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Influence of the preference for sons on fertility in Bangladesh
Authors: Mohammad Emdad Hossain
Source: SN Social Sciences, Volume 2, article 94; DOI:
Topic(s): Fertility
Son preference
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2022
Abstract: This research paper investigates the prevalence of the preference for sons and its effect on women's fertility by analyzing parity movement in Bangladesh. The analysis is carried out using the BDHS 2014 and BDHS 2017–2018 datasets, and binary logistic regression is used to identify predictors of parity movement, which ultimately affects women’s fertility. The results show that a preference for a boy in the family increases the likelihood of another child being born. At parities 2 and 3, women with all daughters are more likely to move to the next parity level than those with all sons. The study found that women with higher levels of education (odds ratios: 0.225–0.360 for BDHS-2014, and 0.05–0.20 for BDHS-2017), living in urban areas, wed at greater than the legal age (odds ratios: 0.474–0.683 for BDHS-2014, and 0.610–0.790 for BDHS-2017), and with access to mass media (odds ratios: 0.535–0.817 for BDHS-2014, and 0.710–0.880 for BDHS-2017) had significantly lower odds of moving up from one parity to another irrespective of son preference. The preference for sons in Bangladesh is comparatively higher among rural and Muslim women, seemly leading to an increase in the number of living children per female.