The association between religion and virginity status, delayed sexual debut, and childbearing among Brazilian adolescents
This thesis examines the association between religion and the sexual and reproductive behavior of Brazilian adolescents ages 15-19. The analysis presented here examines the effects of religious factors along three tracks: virginity status, delayed sexual debut, and childbearing. In order to investigate these factors, I use two sets of data, namely the 2006 Brazilian National Demographic and Health Survey and the 2003 Profile of Brazilian Youth. Both univariate and bivariate statistical analyses are utilized in the descriptive part of the analysis and multivariate analyses are employed to test a series of research hypotheses. Ultimately the research finds that religion plays a significant role in promoting virginity, delaying sexual debut, and protecting against teenage childbearing. The results are interpreted in the context of several theoretical frameworks that posit the salutary influence of religion on sexual and reproductive behavior.