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Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008†
Department of Sociology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1401 University Blvd, HHB 460D, Birmingham AL, 35294-1152, USA
Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, 725 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590, USA
† An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2008 Annual Meetings of the Eastern Sociological Society, New York.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2011; in revised form: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
Abstract: Many studies on the fertility differential by religion have considered both Catholics and Protestants to be equally homogenous groups. Contrary to these studies, we contend that Protestant fertility must be studied in the context of heterogeneous groups. Specifically, conservative Protestantism, with its beliefs about artificial birth control mirroring Catholic teaching, should be examined separately from other Protestant traditions. Using data from the General Social Survey we find that conservative Protestants and Catholics had about the same level of fertility, while mainline Protestants have a fertility rate that is significantly lower than that of Catholics. We also examine the changes in these differences over time.
Keywords: religion; fertility; Protestant; conservative Protestant; Catholic; trend analyses
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Borch, C.; West, M.; Gauchat, G. Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008. Religions 2011, 2, 469-484.
Borch C, West M, Gauchat G. Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008. Religions. 2011; 2(4):469-484.
Borch, Casey; West, Matthew; Gauchat, Gordon. 2011. "Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008." Religions 2, no. 4: 469-484.