Mothers-in-law and son preference in India

Marie Claire Robitaille, Ishita Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mothers-in-law are often portrayed as the most powerful entity in the household in Indian popular culture and media. In most literature too, the influence of Indian mothers-in-law is often taken for granted. However, most of the empirical evidence relies on qualitative data or on small samples. Looking at stated son preference and using the third National Family and Health Survey data set, the authors show that mothers-in-law do indeed have an influence on their daughters-in-law. Given the stronger son preference among mothers-in-law, this contributes to the high imbalance in the male to female sex ratio observed among children in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalEconomic and Political Weekly
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2017


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