Son Preference in Pakistan:A Myth or Reality | Atif | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Son Preference in Pakistan:A Myth or Reality

Khaula Atif, Muhammad Zia Ullah, Afeera Afsheen, Syed Abid Hassan Naqvi, Zulqarnain Ashraf Raja, Saleem Asif Niazi


Objective: To analyze desire for sons/daughters among ladies of Peshawar, Pakistan, with a view to rule out son preference and to study impact of various demographic characteristics on the subject.

Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study conducted at Combined Military Hospital, Peshawar, from August 2015 - January 2016; sampling technique was random/probability/non-purposive. Self-designed questionnaire was utilized; carrying questions pertinent to desire for sons/daughters during marital life, and demographic details. Data analyzed via descriptive analysis (SPSS-21), expressed as frequencies/percentages and mean ± standard deviation(minimum/maximum). Sons and daughters desired (dependent variables) were cross-tabulated with independent variables.

Results: Response rate was 63.25% (n-506). Data revealed following: Sons desired 3.05±2.061(1/12); Daughters desired 1.15±0.767(0/4); 6.1%(n-31) and 0.6%(n-3) desired infinite number of sons and daughters respectively, 18.2%(n-92) did not desire to have even one daughter, while 2.2%(n-11) considered it immaterial to have daughters or sons. There was a significant relation between sons desired and client’s education (p<0.001), husband’s education (p<0.001) and socioeconomic class (p<0.001). There was no significant impact of religion (p-0.142) on desire for sons. Impact of independent variables on daughters desired was similar but less pronounced.

Conclusion: There was candid son preference among the respondents. Gender discrimination can be attenuated by adequately addressing son preference at all tiers. 


How to cite this:Atif K, Zia Ullah M, Afsheen A, Naqvi SAH, Raja ZA, Niazi SA. Son Preference in Pakistan; A Myth or Reality. Pak J Med Sci. 2016;32(4):994-998.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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