Volume 19 - Article 55 | Pages 1851-1882

Beyond denomination: The relationship between religion and family planning in rural Malawi

By Sara Yeatman, Jenny Trinitapoli

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Date received:25 Jul 2008
Date published:24 Oct 2008
Word count:7402
Keywords:family planning, fertility, religion, social interaction, Sub-Saharan Africa


Despite the centrality of religion and fertility to life in rural Africa, the relationship between the two remains poorly understood. The study presented here uses unique integrated individual- and congregational-level data from rural Malawi to examine religious influences on contraceptive use. In this religiously diverse population, we find evidence that the particular characteristics of a congregation—leader’s positive attitudes toward family planning and discussion of sexual morality, which do not fall along broad denominational lines—are more relevant than denominational categories for predicting women’s contraceptive use. We further find evidence for a relationship between religious socialization and contraceptive behavior.

Author's Affiliation

Sara Yeatman - University of Colorado Denver, United States of America [Email]
Jenny Trinitapoli - Pennsylvania State University, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Sibling support and the educational prospects of young adults in Malawi
Volume 30 - Article 19

» The Malawi Religion Project: Data collection and selected analyses
Volume 21 - Article 10

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