The Consequences of India’s Male Surplus for Women's Partnering and Sexual Experiences

Katherine Trent, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Scott J. South, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Sunita Bose, State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY)

Data from the third wave of India’s 2005-2006 National Family and Health Survey are used to examine the influence of the community-level sex ratio on several dimensions of women’s partnering behavior and sexual experiences. Multi-level logistic regression models that control for individual demographic attributes and community-level characteristics reveal that the local male-to-female sex ratio is positively and significantly associated with the likelihood that women marry prior to age 16 and have experienced forced sex. These associations are modest in magnitude. However, no significant associations are observed between the sex ratio and whether women have had two or more lifetime sexual partners or women’s risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease. Birth cohort, education, religion, caste, region, urban residence, and several community-level measures of women’s status also emerge as significant predictors of Indian women’s partnering and sexual experiences. The implications of our results for India’s growing surplus of adult men are discussed.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 5