Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2020


Research into the epidemiology of sexually transmitted organisms has found a strong relationship between number of sexual partners and likelihood of infection; STO interventions have therefore focused on reducing number of sexual partners. However, this work assumes that multiple partnerships cause infection, when there is reason to believe that infection causes an increase in short-term mating behavior as a means of increasing transmission opportunities. This dissertation tests STO infection status as a predictor in follow-up sexual behavior on data from the National Longitudinal Study from Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Four dependent variables related to short-term mating were regressed on STO status at baseline. Results indicate that HSV-2 infections in men and gonorrhea infections in general predict number of sexual partners at follow-ups. Understanding the STO-sexual behavior relationship from this perspective may provide opportunities for disease diagnosis in underserved communities and reduce stigma for STO+ individuals.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Geoffrey Miller

Second Committee Member

Marco Del Giudice

Third Committee Member

Steve Gangestad

Fourth Committee Member

John Alcock




sexually transmitted disease, sexual behavior, parasitic manipulation

Document Type


Included in

Psychology Commons