Going beyond the Numbers: A Narrative Literature Review of Child Sex Ratio in India

Santhi N.S.


Declining child sex ratio (CSR) is an important demographic feature in South Asian countries, particularly in India. In recent decades the situation has become alarming. Literature on changing CSR in India has traversed through various narratives. Straight forward explanations to decline in CSR have been elusive. Diverse disciplines have highlighted different aspects of CSR. For instance, while demographers focus on spatial and temporal aspects, sociologists emphasised women’s status and autonomy, economists underline the economic value of children. This paper examines the narratives from the existing literature to help clarify the issues that shape the changes in CSR. The purpose of this paper is to review and thematise the relevant literature. For this the relevant literature was chronologically arranged to temporally map the scholarship and debates. Apart from underlining the significance of examining the influence of social factors in CSR, the study found that over time, the role of technology and policy surrounding it started occupying more and more space in the landscape. This conceptual clarity and new insights form the scope for the future research and further studies

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