The Role of Parental Perceptions in the Gender Bias in Education in West Bengal, India: Results from a Micro Survey

Sriparna Bose, Sivanath Sastri College
Sunita Bose, State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY)

While the causes and consequences of gender disparity in education in India have generated extensive research, some gaps remain, notably in the area of parental attitudes regarding female education and its role in the persistence of gender bias. This study attempts to fill this gap through an analysis of primary data on parental perceptions regarding the education of their sons and daughters. The results show that while there is little evidence of gender disparity at or below the primary level, there is persistent gender bias at higher levels, with significantly higher dropout rates of for girls. There is also a persistent gender gap in the resource allocation for education in favor of boys. These results may be explained partly by the universal awareness of the benefits of some education for both boys and girls, as well as parental perception of education as a tool to pursue traditional gender roles.

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Presented in Session 68: Demography with a Gender Lens