The Multi-Dimensions of Religion on Contraceptive Use in Nigeria

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Oluwatosin DAWODU, University of Benin,Benin City, Nigeria
The correlation between religious beliefs and use of contraception vary from one country to another depending on how homogenous a country is. This paper seeks to understand the varying dimensions of religion on contraceptive use in Nigeria through individual beliefs, community practices and state or country of origin. The belief system of people in any given society determines the level of contraceptive use and its effects on fertility rate. Religiosity continues to play a non-trivial role in reproductive outcomes; more religious people usually have higher fertility and lower contraceptive use. In today’s sub-Saharan African settings, this burgeoning religious diversity and a correspondingly large role that religion plays in everyday life create conditions for a strong influence of religion on demographic and specifically reproductive behavior and outcomes. Fertility rates are higher in Africa than in any other major region of the world; consequently controversy surrounds the likelihood of these rates declining in the near future. Based on literatures reviewed, it can be concluded therefore that there is sufficient evidence that religious beliefs and practices have an influence on contraceptive use in Nigeria. Christians are more likely to use contraceptives than their Muslim counterparts. The study also shows that other factors that influence use of contraception include education and occupation of women, number of living children and region of residence. Efforts to increase contraceptive usage in Nigeria should target religious leaders and put more emphasis on raising the status of women and promoting region specific programmes.

Keywords: Contraceptives, Fertility, Religious practices, Nigeria