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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

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..

Suggested Citation

  • S. Philip Morgan & Sharon Stash & Herbert L. Smith & Karen Oppenheim Mason, 2002. "Muslim and Non-Muslim Differences in Female Autonomy and Fertility: Evidence from Four Asian Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 515-537.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:3:p:515-537
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jejeebhoy, Shireen J., 1995. "Women's Education, Autonomy, and Reproductive Behaviour: Experience from Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290339.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurie DeRose & Alex Ezeh, 2010. "Decision-Making Patterns and Contraceptive Use: Evidence from Uganda," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(3), pages 423-439, June.
    2. Pushkar Maitra & Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Birth Spacing and Child Survival: Comparative Evidence from India and Pakistan," Labor and Demography 0403023, EconWPA.
    3. Astrid Sneyers & Anneleen Vandeplas, 2013. "Girl Power in Agricultural Production: How Much Does it Yield? A Case-Study on the Dairy Sector in India," LICOS Discussion Papers 34113, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    4. repec:kap:poprpr:v:36:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9427-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Neuman, Shoshana, 2006. "Is Fertility Related to Religiosity? Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Sneyers, Astrid & Vandeplas, Anneleen, 2015. "A Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity? Evidence from the Dairy Sector in India," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212062, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Sonalde Desai & Gheda Temsah, 2014. "Muslim and Hindu Women’s Public and Private Behaviors: Gender, Family, and Communalized Politics in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2307-2332, December.
    8. Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy, 2013. "The Influence of Living with Parents on Women's Decision-Making Participation in the Household: Evidence from the Southern Philippines," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 641-656, May.
    9. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2014. "Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 1019-1040, June.
    10. Lee-Rife, Susan M., 2010. "Women's empowerment and reproductive experiences over the lifecourse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 634-642, August.
    11. 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.
    12. Victor Agadjanian & Scott Yabiku, 2014. "Religious Affiliation and Fertility in a Sub-Saharan Context: Dynamic and Lifetime Perspectives," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(5), pages 673-691, October.
    13. Adsera, Alicia, 2004. "Marital Fertility and Religion: Recent Changes in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. 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.

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