Gender Differentials in Child Nutritional Status in Kenya

Florence Nyangara-Marwanga, Pennsylvania State University
Gretchen Cornwell, Pennsylvania State University

It has long been recognized in demographic literature that female children have health disadvantages as compared to their male counterparts in most developing countries. The current study examines the gender differentials on child nutritional status for children in Kenya. This study used the 1998 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data. The sample of children used in the current study was limited to those aged 12-59 months who were living with their biological mothers at the time of interview. The results show that there was a significant relationship between the child's gender and nutritional status, everything else being equal. The male children were more likely to be stunted than female children in Kenya. These results were not expected and may indicate biological differences between male and female children, as male children are said to be more susceptible to infection and malnutrition than female children (U.N., 1996).

Presented in Session 100: Gender Differentials in Child Health in Developing Countries