Students at nine colleges in Andhra Pradesh, India, were surveyed for size and gender composition of families in their parental, present, and projected generations. These data were used to calculate average family size, secondary sex ratios (males:100 females), impact of genders of existing children within families on eventual family size, and independence of sex ratios of successive births. For the parental, present, and projected generations, average number of children were 4.27, 2.99 and 2.10, and sex ratios were 101, 87, and 99; respectively. Gender differences, both in combinations and permutations, of existing children influenced parents' decisions to have additional children. Although son preference was evident, more families stopped having children with two, three, or four when both genders were present than when existing children were of same gender, including the all son combination. The most desired family consisted of two children, both genders, with the male born first. Realization of the average number of children (2.10) in families of the projected generation would result in a more stabilized population. Observed and expected combinations of genders in families with 2, 3, 4, and 5 children in the present generation differed significantly indicating a lack of independence. Also, the lack of independence was supported by significant negative correlations between gender compositions of successive births within families.
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Vol. 70 • No. 1