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Niraula, Bhanu B. & Morgan, S. Philip (1995). Son and Daughter Preferences in Benighat, Nepal: Implications for Fertility Transition. Biodemography and Social Biology, 42(3-4), 256-273.


Married women in Benighat, Nepal stressed old age security and continuity of lineage as prominent reasons for wanting sons. In addition, women clearly desired daughters too—an important finding that is less often stressed. Religious reasons and help with household chores were the most common reasons reported for wanting a daughter. Strong desires for sons could increase fertility in settings where fertility is controlled. Additional desires for daughters could have an additional pronatalist influence. For Benighat we document a pervasive desire for at least two sons and at least one daughter. If realized, these sex composition preferences would increase fertility by 50 per cent. Actual effects are no doubt smaller, but the effects of sex preference on the desire for more children and on contraceptive use are clearly visible.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Biodemography and Social Biology


Niraula, Bhanu B.
Morgan, S. Philip