Irena Kogan, Markus Weißmann
Religion and Sexuality: Between- and Within-Individual Differences in Attitudes to Pre-marital Cohabitation among Adolescents in Four European Countries

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2020: 46, issue 17, pp. 3630-3654
ISSN: 1369-183X (print), 1469-9451 (online)

In light of growing concerns about the acculturation prospects of Europe’s ethnic minorities, this study explores the role of religious affiliation and religiosity in the formation of attitudes towards cohabitation among young people with an immigrant background and majority populations in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and England. Evidence from the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the CILS4EU data largely shows that ethnic minority Muslims and Christians, from both majority and minority ethnic groups, who are (or become) more religious reject sexual liberalisation to a greater extent. Less religious adolescents – including Muslims – are just as tolerant of sexual liberalisation as religiously unaffiliated youths. These patterns remain stable independent of ethnic origin, migration status and socio-economic background in the cross-sectional models and when controlling for structural transitions, cultural and social influences in the longitudinal analyses. These and related findings are discussed in the context of the immigrant integration scholarship, the literature on religion and value orientations, as well as youth transition research.