www.ambiente.us  JUNE | JUNIO 2009

Study Links Gay Marriage Bans to Rise in HIV Rate
By Carlos T Mock, MD

According to Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, researchers at Emory University: Gay
Marriage Bans Cause a Rise in HIV Rate.

The study used data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which has tracked the
attitudes of Americans during the past four decades. The economists calculated that a
rise in tolerance from the 1970s to the 1990s reduced HIV cases by one per 100,000
people, and that laws against same-sex marriage boosted cases by 4 per 100,000.

This is the first study of its kind in the United States.  The researchers are applying:
“economic theories to calculate how social attitudes and policies affect HIV
transmission.”

They have concluded that bans on same-sex marriage can be tied to a rise in the rate
of HIV infection.  Hugo Mialon, an assistant professor of economics said: "We found
the effects of tolerance for gays on HIV to be statistically significant and robust – they
hold up under a range of empirical models.”
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They were inspired to conduct the study by the
current debate on same sex marriage.  "Laws
on gay marriage are in flux and under debate,"
added Andrew Francis, also an assistant
professor of economics, citing the recent
decision by the California Supreme Court to
uphold a ban on same-sex marriage. "It's a hot
issue, and we are hoping that policymakers will
take our findings into account."

This is not their first contribution to the subject
matter.   An article published in March of 2008
by the authors in which they developed a game
theory model for sexual behavior, which
demonstrated that laws in some states
regarding the sexual transmission of HIV are
generally inefficient at slowing the spread of
the disease, was named outstanding law and economics paper of the year

For more breaking news from the natural and social sciences at Emory,
visit
www.emory.edu/esciencecommons


CLICK HERE for more Carlos T. Mock


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