Sex-Selective Abortion in India: Gender, Society and New Reproductive Technologies

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Tulsi Patel
SAGE, 2007 - Medical - 432 pages
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This collection of 11 essays unravels the reasons for the depleting child sex ratio in India. The contributors, all distinguished demographers and social scientists, describe the political economy of sentiments and sexual mores that leads parents to kill unborn daughters.

The contributors examine ways in which reproductive technologies, such as, the ultrasound, are misused at the family, community and state levels. In this alarming scenario, the volume highlights both the participation and defiance of the various authorities dealing with reproduction, health services and the problem of female foeticide. Engagement with the state is analysed in the light of colonial policies, the law of adoption, health policies, family planning programmes and the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act of 1994 and its amendment in 2002.

Applying a multidisciplinary perspective to the problem of fewer girls being born in India, this volume addresses this critical issue with the help of qualitative and quantitative data, both historical and contemporary.


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A good book written on the almost unspoken subject. I have yet to see a Bollywood movie on this subject. Million of missing girls from the Indian social scene, nobody says anything. I never heard about it in any election manifesto, even the the Hindu fundamentalist parties who believe in saving cows, who are still lamenting over Indians, killed my cruel Muslim rulers. It is True, India is a land of contradictions. This country called Mother India, has witnessed butchering of more than 60 million female foetuses, killed and thrown away in garbage. Thanks for writing a book on such a difficult subject, which nobody wants to read. Nobody even wants to acknowledge the fact that it exists in India. A very thoroughly researched material, which I imagine was not easy to get. I want to warn the readers, it is not an easy book to read. We Indians are so intoxicated by our self created sense of self righteousness, our tolerance and Our non violence, that we do not want to acknowledge the reality which is sad reminder of holocaust. There perperator was Hitler, In this case gender clensing is being done by foetuse's own parents. I fail to understand the notion of of people singing 'Bande Mataram' and this gender clensing, what a paradox. To stop more than 60 million beating hearts is worse than holocaust. Every Indian should read this book to see who we really are. A truly disturbing, heart wrenching book, I dare you to read. This books highlights the most blatant form of hypocracy on the face of the earth. If the so called, non violent people of India are doing this. I wonder how real is our democracy? Whar are we doind in the name of secularism? 


List of Abbreviations
Gender Relations NRTs
Missing Girls and NRTs Ethical
A Civilisational Collapse
Infant Mortality Rate in Punjab
Meaning and Social Context of
Born to Live
Representation Articulation and the State
The Political Economy of Missing Girls in India
Female Foeticide Family Planning
Campaign Against Female Foeticide
PNDT Regulation and Prevention of Misuse
PNDT Regulation and Prevention of Misuse
PNDT Regulation and Prevention of Misuse

Context of the Missing Girl Child
Selected States of India
The Role

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About the author (2007)

Tulsi Patel is Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi.

She has recently been Rotating Chair, India Studies at Heidelberg University, Germany for a full semester (2005–06). An Honorary Research Associate at the Department of Sociology, University of Manchester (2001–04), she has also undertaken teaching assignments at the London School of Economics and the Royal Holloway College of the University of London (1996–97). Professor Patel has previously taught at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and Miranda House (University of Delhi).

Her areas of interest include gender, anthropology of fertility and reproduction, medical sociology, sociology of the family, and old age. She has authored Fertility Behaviour: Population and Society in a Rajasthan Village (1994, 2nd edn 2006) and edited The Family in India: Structure and Practice (2005). In addition, she has published several articles in national and international journals.

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