The relationship between contraceptive use and religion remains a subject of considerable debate. This article argues that this relationship is rooted in context‐specific institutional and organizational aspects of religious belonging and involvement. Drawing upon unique recent data from a population‐based survey of women conducted in a predominantly Christian high‐fertility area of Mozambique, this study examines the connections between religion and contraception from two complementary angles. First, differences in current use of modern contraceptives across main denominational groups are analyzed. The results show higher prevalence of modern contraceptive use among Catholics and, to a lesser extent, traditional Protestants net of other individual‐ and community‐level factors. Second, an analysis of religious involvement reveals that frequent church attendance has a net positive association with modern contraceptive use regardless of denominational affiliation. These findings are situated within the historical context of religious, demographic, and socio‐political dynamics of Mozambique and similar sub‐Saharan settings.
Studies in Family Planning – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2013
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