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Religious affiliation, religiosity, and male and female fertility

  • Li Zhang

    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Registered author(s):

    Religious studies of fertility typically focus on the effect of religious affiliation on fertility; the role of religiosity in determining fertility remains overlooked. Meanwhile, most studies focus on studying female fertility; whether religion and religiosity have significantly different impacts on men’s and women’s fertility rarely has been examined. To fill these gaps, this study uses data from the 2002 NSFG Cycle 6 on religious affiliation, religiosity, and children ever born (CEB) for both men and women to investigate the effects of religious affiliation and religiosity on male and female fertility. A series of hypotheses which aim to demonstrate the critical role of religiosity, particularly the importance of religious beliefs in people’s daily life in shaping people’s fertility behavior are tested. The findings show a shrinking pattern of fertility differentials among religious groups. However, religiosity, particularly religious beliefs, shows a substantially positive effect on fertility. The gender interaction terms are not significant which indicates that the effects of religion and religiosity on fertility do not vary by gender.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol18/8/18-8.pdf
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    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 8 (April)
    Pages: 233-262

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:18:y:2008:i:8
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Bledsoe, Caroline & Lerner, Susana & Guyer, Jane (ed.), 2000. "Fertility and the Male Life Cycle in the Era of Fertility Decline," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294443, March.
    2. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2004. "Religion as a Determinant of Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Susan Janssen & Robert Hauser, 1981. "Religion, socialization, and fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 511-528, November.
    4. Gordon Jong, 1965. "Religious fundamentalism, socio-economic status, and fertility attitudes in the southern appalachians," Demography, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 540-548, March.
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