/ Skewed sex ratios/ Skewed marriage market Migration/ Trafficking/kindapping Postnatal Differential treatment Health status/ Health outcomes Mortality

13 Causes Economic factors Poverty Cultural factors Culture theory

14 Son preference as having far- reaching consequences Shortage of women Gender inequalities Migration, trafficking, kidnapping Heterogeneity

15 Conclusion Need for more explanations Need for more contextualization Need for incorporation of other dimensions: community, State, policy, global


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