Religion and Reproduction: Muslims in Buddhist Thailand
The present study examines the contrast between Muslim reproductive attitudes and behavior in Thailand and those of Buddhists, especially in the southern region. Results are based primarily on a large regional survey directed towards this topic and supplemental focus group discussions among Muslims in Southern Thailand. We interpret Muslim reproductive patterns from the perspectives of the major hypotheses that have been invoked in the social demographic literature to explain links between religion and fertility. These hypotheses go part way in helping understand what appears to be a complex and context specific relationship. Nevertheless, the linkages between religion, ethnic and cultural identity, and political setting that appear to operating are more complex than can be fully accounted for by even a combination of the existing hypotheses.