Gender, sexuality and marriage as risk factor for HIV infection topic at Rice April 24

Jennifer Hirsch, a leading scholar on gender, sexuality and reproductive health, will discuss marriage as a risk factor for HIV infection as part of the Gray/Wawro Lecture Series April 24 at Rice University.

Hirsch’s talk, “The Inevitability of Infidelity: Gender, Sexuality and Marriage as a Risk Factor for HIV Infection,” will be at 6 p.m. in Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium. A reception will follow in Martel Hall.

Hirsch, a professor and deputy chair of doctoral studies of socio-medical sciences at Columbia University, argues that for many women around the world, sex with a spouse or intimate partner presents their most significant risk factor for HIV infection. In this lecture, Hirsch will draw on anthropological research in Mexico and among Mexican migrants in the United States, as well as on comparative work on marriage and HIV risk from Africa and Asia, to discuss the social factors that facilitate men’s engagement in extramarital relations. She will also discuss and critique public health policies that have focused on preventing HIV transmission in heterosexual intimate relations.

Through the support of Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, this lecture series recognizes health as a matter of physical and social well-being and highlights gender as a key factor determining opportunity and quality of life. Each lecture brings to Houston a leading scholar whose work inspires deeper understanding of the gender features underlying urgent health concerns and fosters public conversation that can prompt informed action toward a more just world.

Hosted by Rice’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, the event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and RSVPs are requested to

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.