Using a conceptual model that integrates both social and biomedical factors of causation, this paper tries to delineate the pathways through which the reproductive characteristics of a multidenominational community are characterized. In total, 5513 historical entries from family reconstitution were available. Selection of data was guided by the inclusion of information about religious affiliation. Only married couples with children as well as single mothers with the relevant information were considered. Of these, 1855 entries were of Roman Catholic (C), 1143 of Lutheran/Protestant (L/P2), and 609 of Reformed Calvinist (R) denomination. The analysis documented differential nuptiality and fertility patterns, which at first glance may be interpreted along religious lines. However, the paper attempts to show that these various sociocultural patterns associated with religious behavior are merely proximate determinants, while the ultimate causes are biological in nature (i.e., differential parental age at marriage or birth, different parity progression regimes, differences in median interpregnancy interval, as well as highly variable sibship size within the denominational groups).
"More than a Leap of Faith: The Impact of Biological and
Religious Correlates on Reproductive Behavior,"
5, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol75/iss5/6