Objective: To determine the sex ratio by birth order and to assess the sex preference of the couples in an urban community.
Methods: A cross sectional study, in an urban community in Manipur, was conducted among the currently married couples. Data on background characteristics of the couple, family pedigree chart (of the offspring) including history of abortion, stillbirth, death of child of the couple, sex preference and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act [PNDT Act] were collected through a structured interview. Data were analyzed using descriptive and chi-square statistics.
Results: There were a total of 1777 births to the 855 couples interviewed. There were 900 females per 1000 males for the 1st birth order but the sex ratio was favorable towards females in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th birth orders. Among both the husbands and wives, being more educated was significantly associated (p<0.05) with preferring lesser number of children, using new technology for sex selection and having heard of the PNDT Act. Majority of those who wanted to use new technology for sex selection (128, 56.6%) preferred to have male child.
Conclusion: Sex ratio in this community was favorable towards females, though it was less among the first born babies.