Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Human Sexual Networks

  • Fredrik LiljerosEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_275-2


Human sexual networks are the network structures that emerge when individuals have sexual contact with each other. In general, use of the term “sexual contact” is restricted in this entry to mean vaginal or anal intercourse or oral sex – contacts by which sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be transmitted. Sexual networks are important because an understanding of their structure and how they facilitate the spread of infection can help us understand how the spread of this type of infection can best be prevented.


Although the type of contact that spreads STIs occurs less frequently than is the case for most other types of contact that spread disease, the spread of STIs has turned out to be surprisingly hard to limit. The difficulties in getting STIs under control have led to an interest in sexual contact patterns (Liljeros et al. 2003; Morris 2004; Morris et al. 2007). In this entry, we discuss a variety of explanations related to the structural properties...


Sexual Contact Line Graph Preferential Attachment Infected Person Contact Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden