Modelling child’s gender preference among married women in stable union in Nigerian families

Ayo S. Adebowale, University of Ibadan

Gender preference has been a source of concern to public health practitioners. Couples who have strong gender preference stop having children only when they are satisfied with the family’s sex composition. Consequently, this often increases fertility through short birth intervals and threaten maternal and child survival chances. In Nigeria, there is dearth of information on child’s gender preference (CGP); this study was therefore designed to fill the gap. The study was retrospective cross-sectional in design and utilized 2008 NDHS dataset. It focused on married women aged 15-49(n=18,347) in stable union. The dependent variables are gender preference and gender specific preference. Data was analyzed using Chi-square and multiple logistic regression models. The mean age of the women was 30.96±8.67 and 38.8% have CGP. Among those women who have CGP, 72.1% have preference for male children. Male’s CGP was predominantly high in the South-East (86.2%) and women in richest wealth index (75.9%). Age, region, education, age at first birth, religion, ethnicity, contraceptive use, marriage type, wealth index and current work activity were found to be significantly associated with CGP (p<0.05). Women in North-East, North-Central, South-West and South-East were 1.27(C.I=1.14-1.54), 1.38(C.I=1.25-1.54), 2.13(C.I=1.92-2.37) and 2.74(C.I=2.44-3.07) respectively more likely to have CGP than their counterparts in South-South. Regional differences persist even when the potential confounders were used as control. The prevalence of child’s gender preference in Nigeria is high and majority have preference for male child, although, regional differences exist across the country. Strategies to eradicate child’s gender preference should be developed.

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Presented in Poster Session 1