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The World in Medicine
November 19, 2003

"Missing" Girls in India

JAMA. 2003;290(19):2535. doi:10.1001/jama.290.19.2535-a

India has experienced a disturbing decline in the number of girls compared with boys in the last decade due to selective-sex abortion and infanticide, according to data compiled in a booklet by the Indian government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The problem stems from a traditional preference for sons, who carry forward the family name and occupation and support elderly parents, compared with daughters, who require a dowry and are viewed as "paraya dhan" (to be married and sent away).