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. arXiv:cond-mat/0106507. doi:10.1038/35082140. PMID 11418846.
  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. Bibcode:2010PNAS..107.5706R. doi:10.1073/pnas.0914080107. PMC 2851932. PMID 20231480.

Further reading[edit]

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