This presentation contextualises India’s prenatal sex selection within a larger framework of countries with a history of similar processes. India’s story with its skewed sex ratio at birth is well-known, even if its dynamics are still poorly understood. This presentation will briefly discuss the process of demographic masculinization from the 1980s, and examine the few demographic, social, and economic invariants found across countries affected by the rise in sex selective abortions. The present will focus on spatial patterns, one of the most distinct determinants of observed variations in sex ratio and conclude by considering how the known factors behind gender bias can help decipher the future of skewed sex ratios.
Christophe Z Guilmoto is a senior fellow in demography at the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) based at CEPED in Paris. He teaches at Université Paris Descartes and at the EHESS in Paris, and is also a frequent visitor to Jawarlahal Nehru University in New Delhi. He worked initially on historical demography, international migration and fertility decline in Senegal and India. Over the last decade, his research has mostly focused on sex selection, starting with India’s and China’s experience and covering later Southeast Asia, Southeast Europe, and the Caucasus. He has organized several meetings and published on both theoretical and estimation issues in relation to prenatal gender bias. He is the author of the UNFPA report on sex imbalances at birth in 2012 and has co-edited in 2016 a book on the demography of China, India and Indonesia.