March 2, 2007

African female sexual freedom spreads AIDS

The Washington Post catches on to something I've been writing about for three years: AIDS is so bad in Africa in part because it has a different sexual structure than much of the rest of the world. One of Africa's big AIDS causes is not Castro Street-style promiscuity, but multiple concurrent partners.

Speeding HIV's Deadly Spread
Multiple, Concurrent Partners Drive Disease in Southern Africa
By Craig Timberg

FRANCISTOWN, Botswana -- … A growing number of studies single out such behavior -- in which men and women maintain two or more ongoing relationships -- as the most powerful force propelling a killer disease through a vulnerable continent.

This new understanding of how the AIDS virus attacks individuals and their societies helps explain why the disease has devastated southern Africa while sparing other places. It also suggests how the region's AIDS programs, which have struggled to prevent new infections even as treatment for the disease has become more widely available, might save far more lives: by discouraging sexual networks.

"The problem of multiple partners who do not practice safe sex is obviously the biggest driver of HIV in the world," said Ndwapi Ndwapi, a top government AIDS official in Botswana, speaking in Gaborone, the capital. "What I need to know from the scientific community is, what do you do? . . . How do you change that for a society that happens to have higher rates of multiple sexual partners?" …

But the number of sexual partners is not the only factor that increases the risk of AIDS. The most potentially dangerous relationships, researchers say, involve men and women who maintain more than one regular partner for months or years. In these relationships, more intimate, trusting and long-lasting than casual sex, most couples eventually stop using condoms, studies show, allowing easy infiltration by HIV.

Researchers increasingly agree that curbing such behavior is key to slowing the spread of AIDS in Africa. In a July report, southern African AIDS experts and officials listed "reducing multiple and concurrent partnerships" as their first priority for preventing the spread of HIV in a region where nearly 15 million people are estimated to carry the virus -- 38 percent of the world's total.

But for many Batswana, as citizens of this landlocked desert country of 1.6 million call themselves, it is a strategy that has rarely been taught.

… International experts long regarded Botswana as a case study in how to combat AIDS. It had few of the intractable social problems thought to predispose a country to the disease, such as conflict, abject poverty and poor medical care. And for the past decade, the country has rigorously followed strategies that Western experts said would slow AIDS.

With its diamond wealth and the largess of international donors, Botswana aggressively promoted condom use while building Africa's best network of HIV testing centers and its most extensive system for distributing the antiretroviral drugs that dramatically prolong and improve the lives of those with AIDS.

But even though the relentless pace of funerals began to ease in recent years, the disease was far from under control. The national death rate fell from the highest in the world, but only to second-highest, behind AIDS-ravaged Swaziland. Men and women in Botswana continued to contract HIV faster than almost anywhere else on Earth. Twenty-five percent of Batswana adults carry the virus, according to a 2004 national study, and among women in their early 30s living in Francistown, the rate is 69 percent.

Researchers increasingly attribute the resilience of HIV in Botswana -- and in southern Africa generally -- to the high incidence of multiple sexual relationships. Europeans and Americans often have more partners over their lives, studies show, but sub-Saharan Africans average more at the same time.

Nearly one in three sexually active men in Botswana reported having multiple, concurrent sex partners, as did 14 percent of women, in a 2003 survey paid for by the U.S. government. Among men younger than 25, the rate was 44 percent.

The distinction between having several partners in a year and several in a month is crucial because those newly infected with HIV experience an initial surge in viral loads that makes them far more contagious than they will be for years. During the three-week spike -- which ends before standard tests can even detect HIV -- the virus explodes through networks of unprotected sex.

This insight explained what studies were documenting: Africans with multiple, concurrent sex partners were more likely to contract HIV, and countries where such partnerships were common had wider and more lethal epidemics.

A model of multiple sexual relationships presented at a Princeton University conference in May showed that a small increase in the average number of concurrent sexual partners -- from 1.68 to 1.86 -- had profound effects, connecting sexual networks into a single, massive tangle that, when plotted out, resembles the transportation system of a major city.

… These factors, researchers say, explain how North Africa, where Muslim societies require circumcision and strongly discourage sex outside monogamous and polygamous marriages, has largely avoided AIDS. They also explain why the epidemic is far more severe south of the Sahara, where webs of multiple sex partners are more common, researchers say.

West Africa has been partially protected by its high rates of circumcision, but in southern and eastern Africa -- which have both low rates of circumcision and high rates of multiple sex partners -- the AIDS epidemic became the most deadly in the world. "That's the lethal cocktail," said Harvard University epidemiologist Daniel Halperin, a former AIDS prevention adviser in Africa for the U.S. government, speaking from suburban Boston. "There's no place in the world where you have very high HIV and you don't have those two factors."

… "It explains why Africa is hardest hit" by AIDS, Mosojane said. "The way we contract for sex is different from how others do it."

Polygamy once was common in the region, and in some parts still is; Swaziland's king has 13 wives. In generations past, even Batswana with just one spouse rarely expected monogamy. Husbands spent months herding cattle while their wives, staying elsewhere, tended crops, Mosojane said. On his return, a husband was not to be quizzed about his activities while he was away. He also was supposed to spend his first night back in an uncle's house, giving his wife time to send off boyfriends.

An anthropologist friend who spent years in Botswana talks about how once he and some of the tribesmen went off on a trip. On the way home to the village, they were making better than expected time, so he proposed driving through the evening and arriving about midnight, rather than the next day as they had announced upon leaving. The tribesmen were aghast at his proposing such a social faux pas. No gentleman would arrive home early, likely surprising his wife in flagrante delicto with her lover. It would be most embarrassing for all concerned. No, a polite husband never comes home early.

In Setswana, the national language, "the word 'fidelity' does not even exist," Mosojane said.

The few checks that traditional villages had on sexual behavior dwindled during the development frenzy after 1967, when diamonds were discovered. Batswana increasingly moved to cities for school or work. Plentiful television sets delivered a flood of Western images, including racy soap operas and music videos featuring lightly clad women vying for the attention of wealthy, bejeweled men.

The key is that African husbands tend to be more tolerant of their wives having a long term lover or two than is the norm elsewhere. The thought of one's wife becoming pregnant by another man is intolerable to most husbands around the world, but tends to be less infuriating in Africa.

That probably stems from women doing most of the farm work in rural Africa. (That's why you are always hearing about men in Africa working away from home in mines or wherever for months -- the men aren't often needed around the farm because most of the work is just hoeing weeds, which women can do at least as well as men.)

So, the husbands don't have as much leverage over their wives' behavior as in places where husbands are work-a-daddies bringing home the bacon. And African husbands don't have as much motivation to enforce fidelity on their wives since they won't be investing as much money in their wives' children's upbringing as they would elsewhere.

Another contributor to the high rates of AIDS in Southern/Eastern Africa besides multiple concurrent partners and lack of circumcision is the bizarre fetish for "dry sex," which I would guess doesn't exist among West Africans because (thankfully) you never hear about it among their African-American cousins.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

It probably hasn't helped that politically correct elites in academia and the media have, in years past, damned anyone who dared suggest Africans might be (yikes!) more promiscuous than other people. I even recall a column a few years earlier where George Will passingly mentioned the "myth" of African promiscuity as a cause of AIDS and characterized the "myth" as a racist smear.

How much sooner we might have been able to investigate this phenomenon empirically and direct anti-AIDS efforts in the appropriate direction if not for the desire of such people to protect us all from the unfounded "myths" of "racists."

Once again, political correctness literally kills.

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the PC catch phrase below?

"Europeans and Americans often have more partners over their lives, studies show, but sub-Saharan Africans average more at the same time."

The key word is "often". I suspect that this means that PC enforcers found a few of most randy Europeans and Americans and compared them to the least randy subS Africans. We must all be made to believe we're all the same even when we're manifestly not.

Telling how the most central statistic to this article, exactly how many simultaneous partners SubS Africans have, was somehow omitted. I suspect it would culturally shock westerners (and raise envy?).

Anonymous said...

The average life expentancy in the West can be more than double that of Africa, which is why Westerners may have more partners over their lives than Africans -- though I'm still skeptical of this claim.

Anonymous said...

PC disambiguator:

"Often have more" = "have less" (and probably "have statistically much less")

Otherwise they would've omitted inserting the ambigious "often" and just said:

"Europeans and Americans have more partners"

Not that I care or have great moral stake in what happens there. I just hate it when people pee on my shoe and tell me it's raining (Judge Judy).

If smokers, drunk drivers or unsafe sex practicioners or whomever want to consciously put their lives at risk so be it. Try to help and educate them in the errors of their ways, but don't make them out to be imaginary victims of a mysterious and unfair fate.

Anonymous said...

The article mentions, as a matter of course, that circumcision helps fight the spread of AIDS. Apparently this is conventional wisdom, but it's very much news to me. What's the connection? Is a mutilated penis more "leathery" and the virus therefore less likely to pass into the bloodstream?

Mensareject said...

Notice how the article implies that its all down to culture. Not really mentioning that African-Americans are the Americans who most likely carry the AIDS virus...

Which points to genetically determined behavioral traits.

th made a really good point. Did they control for the different lifespans of africans and europeans? Doubt it.

MensaRefugee said...

Hmm...sorry about the last post under my 'considered but not adopted' nick.
Blogger seems to be screwing up somehow...

Anonymous said...

"Which points to genetically determined behavioral traits."

Not necessarily. There's still the effects of rap culture.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:28 - There were a couple reports, one in July 2005 and the other a couple months ago, claiming circumcision might reduce the spread of AIDS.
Apparently it became conventional wisdom in nothing flat. Whether it is actually true or not, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Circumcision cuts the risk of a man acquiring HIV/AIDS during heterosexual (and, I suppose, penetrative homosexual) intercourse by more than half. It was all over the news the past month. Take a gander on Google and you'll find no shortage of articles.

Anonymous said...

It is extremely doubtful that the practice of "dry sex" is genetic, and the slaves brought to America were separated enough from the culture (not to mention the supplies used) of their old continent that I think Steve's claim that the practice is less common in the West than the East & South is on quite shaky ground.

Unknown said...

A PC point that the article bravely pointed out that I noted in reading the original article is that in Botswana the emphasis on condoms, and the de-emphasis on chastity, one partner at a time and on fidelity has cost that country sorely. The country is awash in both condoms and aids.

Other African countries that adopted the fidelity approaches have done better.

The un-PC part is that the article points out that this is the due to Botswana following US advice which was dominated by the strategys adopted by gays and their US PC followers.

Remember how the administrations attempts to push chastity were ridiculed?

And I think of myself as a liberal.

Anonymous said...

They just need some good Fire and Brimestone Christianity or Sword and Destruction Islam to set them up right again.

Anonymous said...

The reason commonly used as to why Africa had such high rates of HIV was the existence of a more virulent subtype:

Three groups of HIV-1 have been identified on the basis of differences in env: M, N, and O.[71] Group M is the most prevalent and is subdivided into eight subtypes (or clades), based on the whole genome, which are geographically distinct.[72] The most prevalent are subtypes B (found mainly in North America and Europe), A and D (found mainly in Africa), and C (found mainly in Africa and Asia); these subtypes form branches in the phylogenetic tree representing the lineage of the M group of HIV-1.

But, honestly, Steve, I'm suprised to find that you still believe in the HIV-AIDS paradigm given its spectacular record of failure.

Check out the projected population growths for sub-Saharan African countries. There is no African AIDS crisis.

Anonymous said...

"They just need some good Fire and Brimstone Christianity or Sword and Destruction Islam to set them up right again."

Visit the CIA website about AIDS in Africa and, when plotting together a country's dominant religion and their level of AIDS, well the Muslims are kicking everyone's a**es when it comes to fighting the disease. The worst are the primitive animists and other and then you find Christians being in the middle.

Steve, I would quibble with singling out females in your title. Promiscuity period spreads AIDS. Both doing it is the worst, but just one sex doing it is bad, too. Promiscuity is primitive.

What is dry sex? Wait, I don't think I want to know.

Circumcision removes skin that has a tendency to catch and hold germs and provides a very hospitable environment for them to grow in. Removing it makes a man cleaner, to put it crudely.

Anonymous said...

i remember reading about the myth of hetrosexual aids -- that its extremely hard to transfer the disease male to female and even harder female to male...
the easiest is being the 'catcher' in anal intercourse....
so my question is - do they have high rates of 'down lo' behavior, and could this account for it...certainly 'dry sex' would make it easier.

Anonymous said...

If I lived in a poor/desert region were it was difficult to shower regularly and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases were wide spread, I would consider being circumcised along with other changes of behavior.

Similarly, if I lived in a region with lots of lice and poor access to sanitation I would probably keep myself bald.

Fortunately, I don't, so I keep my hair and foreskin, and I enjoy both very much.

Anonymous said...

And many Christian churches in America are bringing these people over by the boatload, adopting them, building housing for them, etc. Jeboo demands we rip 70-IQ AIDS vectors from their native environments, to share with our new pets the infinite blessings of America. They will all turn into Cosbys, and God knows we need more Cosbys. And more people. We are drastically underpopulated - because of an antisemitic plot, I suspect. Coming to a Section 8 near you. Thanks, Jeboo!

Anonymous said...

Circumcision was a Victorian medical fad which should have gone out with neck-to-knee bathing costumes, phrenology and the idea that children should be seen and not heard. Instead, a small band of medical researchers and moral fanatics keep coming up with new reasons for doing it. First there was the claim that it would stop masturbation and the imaginary disease of spermatorrhoea. Then it was suggested that it would protect men from syphilis. Then doctors forgot that all baby boys have a tight and non-retractable foreskin (phimosis) and declared that the natural condition of the infant penis was a pathological abnormality requiring urgent surgical correction. After that it was asserted that circumcision would give immunity to cancer of the penis in men and of the cervix in women. Some doctors seriously believed that circumcision would cure various forms of muscular paralysis, brass poisoning and whooping cough; others claimed it would prevent tuberculosis, polio, epilepsy and wet dreams. Then there was a lot of vague talk about hygiene, as though boys and men were too stupid to wash themselves, and ridiculous references to embarrassment in locker rooms.

Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone.

Anonymous said...

- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States

Anonymous said...

The Western countries and Bill and Melinda can spend billions, and thousands of health workers can spend most of their professional lives, on the problem. And if it's solved, what do you have left over? What is the result? A HEALTHY 70-IQ spear-chucker. For one generation, at least.

Meanwhile, most intelligent White children get next to nothing from the big foundations, except a door closed in their faces.

Our priorities are those of people with a death wish. Altruism is dysgenic.

Anonymous said...

"And if it's solved, what do you have left over? What is the result? A HEALTHY 70-IQ spear-chucker."

Leave your disgusting name calling for elsewhere. You didn't even get your facts straight. Steve Sailer has often said that the 15 point or more difference in average IQ between African Americans and African Africans cannot be solely attributed to genetics. Nutrition (especially childhood nutrition) and possibly educational environment almost certainly plays a role in that difference.

Anonymous said...

Anon, you have a point that big western foundations should try to help westerners first and foremost (and not exclude white westerners), but Steve Sailer and others have shown that for relatively peanuts, we could improve african childhood nutritional deficiencies such as in iodine, which could raise average african IQ's by a lot, which could, eventually, lead to a less chaotic africa with less calls for much more massive but much less effective forms of western assistance.

I should have been more gentlemanly in my admonishment of you, but the main point stands. How does using the word spear-chucker help anyone or anything?

Ron Guhname said...

This mode of transmission that has created such a disaster is evidence that the conservative instinct is often correct. When religious authorities have told people to be monogamous, they might give some non-rational answer to the question of why: "because God says so." The rationalist then scoffed and told everyone that sex is natural--the priests are just superstitious. Trust the old man with the beard rather than the snotty teenager.

Anonymous said...

And we want to stop AIDS in Africa...why?

Anonymous said...

"How does using the word spear-chucker help anyone or anything?"

It doesn't, and neither does his clever epithet "Jeboo" (tee hee, I think it means "Jew", tee hee).

"We are drastically underpopulated - because of an antisemitic plot, I suspect."

Ho, ho! Such daring, rapier-like wit!

Anonymous said...

We all know African blacks in general have the lowest intelligence in the whole human race (their average IQ is not that higher than Chimpanzees), as Steve Sailer has helpfully pointed out many times before. So we shouldn't be surprised that they are oblivious to the fact that they are wiping themselves off the face of the earth with wanton, promiscuous sex. What do you expect from an almost sub-human group? The sooner they f&%k themselves out of existence, the better for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Ron Guhname,

Trust the old man with the beard rather than the snotty teenager.

I think the way that a lot of these religious edicts get their start is simply comparative reasoning and imitation. A person living thousands of years ago, without any understanding of how disease is transmitted, could still figure out that faithfully monogamous people (or even faithful yet polygamous people in some cultures) were much less prone to STDs than, say, the neighborhood prostitutes. Thus, it might be wise to do what the successful and upstanding are doing and stay clear of the habits of society's dregs. When the priests, who are often among the most educated people in a community advocate or discourage a behavior, they invest customs with the force of divine will.

This is also probably also where many superstitions and otherwise inexplicable religious customs have their origin. A notable personality in the community does something out of habit, perhaps partially or entirely irrational, and others imitate him or her.

Anonymous said...

So we shouldn't be surprised that they are oblivious to the fact that they are wiping themselves off the face of the earth with wanton, promiscuous sex.

Sex typically leads to more lives, not less. All population predictions for Africa show substantial increases, whilst Europe heads in the opposite direction.

I repeat: there is no AIDS crisis in Africa.

MensaRefugee said...

"Leave your disgusting name calling for elsewhere. You didn't even get your facts straight. Steve Sailer has often said that the 15 point or more difference in average IQ between African Americans and African Africans cannot be solely attributed to genetics. Nutrition (especially childhood nutrition) and possibly educational environment almost certainly plays a role in that difference."

What that point of view fails to take into account is a IQ of 70 or of 85, along with a bent towards psychopathic personality will CREATE an environment that drives down ones 'normal' IQ.

AKA If Steve is correct that the gap is only partially genetic, that doesnt imply that it will be eradicated. African Americans have an IQ of 85 instead of, say, 80, because they are mooching off of White Average IQ 100+ created culture.

Anonymous said...

Jeboo = Jesus

Anonymous said...

Or maybe not...
Approximately 6 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV; in the United States, the number is around 0.8 percent. Very often, this disparity is attributed to differences in sexual behavior--in the number of sexual partners, the types of sexual activities, and so on. But these differences cannot, in fact, be seen in the data on sexual behavior. So what actually accounts for the gulf in infection rates?

According to my research, the major difference lies in transmission rates of the virus. For a given unprotected sexual relationship with an HIV-infected person, Africans are between four and five times more likely than Americans to become infected with HIV themselves. This stark fact accounts for virtually all of the difference in population-wide HIV rates in the two regions.

There is more than one reason why HIV spreads more easily in Africa than America, but the most important one seems to be related to the prevalence of other sexually transmitted infections. Estimates suggest that around 11 percent of individuals in Africa have untreated bacterial sexually transmitted infections at any given time and close to half have the herpes virus. Because many of these infections cause open sores on the genitals, transmission of the HIV virus is much more efficient.

Anonymous said...

Spear chucker video.
You won't see this on the Discovery Channel anytime soon. Because it's true.

Anonymous said...

You can watch the entire movie at Google Video:

Anonymous said...

I think blacks also have a much higher rate of infection than whites in the US. It would be interesting to see whether there's some added resistance in white populations. That would make sense if the same receptors used by HIV to gain entry to dendric cells and T cells and such (CD4, I think) had been used by some big killer disease that went through Europe but not Africa.

If you think of the virus level in infected patients, you can see how the multiple-lovers-at-once network could quickly spread the disease. The stuff I've seen on this says that when you get infected with HIV, you have a flu-like illness that subsides in a couple of weeks; basically, that's when your immune system adapts to HIV and clears most of the infection. For that couple weeks, you have a lot of virus in your system, and are probably really contagious.

Visualize the network here, and it's really creepy--maybe you've got several thousand people in this network, each with say three long-term lovers. One person gets the virus, becomes super contagious for a couple of weeks, and infects three people. They do the same a couple weeks later.

Even after that, while HIV isn't easy to transmit with standard male/female sex, if you're in a long-term sexual relationship, you'll probably manage to transmit it sooner or later. The spread happens, but slower.

A few people with natural immunity might be enough to slow the spread down, or even to stop it. I wonder if you'd slow the spread substantially in this kind of society by choosing a random 5% of the population, and starting them on anti-HIV drugs up front to try to decrease the likelihood of their catching it or spreading it (since the virus levels wouldn't go up so high even during the initial infection).

Anonymous said...


I think active infections also make it easier for HIV to spread, because there are infectable cells (macrophages and dendric cells) concentrated where the HIV can get to them. From there, the virus can spread to helper T-cells, which is what eventually kills you.

Anonymous said...

Circumcision (male and female) in North Africa helps to stop sexually transmitted diseases not for biological reasons, but because it reinforces the message of strict monogamy, chastity before marriage, etc., thus thwarting the behaviors that spread disease.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the HIV+ rates in southern Africa (South Africa and its neighbors) is high enough that it is causing a population decrease.

Granted, birth rates in southern Africa are lower than they are in the rest of the continent, meaning that the 25% HIV+ rate they had would cause a country to slow down its growth rather than stop it (I think Zambia was in this position a few years back), so outside of southern Africa (defined as South Africa and all its neighbors except Mozambique), the argument that Africa has no population crisis still holds true.

Anonymous said...

Well, the demographics look pretty weird if you have all your 30 year olds sick and dying, but lots of kids and a fair number of pretty old people. You can have a crisis without immediately running out of people, just because you lose a big chunk of the people who would normally be able to hold your society together.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy it. African cases have been questionable for years and this report does nothing to alter previous conclusions. What about hospital hygene? What about the recording of undefined ailments as aids? What about the 'homosexual taboo' among males? Michael Fumento's "Myth of Heterosexual Aids" is still applicable. African aids cases are too difficult to verfy. I need more proof. IMO Africa is on the wrong path. I don't believe heterosexual aids exists. Send me a name, an address and a phone number of a live aids patient; and then I might be convinced.

Anonymous said...


In regard to AIDS, Michael Fumento is an idiot. The HIV rate in Africa is estimated using the EXACT SAME TEST for the virus as is used in the West. The test is so easy a baboon could conduct it. It involves swabbing the mouth and waiting to see if one or two lines show up on a screen. I don't care what the African average IQ is, it's pretty difficult to screw that up.

Seriously, do you really think there's some huge conspiracy out there to try to trick people into believing that a lot of people in Africa have AIDS? And no one but Michael Fumento noticed?

TabooTruth said...

Dr. Phillipe Rushton also mentions different reproductive strategies in his book "Race, Evolution, and Behavior."

From gestation period, to infant physical development, to twinning rates, African women are physically designed to favor higher reproduction rates over investment in offspring. This would of course be reflected in more sexual partners and greater frequency of sex.

Such a tragedy that the AIDS discussion has focused on education and clinics rather than genetically endowed behavior.

Anonymous said...

From gestation period..

Explain this one, for starters.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, do you really think there's some huge conspiracy out there to try to trick people into believing that a lot of people in Africa have AIDS?

I don't know if trick is the right word, because the AIDS industry is certainly the victim of its own propaganda. These people really believe that in some African countries 20-30% of the population are HIV+ and that a massive population collapse is just around the corner.

The only country thats true of is Zimbabwe but it has nothing to do with AIDS.

Anonymous said...

Jeff W., I think the Khoi-San or Oceanic/Australoid people have lower scores than sub-Saharan blacks. The former came as a surprise to Henry Harpending (and to a lesser extent me because of the S.E.S of the "Cape Coloureds" relative to blacks) and the latter would to Jared Diamond if he ever payed attention to IQ scores.

TabooTruth said...


African women are much more likely to give birth to premature babies. The average amount of time in an African pregnancy is lower. Because there is lower investment by the female in her child, she can afford to have kids (and therefore sex) at a greater rate.

Anonymous said...

"There has never been equal emphasis on 'Don't have many partners,'..."

"Yet rarely seen among Botswana's AIDS prevention messages is one that has worked in other African countries: Multiple sex partners kill. Dubbed "Zero Grazing" by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, this approach dominated in East Africa, where several countries curbed HIV rates.

"Fidelity campaigns never caught on in Botswana. Instead, the country focused on remedies favored by Western AIDS experts schooled in the epidemics of America's gay community or Thailand's brothels, where condom use became so routine it slowed the spread of HIV..."

"A 2004 government study measured the result: Three-quarters of Batswana surveyed knew that condoms could stop the spread of HIV. Half knew that abstinence would. Yet only one in five knew that fidelity to a single, uninfected partner prevented spreading the disease."

The prejudice the left has against promoting monogamy is incredible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Tabootruth.

OK, a greater likelihood of premature birth, but how likely is likely? Do you have figures which directly support your (Rushton's?) claim that the average amount of time in an African pregnancy is lower?

But, assuming arguendo that black babies do have a significantly (i.e.,days, not hours) lower gestation period, does your contention that this equates to a lesser investment by the mother really follow? Wouldn't this average black baby be of lower birth weight and more susceptible to illness, requiring greater, not less, care? And compared to the years it takes to raise a child, does a couple of extra days in the womb really assume such importance?

Anonymous said...

amy, how about we stymie the Left and practice monogamy together?

I'll woo you with readings from Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't know anything about you but she's supposed to marry you. This why libertarians and D&D nerds (who are often the same people) never get anywhere.

Try a conservative match site. Though there was a hilarious article in the New Republic (not the most unbiased source, of course) about why this was a bad idea. Apparently the women were conservative Christian types looking for someone to share the rest of their lives with and the men were macho cons looking for quick sex. Anyone care to comment?

Anonymous said...

What does a woman of any race's delivering premature babies have to do with her emotional investment? Surely you're not saying she is somehow able to have shorter gestation on time on purpose, which I would think would be impossible (unless they were using abortifacients, but that is a different story altogether).

Anonymous said...

Naaah, the whole idea of k versus r strategizing (there's some math reason for these letters I forget now) is that you can either have a lot of kids and invest a little in each or have a few kids and invest a lot in each; compare agricultural tribes which try to pump out as many kids as possible so at least some of them will survive and they can help on the farm versus modern Ivy league yuppies who will have one or two kids and pay for preschool, private school, harvard, apartments in manhattan, etc.

So the idea is that due to the greater uncertainty or whatever in Africa people's bodies have evolved to twin more, have more preemies to shorten gestation time and have more kids, etc. It isn't something they'd do consciously.

I have another explanation: it may be an adaptation that occurs in any ethnic group to scarcity. We know babies with prenatal deprivation are prone to obesity and diabetes, which makes sense evolutionarily: the body senses a dangerous environment and decides to conserve all the calories it can. Not so much fun when your eyes and feet stop working at 55, of course.

Anonymous said...

Very few so-called "intellectuals" bring up -real- state of the earth subject matter such as this.

The real world and its problems/solutions are so much more interesting than reading Jonah Goldberg compare political candidates to Star Trek villans. Great blog entry, powerful subject matter.

The Wobbly Guy said...

I back nemo's point: the HIV-AIDS hypothesis has holes large enough to sail the Titanic through.

Furthermore, the myth of heterosexual AIDS was also promulgated by politically correct thought, even when initial cases of true AIDS(as defined by the T-cell count, not presence of the mythical HIV) were mostly found in homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

Then what are these Africans dying of? I don't mean that as a flip question; it is not AIDS what is it, and how is it transmitted?

Anonymous said...

She doesn't know anything about you but she's supposed to marry you. This why libertarians and D&D nerds (who are often the same people) never get anywhere.

Hey, who said anything about marriage?

Anonymous said...

Then what are these Africans dying of?

What Africans have always died of: poverty and disease.

it is not AIDS what is it, and how is it transmitted?

Welcome to the world of AIDS denial:

Beware, though, on the descending scale of modern heresy, it puts you only marginally above 9/11 conspiracies.

Anonymous said...

I note that Andy - sorry, Andrew - Sullivan is linking here from his oh-so popular Daily Dish blog.

Now, Andrew is a testosterone charged opponent of AIDS deniers, so be doubly beware. In other words, mind your backs. BOOM BOOM!

Anonymous said...

The real world and its problems/solutions are so much more interesting than reading Jonah Goldberg compare political candidates to Star Trek villans. Great blog entry, powerful subject matter.

I'd pair Steve's with Auster's VFR as the two most interesting conservative blogs.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous, even if this is true, and it might be, the rapid spread of AIDS is much much more "men's fault" then women's.


Probably because these men who go away for long periods of time have sex with vastly more partners, in the form of sex workers, then their wives. Then they come back and spread it to their village.

I am sure this greater overall promiscuity might have an impact within the tribe, but if the man is having more partners and spreading it across regions, then clearly this is the cause of the initial geographic spread of the VIRUS and men are worthy of more blame.

Anonymous said...

"I'd pair Steve's with Auster's VFR as the two most interesting conservative blogs. "

Auster being Jewish in origin, he doesn't descend into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. So you get the traditionalist view without a lot of the silliness.

Anonymous said...

does anyone else think it is hilarious that sullivan now has steve's orwell quote at the top of his blog???

Anonymous said...

Not particularly. After all, it's Orwell's quote, not Steve's. Now, if he used "Truth is better for humanity than ignorance, lies, or spin. And it's more interesting.", you might be onto something.

Anonymous said...

I never knew France conquered Botswana

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time that humanity has confronted an awful disease that upturns the foundation of society. In terms of impact the AIDS crisis is probably far less than the Bubonic Plagues that hit the Byzantines and Europe from the 500's onward. Heck probably a third to a half of Europe died in the Black Death.

The way Europe eventually struggled out of the Black Death was better general effort of sanitation, over many centuries, by wealth generation and through concerted communal effort to re-inforce societal rules.

Among those the idea of monogamy. Which arrived relatively late in Europe (probably not until 1000 AD or so, what with all those pagans or thinly Christianized pagans running around). It's easy to criticize Africa and Africans yet Europe was no better and perhaps worse for much of the Dark Ages.

The way to "win" societally is to encourage playing by the rules, boundaries for personal behavior, and sustained investment in a few children and one wife. Which requires stability, rule of law, end of thuggery, in other words a stable nation-state like that of post-Glorious Revolution England and the end of Dark Ages barbarism.

I rather suspect that a time traveller who gave IQ tests to Dark Ages Europeans would have gotten results on average quite consistent with that of current day Africans. I also suspect that IQ may indeed over many generations in stable environments where reproductive success entails following "the rules" may rise far beyond current imagined constraints.

Certainly middle class and wealthy Nigerians who emigrate to the US tend to do very well (and be disliked by native born US blacks for their traits). Emigrant Nigerians usually embrace the hard work, play by the rules, investment in education etc. that others (emigrant Jamaicans, Chinese, Koreans, Jews etc) have found a path to success.

The Feminist and Post-modern attempts to undermine the nuclear family where ever it might be found or in nascent form has been very destructive. Europe when it did not have it (Dark Ages to say 1000 AD and perhaps today) achieved very little; with that family structure in place Europeans essentially conquered the world.

Africans would do well to reject the post-modern Feminists and embrace the family certainty of monogamy.

[And yes I just finished watching the Dark Ages on History Channel.]

Anonymous said...

I like reading Sailer's site; he's a smart guy ready to take massive grief for pointing out politically poisonous facts from the social sciences. But he tries too often to present himself as The Guy Who Knows Everything. This is plainly true on AIDS in Africa. The key to understanding why AIDS is so common among heterosexuals in sub-Saharan Africa is an STD called chancroid.

Some bum on Sullivan's blog has the temerity to criticise Steve whilst simultaneously putting forward another version of the gospel truth on AIDS.

Oh, the fools, I'll destroy them all.

Anonymous said...

In regard to AIDS, Michael Fumento is an idiot. The HIV rate in Africa is estimated using the EXACT SAME TEST for the virus as is used in the West.

You couldn't be more wrong. AIDS is defined differently in Africa, and AIDS diagnoses are generally made without any testing at all.

As another commenter has stated, we really have no basis for estimating the incidence of AIDS in Africa.

Anonymous said...

IMO you are hypercritical of Fumento. In the late 80's & early 90's the public were somewhat hysterical about AIDS. Fears were widespread concerning human contact with suspected AIDS carriers: San Francisco bus drivers wore rubber gloves when accepting fares & tokens from riders, sportsmen were apprehensive about competing with or against known AIDS patients - remember when Magic announced being HIV+ and the buzz it caused. Fumento was relevant to the time & some of the questions he asked are still relevant today.

I resent the way many AIDs skeptics are treated - ideas are to be refuted with contrasting ideas not by marginalization.

verify not 'verfy'
Send the name, address, & phone number of a live female AIDS patient; then I might be convinced.