Family Change and Continuity in Iran: Birth Control Use Before First Pregnancy

Authors


  • Department of Demography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

  • *

    Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

  • **

    Sociology Department, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0088 (pmorgan@soc.duke.edu).

  • ***

    Family Health and Population Department, Ministry of Health, Tehran, Iran.

  • ****

    Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

  • *****

    Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

  • This article was edited by Jay Teachman.

Abstract

Using data from the 2002 Iran Fertility Transition Survey, we examined birth control use between marriage and first pregnancy. We focused on the post-1990 increase in birth control use and develop two explanations. The first posits that birth control use reflects a new marriage form, the conjugal marriage, which places a heightened value on the spousal relationship while deemphasizing the centrality of parenthood. A second explanation stresses the use of a new resource, effective birth control, within an Iranian-Islamist view of marriage. Key to this explanation is the role of the state—Iranian political/religious actors encourage early marriage and the use of birth control. Although the explanations could be complementary, evidence provides more support for the latter.

Ancillary