Kaye Wellings

Professor of Sexual & Reproductive Health Research

Kaye Wellings's Background

Head of the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research (SEHR).

A social scientist with a public health perspective, my main area of interest, and one in which I have worked for more than 20 years, is sexual and reproductive health. I was one of the founders, in 1987, of the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) in Britain and a Principal Investigator on the first (1990), second (2000), and third (2010) surveys.

I lead a team of academics researching sexual and reproductive risk behaviour and risk reduction practice, including contraception, at national and international level.

I also have a strong interest in evaluation research, particularly in relation to preventive intervention and we have assessed major national and international sexual health programmes, including AIDS preventive strategies in European countries and the English government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. Much of my working life has been spent researching sensitive topics, including not only sexual behaviour but also risk practices relating to drug use and in prison populations

I am an honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ad eundem), and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Kaye Wellings's Affiliation

Kaye Wellings's Teaching

I run a study module on Sexual Health. I also teach on a number of courses across the School including Principles of Social Research; Sexual and Reproductive Health Research; and Health Promotion.


Kaye Wellings's Research

The Sexual and Reproductive Health team carries out the decennial National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsals 1990, 2000 and 2010) which are a key focus of our work and form the main evidence base for sexual health policy in the UK. We carried out the national evaluation of the government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. Our research portfolio also includes studies of contraception, unplanned pregnancy, sexual dysfunction, sexual health in later life, sex education, STI and HIV prevention testing and sexual health promotion. Post-graduate students are working on topics including pharmacy provision of contraception; teenage pregnancy; seasonal patterns of sexual behaviour; timing and readiness for onset of sexual activity; communication about sex; and the sexual health of older men and women. We have a strong research interest in methodological innovation and advance.

Research areas

  • Public health
  • Sexual health
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