Title
Birds of a feather : homophily and sexual network structure in sub-Saharan Africa Birds of a feather : homophily and sexual network structure in sub-Saharan Africa
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
International journal of STD and AIDS / Association for Genito-Urinary Medicine [Belfast]; International Union Against the Venereal Diseases and the Treponematoses. - London
Volume/pages
24(2013) :3 , p. 211-215
ISSN
0956-4624
ISI
000321110300008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Sexual partner homophily is the tendency of individuals to choose partners similar to themselves. The extent and nature of partner homophily influences the structure of sexual networks and hence the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In this paper, we compare homophily by ethnicity, age and educational status in representative populations from five African cities in Benin (Cotonou), Cameroon (Yaounde), Kenya (Kisumu), Zambia (Ndola) and South Africa (Carletonville). We find low rates of homophily by age and high rates for educational status throughout the region. There is a large variation in homophily by ethnicity between these five cities, with rates lowest in Ndola. In Carletonville, there is a gendered difference in homophily by ethnicity. We discuss the possible implications these variations in the extent and type of homophily may have for STI transmission in the region.
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