The article “A Life Course Approach to Patterns and Trends in Modern Latin American Sexual Behavior”, published in the current issue of Jaids – Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, is focused on three main issues: the timing of early sexual and reproductive events, sexual activity during adulthood and measurement of homosexuality-bisexuality.
Written by researchers Michel Bozon (Ined, Paris), Cecilia Gayet (Flacso, Mexico ) and Jaime Barrientos (Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile), the article explores trends in sexual behavior in Latin America, envisaged from a life-course perspective, taking into account social differences. “It draws on general population data from nonspecific surveys, as surveys dealing specifically with sexual behavior are scarce in Latin American countries. A traditional feature in these societies is the huge amount of social inequality, which translates directly into social differences in sexual experience, especially among women. Despite the decline in fertility, an early start of unions and of reproductive experience remains typical of groups with lower education. Another aspect is the diversity of national patterns and gender systems, very far from the image of cultural homogeneity generally associated with this region. Data show a low prevalence of homosexuality/bisexuality, which can be a result of underreporting. The paper eventually stresses the necessity of carrying out more sexual behavior surveys of the general population in the region”.