Child's gender preference: What is the regional situation among women in Nigeria?
Adebowale, Ayo Stephen
Palamuleni, Martin Enock
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Child Gender Preference (CGP) is a socio-cultural phenomenon in Africa. It has implication on family building process by increasing fertility through short birth intervals, thus putting maternal and child health at risk. We explored regional differential in CGP and Gender Specific Preference (GSP) against the evidence of limited research on gender preference in Nigeria. This cross-sectional design study utilized 2008 NDHS dataset and focused on married women aged 15-49 years (n=20,009) in stable union. Data were analyzed using Chi-square, binary and multinomial logistic regression models (α=.05). The mean age of the women was 31.0 ± 8.7 years, 32.7% have CGP among which 23.7% have son preference. The GSP for son was predominantly high among women in the; South-East (46.0%), rich wealth index (26.8%) and secondary level of education (28.8%). Age, region, residence, education, sex composition of the living children, religion, ethnicity, marriage type, wealth index, current work activity, media exposure and family planning media exposure were significantly associated with CGP and GSP (p<0.05). After controlling for potential confounding factors, the likelihood of CGP was 0.69 (C.I=0.61-0.78; p<0.001), 1.87 (C.I=1.55-2.25; p<0.001), 1.64 (C.I=1.47-1.84; p<0.001) and 0.81 (C.I=0.70-0.93; p<0.01) among women in North-West, South-East, South-South and South-West respectively when compared with their counterparts in North-Central. Similar pattern of odds ratio was observed for GSP for sons and daughters. Regional differences exist in CGP in Nigeria and the majority of women who have CGP have a preference for sons. Campaign to eradicate CGP should be intensified in Nigeria, particularly in the South East.
- Faculty of Humanities