New Trends in Sex in Sub-Saharan Africa

Charles Westoff, Princeton University

There is some superficial evidence that sexual activity, as measured by the proportion of women reporting sex in the past four weeks, has declined in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This new trend, detected initially in Kenya, is concentrated in southern and eastern Africa where the prevalence of HIV-AIDS is highest. There is little evidence for such a trend in West Africa. The basis for these observations is the recent Demographic and Health Surveys in countries that have conducted more than one survey. The proposed paper will be based on some 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with its main focus on 8 - 10 countries in the southern and eastern regions. A special effort will be made to determine the effect on sexual activity of advances in women's education.

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Presented in Session 154: Gender, Sexual Behavior and STDs