The Impact of Subjective Norms: The Theory of Reasoned Action Together with the Social Ties Structure Predict the Intention to Select Fetal Sex in Rural China

Yang Xueyan, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Einstein Gillian, University of Toronto

Using the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) model and primary data collected from surveys conducted in three counties of SX Province, China, we analyzed the impact of subjective norms on an individual’s behavioral intention to select the sex of their fetus. Results suggest that, whether or not to select the sex of one’s fetus during pregnancy is determined primarily by the individual’s attitudes toward the relative worth of having a male or female child (son preference). In this model, the subjective norms of groups in an individual’s social ties structure strongly affect the individual’s intention to sex-select. Different types of social ties correlate differently with the intention to sex-select indicating that the choice to sex-select during pregnancy is an outcome of a tension between blood ties and marital ties, strong ties and weak ties.

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Presented in Poster Session 1