Sexual risk-taking following relationship break-ups

Caroline Moreau, Nathalie Beltzer, Michel Bozon, Nathalie Bajos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Changes in sexual behaviour over time have resulted in more frequent relationship break-ups, which carry specific sexual health challenges that we aim to explore in this study. Study design The data were drawn from the French sexual behaviour survey, comprising a random sample of 4,798 women and 4,045 men aged 18-44 years. Logistic regression models were used to describe the associations between recent relationship break-ups and reported sexually transmitted infections and abortions over the same period, and being tested positive for Chlamydia at the time of the survey. Results Respondents who had experienced a break-up in the last five years (32% of women and 35% of men among respondents who were sexually active in the last five years) were more likely to report an abortion during the same time period (9% vs.5%, p < 0.001) and to be tested positive for Chlamydia at the time of interview (3% vs. 1%, p = 0.003), especially those aged 30-44. Women were less likely than men to have used a condom with a new partner after the separation (76% vs. 82%, p = 0.005), which suggests gender asymmetry in preventive issues following a break-up. Conclusions This study shows that relationship dissolution is associated with higher sexual risk taking, especially among middle-aged adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Sexual risks
  • Sexually transmitted infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual risk-taking following relationship break-ups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this