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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

The Inevitability of Infidelity: Gender, Sexuality, and Marriage as a Risk Factor for HIV Infection

On Thursday, April 24 at 6pm in the McMurtry Auditorium of Duncan Hall CSWGS hosted the last of the academic year's Gray/Wawro Lectures in Gender, Health, and Well-being, by Jennifer Hirsch, Professor and Deputy Chair of Doctoral Studies of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University.

For many women around the world, sex with a spouse or intimate partner presents their most significant risk factor for HIV infection. This lecture draws on anthropological research in Mexico and among Mexican migrants in the US, as well as on comparative work on marriage and HIV risk from Africa and Asia, to discuss the social factors that facilitate men’s engagement in extramarital relations. The talk will also discuss and critique public health policies that have focused on preventing HIV transmission in heterosexual intimate relations.

Hirsch headshotJennifer Hirsch focuses her research on gender, sexuality, and reproductive health, U.S.-Mexico migration and migrant health, the comparative anthropology of love, and the applications of anthropological theory and methods to public health research and programs. She has published articles in journals such as American Journal of Public Health, Studies in Family Planning, AIDS, and Culture Health and Sexuality. A 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, Professor Hirsch's books include A Courtship After Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families (University of California Press, 2003), which explores changing ideas and practices of love, sexuality and marriage among Mexicans in the U.S. and in Mexico, and the coauthored The Secret: Love, Marriage and HIV (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), which analyzes the social organization of extramarital sexual practices in Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Papua-New Guinea and the implications of those practices for married women’s HIV risk.

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