Article

Different sex ratios of children born to India and Pakistani immigrants in Norway

Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (Impact Factor: 2.19). 08/2010; 10(1):40. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-10-40
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A low female-to-male ratio has been observed in different Asian countries, but this phenomenon has not been well studied among immigrants living in Western societies. In this study, we investigated whether a low female-to-male ratio exists among Indian and Pakistani immigrants living in Norway. In particular, we investigated whether the determination of sex via ultrasound examination, a common obstetric procedure that has been used in Norway since the early 1980 s, has influenced the female-to-male ratio among children born to parents of Indian or Pakistani origin.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of live births in mothers of Indian (n = 1597) and Pakistani (n = 5617) origin. Data were obtained from "Statistics Norway" and the female-to-male (F/M) sex ratio was evaluated among 21,325 children born, in increasing birth order, during three stratified periods (i.e., 1969-1986, 1987-1996, and 1997-2005).
A significant low female-to-male sex ratio was observed among children in the third and fourth birth order (sex ratio 65; 95% CI 51-80) from mothers of Indian origin who gave birth after 1987. Sex ratios did not deviate from the expected natural variation in the Indian cohort from 1969 to 1986, and remained stable in the Pakistani cohort during the entire study period. However, the female-to-male sex ratio seemed less skewed in recent years (i.e., 1997-2005).
Significant differences were observed in the sex ratio of children born to mothers of Indian origin compared with children born to mothers of Pakistani origin. A skewed number of female births among higher birth orders (i.e., third or later) may partly reflect an increase in sex-selective abortion among mothers of Indian origin, although the numbers are too small to draw firm conclusions. Further research is needed to explain the observed differences in the female-to-male ratio among members of these ethnic groups who reside in Norway.

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    • "Singh et al. [8] investigated whether the same low female to male ratios could be found among Indian and Pakistani immigrants living in Norway, indicating a practice of sex selective abortions in a Norwegian context. They studied live births of mothers of Indian and Pakistani origin for the period 1969–2005 and calculated the female to male sex ratios, in increasing birth order, for three periods (1969–1986, 1987–1996 and 1997–2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: In some Western countries, a disturbingly low share of girls has been observed among new-borns from Indian immigrants. Also in Norway, a previous study based on figures from 1969¿2005 showed a high percentage of boys among children of Indian origin living in Norway, when the birth was of higher order (third birth or later). This was suggested to reflect a practice of sex-selective abortions in the Indian immigrant population. In this article we have seen whether extended time series for the period 2006¿2012 give further support to this claim. Based on data from the Norwegian Central Population Register we used observations for the sex of all live births in Norway for the period 1969¿2012 where the mother was born in India. The percentage of boys was calculated for each birth order, during four sub periods. Utilising a binomial probability model we tested whether the observed sex differences among Indian-born women were significantly different from sex differences among all births. Contrary to findings from earlier periods and other Western countries, we found that Indian-born women in Norway gave birth to more girls than boys of higher order in the period 2006¿2012. This is somewhat surprising, since sex selection is usually expected to be stronger if the mother already has two or more children. The extended time series do not suggest a prevalence of sex selective abortions among Indian-born women in Norway. We discuss whether the change from a majority of boys to a majority of girls in higher order could be explained by new waves of immigrant women, by new preferences among long-residing immigrant women in Norway ¿ or by mere coincidence.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    • "In a recent article, a group of researchers performed a retrospective cohort study of live births in mothers of Indian (n = 1597) and Pakistani (n = 5617) origin in Norway (Singh et al. 2010). Data were obtained from Statistics Norway and the F/M sex ratio was evaluated among 21,325 children born, in increasing birth order, during three stratified periods (i.e. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sex-selective abortion is a contentious issue in some Asian countries. Recent research suggests that some Asian immigrants to the West continue this practice. A recent retrospective cohort study of live births in mothers of Indian (n = 1597) and Pakistani (n = 5617) origin suggested a skewed female-to-male sex ratio among children born in Norway. Significant differences were observed in the sex ratio of children born to mothers of Indian origin compared with children born to mothers of Pakistani origin. A skewed number of female births among higher birth orders (i.e. third or later) may reflect an increase in sex-selective abortion among mothers of Indian origin, although the numbers are too small to draw firm conclusions. In this article, I build on this work in order to discuss possible cultural and religious differences between the Indian and Pakistani Diasporas in Norway that may contribute to an understanding of the differences between the two groups in the use of abortion to determine the sex of children. The two groups are dominated by people of Punjabi origin and share many characteristics, but not religion. It seems likely that Islam is a factor that inhibits the practice of sex-selective abortion.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Gender imbalance due to sex-selective abortions in some countries has global repercussions.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde
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