Exchange and condom use in informal sexual relationships in urban Kenya

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Exchange and condom use in informal sexual relationships in urban Kenya
Luke, Nancy (creator)
This article investigates whether a market for unsafe sexual activity exists among nonmarital, noncommercial sexual relationships in a high HIV/AIDS environment. The exchange of money for sex without a condom is well known within commercial sexual partnerships, but it is unclear from the previous evidence whether markets can emerge among noncommercial relationships as well. I use data on nonmarital sexual partnerships and transfers from Kisumu, Kenya, to investigate this question. I define and measure transfers as material items given by a male to his female sexual partner, including money and nonmonetary items, such as gifts, meals, and rent. I find a strong negative relationship between the level of transfers and condom use after controlling for male fixed effects and other important female and partnership characteristics. I also find that nonmonetary transfers have the same relationship with condom use as monetary transfers. Furthermore, I test the assumption that adolescent girls are particularly disadvantaged within informal partnerships, where men can offer remarkably small amounts of money or gifts in exchange for sex without a condom. Contrary to this popular assumption, the results reveal that the trade-off between transfers and condom use does not differ between partnerships involving adolescent girls and adult females.
Sexual intercourse
Reproductive health


Luke, Nancy, "Exchange and condom use in informal sexual relationships in urban Kenya" Open Access Research at Brown. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



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