Female Infanticide and Foeticide Essay

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Female Infanticide and Foeticide It is regrettable that female infanticide and foeticide are rapidly decreasing the female population throughout India. The main factors that is responsible for the increase in the incidence of female infanticide and foeticide is the low status of women, son preference, and the practice of dowry across all casts groups. The low status of women and girls is due to cultural beliefs and the material cost they represent to their families. Vanaja Dhruvarajan says that there is a belief regarding the nature of men and women: "Men are ritually pure, physically strong, and emotionally mature; women, on the other hand, are ritually pollutable, physically weak, and lack strong willpower" (30). Because of these…show more content…
Overall, girls get poorer education than boys, and become less aware of the world around them. Therefore, they become dependent on men, whether it is the father, the husband or the son. The preference for male children is due to three major reasons. One is the economic value of having sons. Sons are more likely than daughters to provide family labour on the farm or in a family business, earn wages, and support their parents during old age. Upon marriage, a son brings a daughter-in-law into his family, and she provides additional help around the house as well as she brings riches in the form of dowry payments. Another important advantage of having sons is their social cultural utility. In India patriarchal family system, having one son is essential for the continuation of the family line, and many sons provide high status to the family. Vanaja Dhruvarajan says, "When a women becomes a mother, especially the mother of a son, her status goes up in her new home for having helped perpetuate the family" (87) Finally, the utility of having sons comes from the important religious functions that only sons can provide. In Hindu tradition, sons are needed to do the funeral of their deceased parents and to help in the salvation of their souls. Daughters are considered to be an economic problem to her parents mainly because of the heavy dowry payment demanded by the groom's family, as well as the high cost of the wedding,

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