Environmentalism and Contraceptive Use: How People in Less Developed Settings Approach Environmental Issues
Ghimire, Dirgha J., and Paul Mohai. 2005. “Environmentalism and Contraceptive Use: How People in Less Developed Settings Approach Environmental Issues.” Population and Environment 27(1):29-61.
The rise in environmental concerns around the globe has prompted increasing research on the links between such concerns and behavior. However, most studies have focused on pro-environmental behaviors in affluent western societies, such as willingness to pay for environmental protection, pro-environmental political actions, and consumption patterns. Using multiple data sets from the Chitwan Valley Family Study in Nepal, this paper examines the impact of environmental perceptions on contraceptive use in a rural agricultural setting. The results of our analyses show that perceptions about certain aspects of the environment are related to individuals’ subsequent use of contraceptives. Specifically, those individuals who think that their environment—agricultural productivity—has deteriorated are more likely to use contraceptives than those who think that their environment has improved or has remained about the same. This study thus provides a first step in our understanding of the relationships between environmental perceptions and fertility behavior in a less developed setting.