Son Preference and prenatal sex-selection in the UK: New evidence, and policy.

Sylvie Dubuc, University of Reading

Patterns of prenatal sex-selection against females (PSS) in India has been paralleled in the UK, where a biased sex ratio at birth (SRB) among India-born women was evidenced over 1990-2005. PSS raised considerable media attention and led to recent parliamentary debates on the abortion law in the UK. Results drawn from annual vital registrations present an updated in depth in-depth analysis of SRB trends from 1969 to 2017 among the predominant groups of British South Asian women originated from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh showing contrasting sex-ratio patterns. We build on previous work by Dubuc and Sivia to interpret SRB results and evidence the beginning of a reversal in sex-selection propensity (Phi) and prevalence, suggestive of a weakening of son preference among India-born communities in the UK. Results are discussed in the light of recent trends in India. and Recalling the (UK debates,) contextualized evidence-based policy recommendations are proposed.

Keywords: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender, Policy, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS)

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 76. Abortion as a Programme and Policy Priority