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Muslim and Non-Muslim Differences in Female Autonomy and Fertility: Evidence from Four Asian Countries

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  • S. Philip Morgan
  • Sharon Stash
  • Herbert L. Smith
  • Karen Oppenheim Mason
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    Abstract

    On the basis of research on paired Muslim and non-Muslim communities selected in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, the authors test the hypothesis that greater observed Muslim pronatalism can be explained by less power or lower autonomy among Muslim women. Indeed, wives in the Muslim communities, compared to the non-Muslim ones: 1) had more children, 2) were more likely to desire additional children, and 3) if they desired no more children, were less likely to be using contraception. However, the authors do not find that Muslim communities consistently score lower on dimensions of women's power/autonomy. Thus, aggregate-level comparisons provide little evidence of a relationship between lower autonomy and higher fertility. Individual-level multivariate analysis of married women in these paired settings similarly suggests that women's autonomy differentials do not account for the higher fertility, demand for more children, and less use of contraception among Muslim wives. These results suggest that explanations for Muslim/non-Muslim fertility differences lie elsewhere. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 515-537

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:3:p:515-537

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    Cited by:
    1. Scanlan, Stephen J., 2004. "Women, Food Security, and Development in Less-Industrialized Societies: Contributions and Challenges for the New Century," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1807-1829, November.
    2. Adsera, Alicia, 2004. "Marital Fertility and Religion: Recent Changes in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2014. "Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 1019-1040, June.
    4. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2007. "Parental religiosity and daughters’ fertility: the case of Catholics in southern Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 305-327, September.
    5. Laurie DeRose & Alex Ezeh, 2010. "Decision-Making Patterns and Contraceptive Use: Evidence from Uganda," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 423-439, June.
    6. Pushkar Maitra & Sarmistha Pal, 2005. "Birth Spacing and Child Survival: Comparative Evidence from India and Pakistan," Labor and Demography 0509010, EconWPA.
    7. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2006. "Is fertility related to religiosity?-Evidence from Spain," Papers on Economics of Religion 06/06, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

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