I have a question regarding which analysis strategy is best suited for our objective. In an exploratory study based on data from a survey we conducted ourselves in India, we are analyzing the consequences of a lack of suitable brides as a result of sex-selection. The determinants of sex-selection are well-researched and we ourselves also followed a separate objective where we analyzed these in separate analyses and regressions. What the consequences of a lack of suitable brides might be is still only limitedly researched as there is a lack of data.
This means that we are essentially looking at an independent variable and are interested in exploring what other variables/aspects it has an effect on. We find bivariate correlations that make a lot of sense theoretically even though they are generally not very strong. Our variable of interest is a binary variable of whether there is a shortage of suitable brides as a result of sex-selective abortions.
My main question is; is there any other suitable analysis strategy we could use where we are not simply limited to bivariate correlations?
Furthermore, for some of the correlations we find there are issues of directionality and endogeneity. One example is crime, where crime could be a reason for parents to prefer and sex-select sons as sons could be thought to offer protection in an insecure environment where daughters could instead be perceived as liabilities. However, crime could also be a consequence of a shortage of brides and we do find such a correlation. From our separate analyses of the determinants of sex-selective behavior where we used logistic regressions with odds of births being sons as outcome, we know that crime is not a determinant of sex-selection. Our interpretation of this is that crime is to a certain degree a consequence of bride shortages but not a “cause” of sex-selective abortions. However, one of our variables that is negatively correlated with bride shortage is a measure of restrictions of women’s mobility, i.e. a measure of disempowerment of women. This suggests that a shortage of brides is related to a better situation for women. The difficulty is that this same variable also has, unlike our other variables, a significant effect on the odds of births being sons (once again from other regressions). Its effect on the odds of births being sons is positive, however, whereas it is negatively correlated with our variable for bride shortages. Our interpretation of this is that greater disempowerment of women is related to greater likelihood of sex-selection but that less disempowerment (and thus a better ‘situation’ for women) is a consequence of a bride shortage (and thus by extension a consequence of sex-selection)?
My second question is; are we correct in drawing these conclusions? Is there a better way for us to make sure we are drawing the right conclusions?
I would be very grateful for any help we could get.