Son Preference Among Asian Ethnic Minorities in the United Kingdom

Bernice Kuang , University of Reading
Sylvie Dubuc, University of Reading

Son preference may have different demographic manifestations. One manifestation is through prenatal sex-selection against females, which has been well documented in India. This pattern has been paralleled in the UK, where previous analysis of birth registrations evidenced a male biased sex ratio at birth (SRB) among India-born women over 1990-2005. Another demographic manifestation is gender-based fertility stopping behavior wherein parents stop childbearing only when they have their preferred number of sons. We use the Annual Population Survey (1979-2016) to explore son-preference among UK women of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Chinese heritage through gender-based parity progression analyses. Results shows contrasting gender-based parity progression patterns between subgroups, emphasizing the importance of appreciating the diverse pathways of son-preference among Asian groups in the UK. Results are discussed from a transnational perspective, and in the context of the UK debates on sex-selective abortion.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2