Self-deception does not explain high-risk sexual behavior in the face of HIV/AIDS: A test from northern Kenya
Roth, Eric Abella
Ngugi, Elizabeth N
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Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, there is resistance to changing sexual behavior despite survey data indicating high levels of knowledge about HIV transmission patterns and high-risk behavior. Previous explanations for this paradox emphasize indigenous cultural models. An alternative explanation is that, due to a strong natural selection for sexual gratification, individuals evoke the evolved trait of selfdeception to continue practicing high-risk sexual behavior. This alternative is tested using survey data from an Ariaal community in Marsabit District, northern Kenya. Results indicate that respondents make highly accurate self-assessments of HIV risk, negating the concept of self-deception in this study. These results are discussed within the larger context of the applicability of evolutionary theory to the AIDS pandemic.
CitationEvolution and Human Behavior 27 (2006) 53 – 62
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3050, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P5Department of Community Health, University of Nairobi, KenyaDepartment of Anthropology, University of Washington, Box 353100, Seattle, WA 98195-3100, USA
- Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS)