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      Banned by the law, practiced by the society: The study of factors associated with dowry payments among adolescent girls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India

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          Abstract

          Background

          Despite the prohibition by the law in 1961, dowry is widely prevalent in India. Dowry stems from the early concept of ’Stridhana,’ in which gifts were given to the bride by her family to secure some personal wealth for her when she married. However, with the transition of time, the practice of dowry is becoming more common, and the demand for a higher dowry becomes a burden to the bride’s family. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the factors associated with the practice of dowry in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

          Methods

          We utilized information from 5206 married adolescent girls from the Understanding the lives of adolescents and young adults (UDAYA) project survey conducted in two Indian states, namely, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Dowry was the outcome variable of this study. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the factors associated with dowry payment during the marriage.

          Results

          The study reveals that dowry is still prevalent in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Also, the proportion of dowry varies by adolescent’s age at marriage, spousal education, and household socioeconomic status. The likelihood of paid dowry was 48 percent significantly less likely (OR: 0.52; CI: 0.44–0.61) among adolescents who knew their husbands before marriage compared to those who do not know their husbands before marriage. Adolescents with age at marriage more than equal to legal age had higher odds to pay dowry (OR: 1.60; CI: 1.14–2.14) than their counterparts. Adolescents with mother’s who had ten and above years of education, the likelihood of dowry was 33 percent less likely (OR: 0.67; CI: 0.45–0.98) than their counterparts. Adolescents belonging to the richest households (OR: 1.48; CI: 1.13–1.93) were more likely to make dowry payments than adolescents belonging to poor households.

          Conclusion

          Limitation of the dowry prohibition act is one of the causes of continued practices of dowry, but major causes are deeply rooted in the social and cultural customs, which cannot be changed only using laws. Our study suggests that only the socio-economic development of women will not protect her from the dowry system, however higher dowry payment is more likely among women from better socio-economic class.

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          Most cited references 48

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          Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh

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            Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India

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              The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: SoftwareRole: Validation
                Role: Writing – original draft
                Role: Writing – original draft
                Role: Writing – original draft
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: Validation
                Role: Formal analysis
                Role: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                15 October 2021
                2021
                : 16
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Mathematical Demography & Statistics, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India
                [2 ] Department of Population Policies and Programmes, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India
                [3 ] Department of Public Health and Mortality Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India
                University of Connecticut, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-21-04546
                10.1371/journal.pone.0258656
                8519446
                d75639ab-f136-4f31-a816-22a883a3e763
                © 2021 Srivastava et al

                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 author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 4, Pages: 16
                Product
                Funding
                The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Age Groups
                Children
                Adolescents
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Families
                Children
                Adolescents
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Commerce
                Payment
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Human Families
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Asia
                India
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Culture
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Religious Faiths
                Hinduism
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Education
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Custom metadata
                The data can be found from the following link: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/RRXQNT.

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