A Study on Gender Preference and Awareness Regarding Prenatal Sex Determination among Antenatal Women in a Rural Area of Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India LC05-LC08
Dr. Romy Biswas,
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College,
Darjeeling-734012, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Sex ratio is one of the major indicators to find the gender preferences in the community. Change in sex ratio reflects underlying socioeconomic, cultural patterns of a society.
Aim: The present study was conducted with the aim to find out the knowledge of antenatal women regarding the prenatal sex determination and the Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act in a rural area along with assessing the gender preference in family among the study population.
Materials and Methods: A community based, descriptive, cross-sectional study was undertaken in the villages of Matigara Block of Darjeeling district of West Bengal, which serves as a field practice area of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital for two months. A total of 116 pregnant women were included and a pre designed pre tested questionnaire was used to collect the socio demographic details. The data were analysed by SPSS 20.0 software for proportions with chi-square tests.
Results: Knowledge of sex determination and the PNDT Act were found to be 44.82% and 18.10% among antenatal women. Knowledge regarding assessment of gender preference showed 52.58% expect a boy in this pregnancy. It was found that the determinants for gender preference were caste, sex of the last pregnancy and current gender composition. It was found that the determinants for knowledge of sex determination are age of the mother and the gravida of the mother. It was also found that the factor for the knowledge regarding the PNDT Act is age of the mother. These associations are statistically significant.
Conclusion: This situation calls for a strategy which includes community based awareness campaigns, women employment, education, and empowerment and by ensuring effective implementation of PNDT Act by the government so that families find it difficult to undertake sex determination.