The Gender Composition of Twins and Its Influence on Treatment Seeking and Protective Health Behaviors in India

Mondie Blalock Tharp, Emory University

Disparities in the treatment of male and female children have been widely documented in India. We know that gender can influence decisions that parents make about treatment seeking behavior and protective health behaviors in early life. Studies have shown that decisions that parents make for their children in childhood, particularly those decisions surrounding health, will influence them throughout their lives. With twinning and multiple births on the rise, it is important to understand the decisions that parents make for their twin children and to understand the influence of gender in those decisions. This paper examines treatment seeking and protective health behaviors among twin births and the role of the gender composition of the twins in shaping parental health behaviors. The study uses the 2005-2006 India National Family Health Survey, modeling a sample of 810 twin sets, to examine the uptake of immunization, health care services and breastfeeding behaviors.

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Presented in Poster Session 3