IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Secretive females or swaggering males?: An assessment of the quality of sexual partnership reporting in rural Tanzania

  • Nnko, Soori
  • Boerma, J.T.J Ties
  • Urassa, Mark
  • Mwaluko, Gabriel
  • Zaba, Basia
Registered author(s):

    In population-based surveys on sexual behaviour, men consistently report higher numbers of sexual partners than women, which may be associated with male exaggeration or female under-reporting or with issues related to sampling, such as exclusion of female sex workers. This paper presents an analysis of data collected in the context of a longitudinal study in rural Tanzania, where a sexual partnership module was applied to all participating men and women in the study population. Since the study design included all men and women of reproductive ages and did not involve sampling, these data provide a unique opportunity to compare the consistency of aggregate measures of sexual behaviour between men and women living in the same villages. The analysis shows that non-marital partnerships were common amongst single people of both sexes--around 70% of unmarried men and women report at least one sexual partner in the last year. However, 40% of married men also report having non-marital partners, but only 3% of married women did so. Single women reported about half as many multiple partnerships in the last year as men. Under-reporting of non-marital partnerships was much more common among single women than among married women and men. Furthermore, women were more likely to report longer duration partnerships and partnership with urban men or more educated men than with others. If a woman reports multiple partners, biological data indicate that she is at high risk of contracting HIV. For men, however, there is only a weak association between number of partnerships and the risk of HIV, and it cannot be excluded that men, especially single men, exaggerate the number of sexual partners.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 299-310

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:59:y:2004:i:2:p:299-310
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:59:y:2004:i:2:p:299-310. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.