May 12, 2020, 14:00–15:00
Room Zoom Meeting
Can contemporary female HIV rates be traced back to women’s position in ancestral societies ? A prediction that emerges from the evolutionary psychology literature is that matrilineal females should exhibit a stronger preference for promiscuous sexual behaviours than their patrilineal counterparts, leading to higher HIV rates. In matrilineal kinship organizations children integrate the kin group of their mothers and males are therefore less likely to engage in a long-term committed relationship to ensure the survival of their offsprings. Seeking for better genes through sexual variety may have been a preferred reproductive strategy for ancestral matrilineal females. Using within Sub-Saharan African countries variation in ethnic groups’ ancestral kinship organizations, I find that females originating from ancestrally matrilineal ethnic groups are today more likely to be infected by HIV. This finding is robust to the inclusion of subnational fixed effects, as well as a large set of cultural, historical, geographical, and environmental factors. I find consistent results using a number of alternative estimation strategies, including a geographic regression discontinuity design at ethnic boundaries and an instrumental variable strategy. Matrilineal females’ riskier sexual and contraceptive behaviours constitute the main explanatory mechanisms. Building an epidemiological model, I simulate how these differences in sexual and contraceptive behaviours translate into different gender-specific HIV rates dynamics.
Jordan Loper (Aix-Marseille University - AMSE), “Women’s Position in Ancestral Societies and Female HIV: The Long-Term Effect of Matrilineality in Sub-Saharan Africa”, IAST Lunch Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, May 12, 2020, 14:00–15:00, room Zoom Meeting.