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The Changing Impact of Religion on the Sexual and Contraceptive Behavior of Adolescent Women in the United States

Karin L. Brewster, Elizabeth C. Cooksey, David K. Guilkey and Ronald R. Rindfuss
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 60, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 493-504
DOI: 10.2307/353864
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353864
Page Count: 12
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The Changing Impact of Religion on the Sexual and Contraceptive Behavior of Adolescent Women in the United States
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Abstract

This study addresses the impact of religious affiliation on intercourse risk and contraceptive use among adolescent women during the 1980s when church-based groups were increasingly involved in debates over reproductive and family issues. However, adolescent nonmarital intercourse and birth rates were rising, suggesting that religious organizations, even as their visibility increased, became less effective at transmitting their values. We pooled data from two national surveys conducted in 1982 and 1988 and found that affiliation has modest, but stable, effects among Black teens. Among Whites, the impact of a fundamentalist Protestant affiliation increased. White fundamentalists were less likely to be sexually active in 1988 than in 1982.

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