Sexual network

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A sexual network is a social network that is defined by the sexual relationships within a set of individuals.

Studies and discoveries[edit]

Like other forms of social networks, sexual networks can be formally studied using the mathematics of graph theory and network theory.[1][2]

Recent epidemiological studies [3] have investigated sexual networks, and suggest that the statistical properties of sexual networks are crucial to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sub-graphs, both large and small, can be defined within the overall sexual network graph; for example, people who frequent particular bars or clubs, belong to a particular ethnic group or take part in a particular type of sexual activity, or are part of a particular outbreak of an STD. In particular, assortative mixing between people with large numbers of sexual partners seems to be an important factor in the spread of STD.

In a surprising result, mathematical models predict that the sexual network graph for the human race appears to have a single giant component that indirectly links almost all people who have had more than one sexual partner, and a great many of those who have had only one sexual partner (if their one sexual partner was themselves part of the giant component).[citation needed].

For more detailed epidemiological work, the time sequence of sexual contacts is important.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liljeros, Fredrik; Christofer R. Edling; Luis A. Nunes Amaral (2003). "Sexual networks: implications for the transmission of sexually transmitted infections". Microbes and Infection (Science direct) 5: 189–196. doi:10.1016/s1286-4579(02)00058-8. 
  2. ^ Liljeros, Fredrik; Christofer R. Edling; Luis A. Nunes Amaral; H. Eugene Stanley; Yvonne Aberg (2001). "The web of human sexual contacts". Nature 411: 907–908. doi:10.1038/35082140. 
  3. ^ Rocha, L.E.C.; Fredrik Liljeros; Petter Holme (2010). "Information dynamics shape the sexual networks of Internet-mediated prostitution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (13): 5706–5713. doi:10.1073/pnas.0914080107. 

Further reading[edit]

  • M Kretzschmar. "Sexual network structure and sexually transmitted disease prevention: a modeling perspective". Sexually Transmitted Diseases volume 27, number 10 (November 2000): pages 627– 35.
  • P. De et al. Sexual network analysis of a gonorrhea outbreak Sex Transm Infect 2004;80:280-285
  • P S Bearman, J Moody, K Stovel "Chains of affection: The structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 110, No. 1, 2004.
  • L E C Rocha, F Liljeros and P Holme Information dynamics shape the sexual networks of Internet-mediated prostitution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences free online (March 2010).
  • Apostolopoulos, Y., Sönmez, S., Shattell, M., Kronenfeld, J., Smith, D., & Stanton, S. (2011). Cruising for Truckers on Highways and the Internet: Sexual Networks and Infection Risk. AIDS Education & Prevention, 23(3), 249-266. doi:10.1521/aeap.2011.23.3.249
  • O'Connor, M. L. (1999). Sexual Network Patterns Contribute to Racial Disparities in Disease Risk. Family Planning Perspectives, 31(6), 309. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  • Choudhury, B., Risley, C., Ghani, A., Bishop, C., Ward, H., Fenton, K., & ... Spratt, B. (n.d). Identification of individuals with gonorrhoea within sexual networks: a population-based study. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69003-X
  • Bearman, P. S., Moody, J., & Stovel, K. (2004). Chains of Affection: The Structure of Adolescent Romantic and Sexual Networks[1]. American Journal of Sociology, 110(1), 44-91. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  • Day, S. S., & Ward, H. H. (1998). Sexual networks: The integration of social and genetic data. Social Science & Medicine, 47(12), 1981. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  • Nyanzi, S., Nyanzi, B., Kalina, B., & Pool, R. (n.d). Mobility, sexual networks and exchange among bodabodamen in southwest Uganda. Taylor & Francis Ltd. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  • Morris, Martina; Zavisca, Jane; Dean, Laura (1995). "Social and sexual networks: Their role in the spread of HIV/AIDS among young gay men". AIDS Education and Prevention 7 (Suppl): 24–35. PMID 8664095. 

External links[edit]