Between Daughter Deficit and Development Deficit: The Situation of Unmarried Men in a South Indian Community
40 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 9, 2015
A likely effect of the continuing sex ratio imbalance in countries such as India is bride shortage. But can daughter deficit alone account for men’s difficulty in finding brides in such contexts? Drawing from research in the Kongu Velalla (KV) community in Tamil Nadu in south India which has had a long history of daughter elimination resulting in female deficit, the paper addresses this question. It demonstrates how the effects of daughter deficit unfold in the midst of changing economic processes and development gains made by women while sharpening the development deficit among men. These effects are immediately evident in women’s bargaining position in the marriage market. Whether daughter deficit will increase violence against women and society in general or enhance the value of women will depend on its interaction with development deficit, gender inequality and the important gains women are making to challenge traditional gender norms.
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