A sexual affiliation network of swingers, heterosexuals practicing risk behaviours that potentiate the spread of sexually transmitted infections: A two-mode approach

Anne-Marie Niekamp*, Liesbeth A. G. Mercken, Christian J. P. A. Hoebe, Nicole H. T. M. Dukers-Muijrers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using the example of the sexual affiliation networks of swingers, this paper examines how the analysis of sexual affiliation networks can contribute to the development of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention strategies. Two-mode network methodology and ERGMs are applied to describe the structural composition of the affiliation network and analyse attribute effects. Swingers were found to recruit their sex partners through one large, moderately cohesive network component. Swingers who used drugs or had a longer history of swinging tended to frequent websites instead of clubs. This study confirms the relevance of studying sexual affiliation networks and its additional value for STI epidemiology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Sexual affiliation networks
  • Swingers
  • Exponential random graph models (ERGMs)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Risk behaviour
  • Two-mode methodology

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