Having recently completed my dissertation on female foeticide and infanticide in India, my research uncovered a key area of neglect in trajectories concerning the practice. My provided an exegesis of the several structures which exacerbate the practice today: son-preference, dowry, capitalism and 'social engineering' by the British Colonial Authorities in tandem with upper-caste elites to encourage 'Sanskritisation' thereby absolving many lower-caste practices (i.e. bride-price, other marriage types [asura marriage]).
It also considered a power analysis and the role of gerontocracy and gender within the family and the way in which agreement by women with female foeticide and infanticide often increases with age. Men have often been excluded from research where women tend to be key agents encouraging the foeticide and infanticide. It considered the way in which masculinity plays a role in the practice: where men are economic pillars of a family and often a woman, women need to ensure that their menfolk retain their wealth from which they benefit (as a kind of patriarchal bargain), and a female child (because of dowry) indicates a loss of wealth. A male child also ensures future wellbeing for elderly women and men when men stop working, a woman is therefore in the process of changing her dependence from one male to another. Combined with poorer sex ratios among higher-classes/castes, it may be that greater wealth means women experience this fear of loss more acutely, especially considering that upper-caste norms of Sanskritisation encourage women not to work (lower-caste/class women are more likely to work - a non-working woman is seen with prestige). There are also spiritual reasons emanating from the idea that a male child must light his parent's funeral pyre etc.
While the term 'daughter dis-preference' is being increasingly used in trajectories of female foeticide and infanticide, I suggest this should be used in tandem with 'son-preference' as this is a consequence of the latter. Thus they are both relational to one another in reproducing the practice. Considering the relation of gerontocracy in the family unit to the practice and the way in which some identity is already prescribed to the terms (a gender identity 'female' foeticide/infanticide), the relation of the foetus/child to her family members that reproduce the practice is crucial. Considering relations in a gerontocratic way, the paper argued this represents a case to move towards 'Daughter and Grandaughter Female Foeticide/Infanticide' and to recognise this relations in abolishing the practice -it is too simplistic to focus on gender alone when the practice is discussed and solutions to overcome this practice are presented.