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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Religiosity, religious affiliation, and patterns of sexual activity and contraceptive use in France

TitleReligiosity, religious affiliation, and patterns of sexual activity and contraceptive use in France
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMoreau, C, Trussell, J, Bajos, N
JournalThe European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care : The Official Journal of the European Society of Contraception
Volume18
Pagination168-80
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number1473-0782 (Electronic)1362-5187 (Linking)
Accession Number23547890
KeywordsSexual and Reproductive Health
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between religiosity and sexual and contraceptive behaviours in France. METHODS: Data were drawn from the 2005 Health Barometer survey, a random sample of 7495 women and 5634 men aged 15 to 44. We used logistic regression models to study the associations between religiosity and sexual and contraceptive behaviours, by gender and religious denomination. RESULTS: Three quarters of respondents (73%) reported no religious practice, 20% practised occasionally, and 7% regularly. Regular practice was associated with later sexual debut, regardless of religious denomination. Among participants less than 30 years old, religious respondents were less likely to have used a condom at first sexual intercourse (odds ratio [OR] = 0.2 for women, OR = 0.4 for men) or any form of contraception (OR = 0.2 for women). At the time of the survey, sexually experienced adolescents who reported regular religious practice were less likely to use contraception (84.7% vs. 98.1%, p < 0.001). Regular practice was associated with a 50% decrease in the odds of using very effective methods for Catholics, but had no effect among Muslims. CONCLUSION: This study, conducted in the French secularised context, shows a complex relationship between religiosity and sexual behaviours, which varies by gender, religious affiliation and during the life course.

PMCID

PMC3656140