Beyond Global Regions: Religious Traditions and Modern Contraceptive Method Use

Claudia Geist , University of Utah
Wade Cole, University of Utah

Prior research has demonstrated temporal and regional heterogeneity in contraceptive method use. We test whether cultural zones, a novel classification of countries based on predominant or historically dominant religious traditions, can help us better understand variation in modern contraceptive method usage rates compared to geographic regions. Using data from 156 countries and net of economic development, women's education, geographic region, and time, we find that cultural zones explain cross-national variation in contraceptive practices beyond global region, economic development and women’s education. Cultural zones integrate global regions and religious traditions and explain more than geographic regions in our understanding of the use of modern contraceptive methods.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1