Son Preference and Induced Abortions in Rural China: Findings from the 2001 National Reproductive Health Survey

Shuzhuo Li, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Yan Wei, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Marcus W. Feldman, Stanford University

Using data from the 2001 National Family Planning/Reproductive Health Survey, this paper applies multi-factor logistic regression analysis to examine the effect of son preference on induced abortion of married women in rural China. We show that son preference and sex-selective abortion have existed for a long time in rural China, and have become more prevalent under the national population policy. After implementation of the population policy, the risk of induced abortion to end the next pregnancy for women with two children is significantly higher for those whose first birth is a girl. In order to eliminate sex-selective abortion entirely, a key objective should be to weaken son preference.

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Presented in Session 32: Abortion