An abnormally high death rate of little girls as contrasted to the death rates of little boys causing a low and declining female/male ratio in a whole population is called fatal daughter syndrome. Fatal daughter syndrome is a socially derived phenomenon within human families reducing the number of daughters and increasing the proportion of sons. Families close to the apex of the status hierarchy are more likely to exhibit fatal daughter syndrome than families lower in the hierarchy. An explanation of this son preference family planning in the higher castes and classes is called stratified endogamy. A journal length article on fatal daughter syndrome may be found in Alexander(b).
The method of disposal of excess female daughters in the last century was female infanticide. (Vishwanath) In the twentieth century the female disposal method has been neglect of the girl child. Given greater prosperity in India, some have pointed to sex selective abortions as the method of the twenty first century. In this analysis of human behavior in twentieth century India, girl child neglect has been identified as the cause of fatal daughter syndrome by many scholars. Girl child neglect is in turn the cause of the long term effect, low and declining female/male ratios in India.
(Directory) March 20, 2000