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, 53 (3), 393-7

Sex Selection in Practice Among Hong Kong Chinese

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Sex Selection in Practice Among Hong Kong Chinese

S F Wong et al. Soc Sci Med.

Abstract

The aim of this study is to identify factor(s) influencing imbalance in the sex distribution of children (more children of the same sex) of the multiparous women attending an antenatal clinic in Hong Kong. A retrospective study was carried out to compare the expected and observed sex ratios of babies born to women with one previous live birth and women with two. All singleton pregnant women of parities 1 and 2 delivering after 22 weeks of gestation, between 1 July 1996 and 30 June 1998, were included. A total of 2604 women of parity 1 and 752 women of parity 2 were included. The sexes of the children of parity 1 women and the sex distribution of their newborns were consistent with the predicted value. The parity 2 women were more likely to have third children if their previous children were of the same sex (p-value < 0.001). This implies that the parity 2 women attending our antenatal clinic had third pregnancies because of social, economical or environmental reasons. Our parity 2 women with two daughters were more likely to have sons (p < 0.05). Thus, biological or parental factors were unlikely to be important in influencing the sex of the newborn. This suggested that sex selection or sex-selective abortion might be practiced among Hong Kong Chinese women.

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