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A clash of civilizations or vicissitudes of history? Christian-muslim differentials in contraceptive use in Nigeria and Tanzania

Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University
Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
Lubayna Fawcett, Arizona State University

In the globalization discourse Christianity and Islam are often construed as representing two civilizational traditions that are conflictual and even incompatible. This study engages the “clash of civilizations” discourse by examining Muslim-Christian differentials in the use of modern contraception in Nigeria, where Christians have a much higher contraceptive prevalence, and Tanzania, where Muslims are somewhat more likely to contracept. Using data from six nationally representative surveys conducted in the two countries between 1990 and 2004 and multilevel logistic regression we find that the effects of religion remain strong but operate largely through the community religious milieu. Contraceptive use tends to be highest in religiously-mixed areas, but the “optimal” religious makeup differs between the two nations reflecting the historically-shaped configurations of their religious expressions and politics.

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Presented in Poster Session 2