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Original Articles

Gender preference and family planning decisions : A cross- sectional study among eligible couples staying in slum area of Eastern India

Year : 2018 | Volume : 6 | Issue : 3 Page : 56- 60

Vandana Kumari1, Ravishekar N Hiremath2, Sandhya Ghodke3, Anand B Janagond4, Priyanka Patel5

1Public health specialist, Kolkata,2Public health specialist, Udhampur division, Jammu,3Fellow trainee, IGICH, Bangalore,4Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, S Nijalingappa Medical College, Bagalkot, 5Hospital Administrator, GEMERS General Hospital, Himmatnagar, Gujarat.

Address for correspondence: Dr R N Hiremath, Public health specialist, Field Health organization, Udhampur division, Jammu – 182101, India.


Background : The population clock on every day morning, shows that in spite of so many family planning projects, the population of India is increasing at rapid rate.

objectives: To find out the socio demographic and fertility profile of eligible couples and to find out their gender preference and their opinion regarding most influencing person in family planning decisions.

Materials and Methods :A community based cross sectional study was conducted among a representative sample of “Eligible Couples” in an urban slum area of West Bengal and data was collected by means of interview technique from 168 Eligible Couples (336 Respondents).

Results :Mean and Standard Deviation of age of husbands and wives were 32.1 ± SD 7.6 years and 26.6 ± SD 6.8 years respectively. 42% of husbands were skilled, 67.9% wives were home-makers, 55.6% had Per Capita Income ≥Rs. 1501/ per month. Mean age at marriage for men and women were 25.7 ± SD 4.8 years and 20.4±SD 4.1years. Most of the women (40.1%) got married before 18 years. Mean age at first child birth was 22 ± SD 4.4 years. 42.6% gave birth to their first child in the age group 18-24 years. Mean family size was 1.37. 43.2% of husbands were educated up to primary school while majority wives (35.8%) were illiterate. Literacy among males was more than females and this difference was statistically significant. Most of the men (34.0%) & women (33.3%) wanted at least one son. 65.4% of men themselves were found to be most influencing whereas in case of women (57.4%) husbands were the most influencing regarding family planning decisions, while only 21.6% of the respondents took joint decision regarding family planning matters.

Conclusion :Majority had son preference and majority of the family planning decisions were taken by male persons. Various factors like increasing the age of marriage to legally accepted one, education status of both husband and wife, encouraging wives to equably participating in decision making, adopting two child norms, appropriate and timely use of contraceptives would go a long way in maintaining the family and achieving the total fertility rate goal.

Keywords :Son preference, family planning, contraceptives


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