ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Religion and Fertility in India

The recent contribution by Moulasha and Rama Rao (1999) to the debate on the relationships between religion, fertility and family planning, uses National Family Health Survey data in misleading ways. By failing to consider regional patterns in the distribution of Hindus and Muslims they exaggerate the role of religious group membership in understanding fertility differences. They give spurious credence to arguments that suggest that Islam in some way encourages higher fertility, they fail to consider issues of risk and uncertainty faced by religious minorities, and they come to unwarranted policy conclusions. In order to understand inter-religious fertility differences, analyses must be based on the understanding of specific social, economic and political contexts.

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