Majority of Women Use Contraception Irrespective of Religious Affiliation

From RH Reality Check:

By Martha Kempner
April 15, 2011

A report released by the Guttmacher Institute yesterday shows that while religious affiliation may play some role in decisions regarding sexual behavior, it has little to do with whether women (married and unmarried) use contraception. Specifically,the study found that regardless of religious affiliation at least three-quarters of never-married women are sexually experienced by their early twenties and that the overwhelming majority of sexually active women of all denominations who do not wish to become pregnant are using a contraceptive method.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2006–2008 National Survey for Family Growth which asks questions about religious affiliation in addition to its questions about sexual activity and contraceptive use. They focused specifically on women who identified as Catholic, Mainline Protestant (which includes Methodists, Presbyterians, and other groups), and Evangelicals (which includes Protestant women who indicated that they were “born-again Christian,” “charismatic,” “evangelical,” or “fundamentalist”).

Sexual Behavior

Though the majority of women (79 percent) regardless of religion are sexually active by their 20s, when it comes to sexual behavior the study pointed to some differences that were based on religion. For example:

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