Skip to main content


Brewster, Karin L.; Cooksey, Elizabeth C.; Guilkey, David K.; & Rindfuss, Ronald R. (1998). The Changing Impact of Religion on the Sexual and Contraceptive Behavior of Adolescent Women in the United States. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60(2), 493-504.


This study addresses the impact of religious affiliation on intercourse risk and contraceptive use among adolescent women during the 1980s when church-based groups were increasingly involved in debates over reproductive and family issues. However, adolescent nonmarital intercourse and birth rates were rising, suggesting that religious organizations, even as their visibility increased, became less effective at transmitting their values. We pooled data from two national surveys conducted in 1982 and 1988 and found that affiliation has modest, but stable, effects among Black teens. Among Whites, the impact of a fundamentalist Protestant affiliation increased. White fundamentalists were less likely to be sexually active in 1988 than in 1982.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and the Family


Brewster, Karin L.
Cooksey, Elizabeth C.
Guilkey, David K.
Rindfuss, Ronald R.