Toward a unified theory of sexual mixing and pair formation

S. P. Blythe, C. Castillo-Chavez, J. S. Palmer, M. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and AIDS are driven and maintained in populations by epidemiological and sociological factors that are not completely understood. One such factor is the way in which people mix sexually. In this paper, we outline a unified approach to modeling sexual mixing structures, where such structures are defined in terms of a set of axioms for a finite number of distinct groups of people. Theorems for homosexual, heterosexual, and arbitrary group mixing are presented, leading to a representation of all mixing structures defined by the axioms. The representation and its parameters are interpreted in terms of intergroup affinities for sexual mixing. The use of the approach in sexually transmitted disease modeling is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-405
Number of pages27
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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