Patterns of contraceptive use in the United States: the importance of religious factors

C. Goldscheider, W. D. Mosher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous research has shown that the major religious communities in the US have all shifted their expected family size downward but significant differences in contraceptive use styles continue to characterize Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and those of no religious affiliation. This paper examines data from Cycle IV of the National Survey of Family Growth (1988) to extend the time period covered by previous research by comparing the emerging contraceptive use patterns and fertility expectations among women in the late 1980s with earlier cohorts from previous national studies, beginning in the 1960s. The categories of religious affiliation are extended to include specific religious denominations (fundamentalist Protestants, Baptists, and other denominations, as well as Mormons) and include measures of religiosity - church attendance, the extent of receiving communion among Catholics, and attendance at church-related schools. These data are examined for blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites. The analysis suggests how religious affiliation and religiosity continue to be important factors in the contraceptive paths to low fertility under general conditions of controlled fertility and in the context of secularization. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-115
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in family planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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