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January 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1984 ; 19(11): 1207-12.

Female infanticide and amniocentesis.

Jeffery R, Jeffery P, Lyon A.

Clinical services offering amniocentesis to inform women of the sex of their foetuses have appeared in North India in the past 10 years. They fit into cultural patterns in which girls are devalued, and some authors have seen direct links between female infanticide (assumed to have been eradicated by 1900), female neglect leading to higher infant and child mortality rates for girls, and 'female foeticide'. This paper contributes to this debate by presenting some material on the nature of female infanticide, the cultural setting of childbirth and decision-making with respect to fertility and child mortality, largely drawn from a recent research project in Bijnor District, in Uttar Pradesh, North India.

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