Premarital Sexual Initiation and Fertility among Pentecostal Adolescents in Brazil

Ana Paula A. Verona, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR), UFMG
Mark Regnerus, University of Texas at Austin

Pentecostal churches frequently disseminate conservative standards about personal habits and sexual behavior of its young adherents. They have also created unique space and promoted close relationships for adolescents to actively participate in a religious environment. This study analyses data from the 2006 Brazil PNDS to test the hypothesis that Pentecostal young women are at a lower risk of experiencing premarital sexual intercourse and childbearing during adolescence than those affiliated with the Catholic Church in Brazil. Using Cox proportional hazard models, we note that Pentecostals who attend church weekly demonstrated the most conservative sexual behavior while those who rarely attend showed the greatest risk. Even if they diminished their church attendance after initiating a sexual relationship, Pentecostals still display a lower risk of having a nonmarital birth.

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Presented in Poster Session 5