Religious Affiliation, Religiosity, Family-Related Attitudes, and Contraceptive Use in the United States, 2002

William D. Mosher, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Jo Jones, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

This paper uses data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to explore the relationships between religious affiliation, religiosity, and family-related attitudes on contraceptive use among Hispanic, white, and black women. We find that women who say that religion is “very important” in their daily lives have sharply different attitudes on families and marriage from those who say that religion is “not important.” We find differences in contraceptive choice between groups classified by religious affiliation and by the importance of religion. These groups differ, often sharply, in their use of female sterilization and the pill, as well as in male sterilization and the injectibles and implants. We suggest that demographers will have to look at religious differentials in new ways, focusing on family and gender roles, access to health care, and new understandings of religious attachments, to understand why these differences persist in the US.

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Presented in Poster Session 5