Religion and reproduction in Mozambique: dynamic and multi-level connections

Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University
Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
Jenny Trinitapoli, Penn State University

The literature on the effects of religion on reproduction typically treats religion as a static and individual-level phenomenon. In this study, we use recent survey data from southern Mozambique to overcome these drawbacks. We first investigate the effects of religious affiliation and religious history on the annual probability of giving birth by applying event-history techniques to retrospective data from a representative survey of women aged 18-50. We then use logistic regression to examine how women’s cumulative religious trajectory and current religious involvement, along with characteristics of congregation and community milieus, influence their childbearing intentions and contraceptive use. For this analysis, we combine the women’s survey data with data from a parallel survey of all religious organizations in the study area, including the congregations to which respondents of the women’s survey belonged. We discuss the results in light of profound transformations of both the religious and reproductive landscapes in Mozambique.

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Presented in Session 222: Religion, culture and reproduction