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"May God Give Sons to All": Gender and Child Mortality in India

Sunita Kishor
American Sociological Review
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Apr., 1993), pp. 247-265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095969
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"May God Give Sons to All": Gender and Child Mortality in India
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Abstract

Using cross-sectional data from more than 350 districts in India in 1981, I test whether female labor force participation and kinship structures explain gender differences in the mortality of children ages 0 to 5. The relationship of mortality differentials to economic development, socioeconomic stratification, rice cultivation, and region is also examined. Results suggest that kinship structures and female labor force participation are important factors in gender differences in child mortality and these factors reinforce each other to produce especially high sex differentials in mortality. While agricultural, industrial, and urban development appear to reduce the relative survival of girls, male literacy levels seem unrelated to female survival. Rice cultivation consistently enhances female survival. Gender differences in child mortality between the North and South regions of India remain unexplained.

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