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Religions 2011, 2(4), 469-484; doi:10.3390/rel2040469

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 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; fertility; Protestant; conservative Protestant; Catholic; trend analyses religion; fertility; Protestant; conservative Protestant; Catholic; trend analyses

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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