Sociology Project Topics

Influence of Religion on the Perception of Family Planning Among Couples; (A Case of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State)

Influence of Religion on the Perception of Family Planning Among Couples; (A Case of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State)

Influence of Religion on the Perception of Family Planning Among Couples; (A Case of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State)

Chapter One

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study were framed in the past tense to indicate completed research:

  1. To examine the historical influence of religious teachings on the perception of family planning among couples in Ekiti East Local Government Area.
  2. To assess the impact of religious beliefs on decision-making processes related to family planning among couples in the study area.
  3. To analyze the role of religious leaders in shaping the attitudes of couples towards family planning.



Conceptual Review

Religion and Family Planning

Religion, as a pervasive cultural force, has deeply influenced the perceptions and practices surrounding family planning. Historical religious teachings have played a substantial role in shaping attitudes towards family planning (Akinyemi & Isiugo–Abanihe, 2020). In the historical context of Ekiti East, the adherence to certain religious doctrines has moulded societal norms, contributing to specific beliefs about procreation and family size. Adaka’s (2018) exploration of family planning needs and methods underscores the historical roots of these beliefs, providing insights into the enduring influence of religious teachings on reproductive choices in the region.

Moving from historical influences to contemporary perspectives, the impact of religious beliefs on decision-making processes related to family planning remains a dynamic and evolving aspect of cultural life in Ekiti East (Delano, 2020). The study by Awosusi (2018) on the determinants of fertility control practices among women in the Emure Local Government Area of Ekiti State offers glimpses into the contemporary context. It reveals how current religious beliefs continue to shape individuals’ and couples’ choices concerning family planning, indicating that the historical imprint of religion is an ongoing factor in decision-making.

Crucial to the intricate relationship between religion and family planning is the role of religious leaders in shaping couples’ attitudes towards reproductive choices (Alvergue et al., 2021). Fasiku’s (2020) study on family planning practices in Southwest Nigeria delves into the role of religious leaders, shedding light on their influence on individual choices. This is particularly pertinent in Ekiti East, where religious leaders hold significant sway over the community. The exploration of the role of religious leaders in shaping attitudes towards family planning is vital for understanding the dynamics within the community and devising effective interventions.

In Ekiti East, the interplay between historical religious teachings, contemporary perspectives, and the influence of religious leaders contributes to a unique landscape regarding family planning decisions. The findings from these studies collectively highlight the intricate relationship between religion and family planning, emphasizing the need for a holistic understanding that spans historical roots, current practices, and the guidance provided by religious leaders. As the community grapples with the complexities of reproductive choices, this comprehensive exploration can inform policymakers, healthcare professionals, and community leaders in developing strategies that respect the cultural and religious fabric of Ekiti East while promoting effective and culturally sensitive reproductive health interventions.

Cultural Dynamics in Ekiti East

In the culturally diverse setting of Ekiti East, a myriad of religious beliefs coexists, shaping the perspectives on family planning (Callistus, 2021). Analyzing the diversity of religious beliefs within the community is imperative for understanding the nuanced dynamics that influence family planning decisions. The work by Igudu et al. (2021) on religious beliefs and family planning practices of married women provides a foundation for this exploration. The study delves into the different religious perspectives held by women, offering insights into how these beliefs intersect with family planning choices. By acknowledging the coexistence of various religious beliefs, a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural context of family planning in Ekiti East emerges.

Cultural sensitivity plays a pivotal role in navigating the landscape of family planning in Ekiti East, considering the diverse religious and cultural backgrounds of its residents (Oyebanjo, 2021). The importance of understanding and respecting cultural nuances is underscored in the study by Nwabude and Nwagwugwu (2020) on women’s empowerment and economic development. While not directly focused on Ekiti East, this study emphasizes the broader significance of considering cultural factors in reproductive health initiatives. The exploration of cultural sensitivity becomes particularly relevant in Ekiti East, where a range of cultural nuances intertwine with religious beliefs to shape family planning practices.

To comprehend the intricacies of family planning within the cultural dynamics of Ekiti East, it is essential to examine how these cultural and religious factors converge. The theoretical framework of Cultural Ecological Systems Theory can provide a lens through which to analyze the interplay between cultural diversity and family planning decisions (Santrock, 2021). This theory posits that individuals are influenced by various environmental systems, including cultural and religious contexts. By applying this theoretical perspective, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of how cultural dynamics impact family planning practices in Ekiti East.

In summary, the diversity of religious beliefs and the cultural sensitivity required in Ekiti East are integral components of the broader landscape of family planning decisions. Acknowledging the coexistence of various religious perspectives and understanding cultural nuances are crucial steps towards developing effective and culturally sensitive reproductive health interventions in the community. As family planning is deeply intertwined with cultural and religious beliefs, a comprehensive exploration of these aspects is imperative for promoting respectful and inclusive strategies that align with the unique cultural fabric of Ekiti East.

Family Planning Practices

Investigating the determinants of fertility control practices among women in Ekiti East is crucial for understanding the factors that shape reproductive choices within the community (Fasiku, 2020). The study by Fasiku delves into family planning practices in Southwest Nigeria, offering insights into the broader regional context. However, a more specific examination of Ekiti East is necessary to identify the unique determinants that influence women’s decisions regarding fertility control. This exploration is vital for tailoring interventions to address the specific needs and challenges faced by women in the region.

Furthermore, exploring the relationship between family planning practices and marital stability is integral to understanding the broader implications of reproductive choices in Ekiti East (Linna & Crane, 2021). While the study by Linna and Crane focuses on marital satisfaction in the context of family therapy, its theoretical framework can be adapted to explore how family planning decisions impact overall marital stability in Ekiti East. Examining the connection between family planning practices and marital stability is essential for comprehending the societal dynamics and potential consequences of these decisions on familial relationships within the region.





This chapter outlines the research design, population, sample, instruments for data collection, data validation and reliability, ethical considerations, method of data collection, and method of data analysis employed in the study. It aims to provide a clear and comprehensive understanding of the research methodology employed to achieve the study’s objectives.

 Research Design

The research design serves as the blueprint for the study, guiding the collection and analysis of data. In line with the quantitative survey research design, the study focuses on systematically collecting and analyzing numerical data to uncover patterns and relationships within the Ekiti East community (Saunders et al., 2019). This design aligns with the study’s objectives of exploring the influence of religion on family planning perceptions among couples in the region. A quantitative approach enables the measurement and statistical analysis of the variables under investigation, facilitating objective and generalizable findings (Bell, 2022). The choice of a quantitative survey research design is justified by its suitability for capturing numerical data, allowing for a structured and systematic exploration of the study’s research questions.

Population of the Study

The target population for this study consists of couples in Ekiti East, Nigeria. The justification for selecting this population lies in the significance of understanding the perspectives and practices of couples within the community concerning family planning influenced by religious beliefs. Ekiti East, characterized by cultural and religious diversity, offers a rich context for exploring the intricate relationship between religion and family planning (Anderson et al., 2020). The decision to focus on 171 respondents is justified by the practicality of conducting a comprehensive study within the constraints of time and resources, ensuring a representative sample that adequately captures the diverse perspectives within the larger population (Saunders et al., 2019).



This chapter encompasses the presentation and analysis of the data collected for this study. The data collected are presented in frequency tables and interpreted accordingly. This section also contains the test of hypotheses as well as the discussion of findings concerning the results from the empirical evaluation carried out.



Discussion of Finding

Objective 1: Historical Religious Teachings

The findings revealed a predominant agreement among respondents regarding the significant influence of historical religious teachings on the perception of family planning in Ekiti East. The majority attested to the enduring impact of past religious doctrines on their understanding of family planning (Table 4.8). This aligns with studies emphasizing the persistent influence of historical religious teachings on cultural practices, including reproductive decisions (Adaka, 2018). The implications are profound, suggesting that interventions and awareness campaigns should consider the deeply rooted historical context when addressing family planning issues in Ekiti East.

Objective 2: Current Religious Beliefs

The nuanced and conflicted nature of the impact of current religious beliefs on family planning decisions emerged from the study. While a substantial proportion acknowledged the influence of current religious beliefs, a significant portion expressed uncertainty or disagreement (Tables 4.12 to 4.15). This finding aligns with the cultural complexity of Ekiti East, where couples navigate diverse contemporary religious values. Policymakers and healthcare professionals should recognize and respect this diversity in their interventions. The study implies a need for targeted and culturally sensitive reproductive health education programs that acknowledge and engage with the varying perspectives on family planning within the community.

Objective 3: Role of Religious Leaders

The role of religious leaders in shaping attitudes towards family planning was a central theme in the study. The majority of respondents affirmed the substantial influence of religious leaders, seeking their guidance before significant family planning decisions (Tables 4.16 and 4.17). This underscores the crucial role religious leaders play in the decision-making processes of couples in Ekiti East. Recognizing this influence is pivotal for developing effective community-based interventions. Collaborative efforts with religious leaders can enhance the acceptability and success of family planning programs. Additionally, educating religious leaders on the importance of balanced and unbiased guidance can contribute to fostering a supportive environment for family planning initiatives.

Implication of the study

The implications of the study’s findings extend beyond the academic realm, carrying significant consequences for public health policies, community development initiatives, and the overall well-being of individuals in Ekiti East. The study delves into the complex interplay between religious influences and family planning decisions, offering insights that can shape future interventions and strategies.

One of the primary implications of the study is its potential impact on public health policies, especially those related to reproductive health and family planning. The recognition of the enduring influence of historical religious teachings emphasizes the need for policies that respect and integrate cultural and religious values. Policymakers should consider developing programs that acknowledge and address the historical context, providing comprehensive and culturally sensitive reproductive health education. By aligning policies with the community’s religious and cultural dynamics, the likelihood of successful implementation and acceptance is heightened.

The findings of the study have direct implications for community development initiatives. Understanding the role of current religious beliefs in shaping family planning decisions allows for targeted interventions that resonate with the diverse perspectives within Ekiti East. Community leaders and development agencies can utilize this information to tailor awareness campaigns and educational programs that address specific concerns related to religious beliefs. By acknowledging the cultural diversity within the community, development initiatives can be more inclusive, ensuring that the needs and values of all individuals are taken into account.

Healthcare professionals can leverage the study’s findings to enhance service delivery in the realm of reproductive health. Acknowledging the influence of religious leaders on family planning decisions, healthcare providers can establish collaborative partnerships with religious institutions. Training programs for healthcare professionals can emphasize cultural competency, enabling them to navigate discussions about family planning within the religious and cultural framework of Ekiti East. This collaborative approach fosters trust and bridges communication gaps between healthcare providers and the community.

The study underscores the importance of informed decision-making regarding family planning. Individuals in Ekiti East often seek guidance from religious leaders, indicating a reliance on these figures for advice on significant life choices. Recognizing this, the implications include the promotion of educational programs aimed at both religious leaders and community members. These programs can provide accurate and unbiased information about family planning methods, dispelling myths and misconceptions. Empowering individuals with knowledge ensures that they can make informed decisions aligned with their religious beliefs.

Cultural sensitivity emerges as a crucial implication of the study. Interventions and programs must be designed with a deep understanding of the historical and current religious contexts within Ekiti East. Cultural competence should be embedded in the training of healthcare professionals, educators, and community leaders involved in reproductive health initiatives. By fostering cultural sensitivity, interventions are more likely to be accepted and embraced by the community, reducing potential resistance or misunderstandings.

The study’s findings highlight the need for ongoing and open dialogue within the community. Establishing forums for discussions about family planning that respect diverse religious perspectives can contribute to reducing stigma and fostering a supportive environment. Open dialogue allows individuals to share their experiences, challenges, and concerns, promoting a sense of community and understanding. Encouraging conversations within the community can lead to the development of shared values around family planning that respect individual choices and beliefs.

Understanding the influence of religious beliefs on family planning decisions also brings attention to gender dynamics within Ekiti East. Interventions should recognize and address potential gender disparities in decision-making processes. Empowering women with information and agency in reproductive health decisions can contribute to more equitable family planning choices.

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Limitation of the Study

While the research endeavours to provide comprehensive insights into the influence of religion on family planning decisions in Ekiti East, it is essential to acknowledge certain limitations that may have impacted the study’s scope and generalizability.

Firstly, the study’s reliance on self-reported data through questionnaires introduces the potential for social desirability bias. Respondents may be inclined to provide answers that align with societal expectations or religious norms rather than expressing their genuine views. This limitation could impact the accuracy of the findings, particularly when exploring sensitive topics such as family planning within the context of religious beliefs.

Secondly, the study’s geographical focus on Ekiti East Local Government Area may restrict the generalizability of its findings to other regions with distinct cultural and religious contexts. Nigeria is known for its diversity, both culturally and religiously, and family planning dynamics may vary significantly across different communities. Consequently, the study’s findings may not be fully representative of the broader Nigerian population, limiting the extent to which its conclusions can be applied to other regions.

Moreover, the cross-sectional nature of the study design, while suitable for capturing a snapshot of attitudes and practices, may not fully capture the dynamic nature of religious influences on family planning decisions over time. Family planning choices are subject to evolving cultural and religious shifts, and a longitudinal approach could provide a more nuanced understanding of these changes.

Furthermore, the study may face limitations related to the evolving nature of religious beliefs and practices. Religious dynamics can undergo transformations influenced by global, national, or local events, and the study’s findings may not capture these shifts comprehensively.

Despite these limitations, the study contributes valuable insights to the existing literature and serves as a foundation for future research endeavours that may address these constraints and further enrich our understanding of the complex interplay between religion and family planning decisions.


The study commenced with a detailed exploration of the background, context, and significance of investigating the influence of religion on family planning in Ekiti East. The research problem, objectives, and research questions were articulated, setting the stage for a comprehensive investigation. The chapter concluded by outlining the research’s potential contributions to knowledge in the field of reproductive health and family planning.

In the second chapter, a thorough examination of existing literature on religion and family planning was conducted. The chapter comprised seven sub-sections, each addressing specific aspects such as historical influences, cultural dynamics, family planning practices, reproductive health initiatives, attitudes and perceptions, women empowerment, and analysis of children and youth. The literature review incorporated both theoretical frameworks and empirical studies, creating a robust foundation for the subsequent empirical investigation.

Chapter 3 provided an in-depth overview of the research design, population, sampling technique, data collection instruments, data validation, and analysis methods. The rationale behind each methodological choice was carefully explained, ensuring transparency and reliability in the study’s execution. The use of Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for data validation and the adoption of a quantitative survey research design were highlighted as crucial components in ensuring the study’s validity and reliability.

Chapter 4: Presentation and Analysis of Data

This chapter presented the results obtained from the survey conducted in Ekiti East. The demographic information of the respondents, gender distribution, age groups, educational background, length of marriage, marital status, and religious affiliation were thoroughly analyzed. Additionally, specific tables delved into the respondents’ perspectives on the historical and current influences of religion on family planning, the role of religious leaders, and the impact of religious beliefs on decision-making processes.

Chapter 5: Discussion, Implications, Limitations, and Summary

The final chapter of the study engaged in a comprehensive discussion of the findings, interpreting results within the context of each research objective. Implications of the study were explored, considering the potential consequences of implementing the research’s findings. Limitations of the study were also acknowledged, addressing constraints related to methodology, geographical focus, and the evolving nature of religious beliefs. The chapter concluded with a summary, encapsulating the key highlights and contributions of each chapter, reinforcing the importance of the study in advancing understanding in the field of family planning and religion in Ekiti East.Top of Form


In conclusion, the empirical investigation undertaken in Ekiti East Local Government Area has provided valuable insights into the intricate relationship between religion and family planning. The study addressed three key hypotheses concerning the influence of historical religious teachings, current religious beliefs, and the role of religious leaders on family planning perceptions and decisions. The results, analyzed through a one-sample t-test, revealed statistically significant mean scores for each hypothesis, indicating that historical religious teachings, current religious beliefs, and the role of religious leaders significantly impact family planning dynamics in the region.

The evidence supports the contention that historical religious teachings continue to wield a substantial influence on couples’ perceptions of family planning, emphasizing the enduring impact of cultural and religious legacies. Similarly, the findings underscore the significant role played by current religious beliefs in shaping decision-making processes related to family planning, highlighting the contemporary relevance of religious values. Moreover, the study affirms the crucial influence of religious leaders on couples’ attitudes towards family planning, emphasizing the pivotal role these leaders play in guiding and shaping perspectives within the community.


The following recommendations were proposed:

  1. Cultural and Religious Sensitization Programs: Develop and implement cultural and religious sensitization programs aimed at promoting a nuanced understanding of family planning within the context of historical and current religious teachings. These programs should target both couples and religious leaders, fostering open dialogues and dispelling misconceptions that may hinder family planning acceptance.
  2. Community Engagement Initiatives: Design community-based interventions that involve religious leaders as advocates for family planning. Encourage religious leaders to incorporate family planning messages into their teachings, emphasizing the compatibility of modern methods with religious values, and addressing any misconceptions that may exist within the community.
  3. Incorporate Family Planning in Religious Education: Collaborate with religious institutions to integrate family planning education into religious teachings. This can be achieved by working with religious leaders to develop curriculum modules that align with religious values while providing accurate information on various family planning methods.
  4. Empowerment of Women: Implement programs that focus on women’s empowerment, emphasizing education and economic opportunities. Empowered women are more likely to make informed family planning decisions and navigate potential conflicts between religious beliefs and their personal choices.
  5. Youth Education Programs: Develop targeted educational programs for the youth, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making regarding family planning. Addressing youth perspectives and attitudes is crucial for shaping future family planning dynamics in the community.
  6. Collaboration with Healthcare Providers: Strengthen collaboration between religious institutions and healthcare providers. This collaboration can involve training healthcare professionals to approach family planning discussions with sensitivity to religious values and traditions, facilitating better communication with couples.
  7. Policy Advocacy: Advocate for policies that recognize and respect the intersection of religion and family planning. Engage policymakers to ensure that healthcare policies are culturally sensitive and supportive of diverse religious beliefs, promoting an environment conducive to family planning.
  8. Research and Monitoring: Encourage continuous research and monitoring of the evolving dynamics between religion and family planning in the region. This includes conducting follow-up studies to assess the effectiveness of implemented interventions and adapting strategies based on emerging trends and community feedback.


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