Religiousness and Reproduction in Muslim Countries

Charles Westoff, Princeton University
John R. Weeks, San Diego State University

This study is aimed at determining the effects on fertility of variations in religiousness and in egalitarian attitudes in the Muslim world. Based on Muslim populations in 18 developing countries, the work is an extension of an earlier study by Westoff and Frejka of the connections of religiousness and reproductive behavior in Europe. We use data from the World Values Surveys to assess the ways in which religiousness is related to attitudes toward gender equality, and how they in turn impact the age at marriage and then reproductive behavior within marriage. We compare data for women (n=11,412) and men (n=12,233), and evaluate the role played by geographic regions, as a proxy for underlying cultural variability. These micro-level analyses will be accompanied by national comparisons using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys and international agencies.

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Presented in Session 56: Social Demographic Aspects of Fertility: International Perspectives