Social class, gender and intrahousehold food allocations to children in South Asia

Soc Sci Med. 1997 Jun;44(11):1685-95. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(96)00371-1.


In the 1980s research on gender-biased food distribution to children within the household in South Asia yielded important findings. Many studies report evidence of substantial discrimination against daughters, but others do not. This paper reviews research of the 1980s with attention to social differentiation in gender bias. My hypothesis is that different results concerning gender bias in intrahousehold allocations are expectable, given variations in gender hierarchy throughout South Asia. Results of the review indicate that seemingly "contradictory" results are often accurate reflections of social status differences within South Asia that create varying female health and nutritional outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Poverty*
  • Prejudice*
  • Sex Ratio
  • Sex*
  • Social Class*
  • Women's Health