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Brown University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


The principle aim of this study is to explicate and elucidate the intersection between religious beliefs and practices and Sexual and Reproductive Health throughout distinct levels of society in the developing world. A literature review identified relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature on religious beliefs held on sexuality and procreation, the landscape of influence of religion on laws and policies at a national and international level, the effects of religion on individual sexual behavior, and modern interventions aiming to be culturally and religiously sensitive. The intricacies and nuances of three Abrahamic faiths were assessed to highlight the dogma of sacred texts and practices, which highlighted the intrinsic benevolence of these religions. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health with religion being an impactful factor in their work. The influence of intrinsic religious beliefs was evaluated in three different realms surrounding S&RH, such as: 1) Influences of Religious Beliefs on International and Governmental Entities, Policies, and Programs, 2) Individual Behavior, Lifestyle Choices, and Perceptions impacted by Religious Beliefs, and 3) The “Point of Intersection” at the Community Level: How the Reproductive Health and Sexual Health Agenda can be advanced through Religious Leaders and Faith-based Organizations. This study emphasizes the prevalence of religious beliefs in the individual, the community, and the nation, while seeking to express the importance of religious beliefs in progressing the agenda of S&RH by utilizing religion as a “vehicle for change”.


Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | History of Religion | Islamic Studies | Jewish Studies | Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Health | Women's Studies


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