Nuptiality: A Study of the Relationship Between Religion and Marriage Patterns among the Atyap in Kaduna State
This paper has examined the perceptions of and, the effect of religion on nuptiality patterns and differentials using qualitative and quantitative data from 600 randomly selected women and focus groups and in-depth interviews among the Atyap in Kaduna State. The study indicates that although marriage is universal, the median age at first marriage was 18 years in 1995 compared to 15 years in 2000 and 15.2 years in 2008 as reported for the predominantly Muslim States like Katsina and Kano, and Northwest region respectively. The multivariate analysis revealed an apparent denominational difference in age at first marriage reflecting social characteristics and differences in ways of life between the Protestant and Catholic communities rather than denominational practices concerning marriage itself. The direct and indirect relation between religion and age at first marriage calls for greater attention to studies of this nature if appropriate population policies and strategies are to be drawn for effective implementation.
Keywords: Nuptiality, marriage, religion, christianity