The “Kavkazsky uzel” cites the opinion of Konstantin Kazenin, Senior researcher, Center for Political economy and regional development" of the Gaidar Institute, that the birth rate of boys vs girls in Dagestan is within the biological norm.

According to the information related to population frequency distribution by age groups provided by the State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Dagestan, since 2010-2019 inclusive, the dynamics recorded a decrease in the ratio of girls per 1000 boys in the age group fr om 0 to 4 years from 968 girls in 2010 to 942 in 2019.

“The gender ratio in the youngest age group is in line with biological standards. This statistics prevents from speaking about any artificial influence on gender ratio, for example, about regularly performed abortions based on gender. Exactly as there is no other evidence that such practices occur in the North Caucasus, unlike, for example, Azerbaijan. At older ages, the gender ratio changes due to the shorter male life expectancy. In traditional societies, it is common for parents to have at least one boy.

Thus, for instance, in some Central Asian countries, this is a rather significant factor supporting fertility. Calculations show that in Kyrgyzstan parents are much more likely to decide to have a third or fourth child if all the previous children are girls. In the North Caucasus, wh ere the overall birth rate is lower than in Central Asia, this tendency is not so obvious," said Konstantin Kazenin.

The expert said that urbanization is a determining factor in establishing social, family and communication ties, while the gender distribution of roles fades into the background.

“With regard to daughters considered as a “burden”, I would not make any general assertions even within the same region. In Dagestan, for example, the mass resettlement to cities, greater individual self-sufficiency compared to dependence on relatives, and access to global communications, result in a less hard- line pattern in family relations. In particular, gender roles become more diverse within the family.

For example, a great distance in communication between fathers and daughters is no longer obligatory. The overall attitude towards children becomes more emotional, while pragmatic ideas that daughters "will marry and leave their parents" are not the

determining factors any longer. Actually, it is interesting that such shifts in Dagestan can be observed quite often in both secular and religious families,” concluded Konstantin Kazenin, an expert of the Gaidar Institute.