VITAL SIGNSrnO C I E T YrnRace, Aids, andrnSexual Behaviorrnby J. Philippe RushtonrnFor the past decade or so, m researchrnhas focused on assessing racial differencesrnin brain size and intelligence,rnsexual habits and fertility, personalityrnand temperament, and speed of maturationrnand longe’it-. Startling and alarmingrnto main people is my conclusion thatrnif all people were treated the same, mostrnracial differences would not disappear. Irnhaye found that Asians and Africans eonsistentKrnayerage at opposite ends of arncontinuum ranging o’cr 60 anatomicalrnand social ariables, with Europeans intermediate.rnBased ou m studies, I ha’ernproposed a gene-based e olutionar’ theorrnof racial patterns.rnThe political fallout from m” w ork hasrnbeen intense. After in findings becamernpublic at the 1989 meeting of the AmericanrnAssociation for the Adyaneemcnt ofrnScience, the premier of Ontario calledrnfor m dismissal. The Ontario AttorneyrnGeneral’s office launched a six-monthrnincstigation of whether I had contra-rnened “hate laws.” I was excoriated inrnthe media, and disruptions at the uniyersitrnculminated in ni’ being forced byrnthe administration to teach classes byrn ideotape. (Of course, it could be worse.rnhi maii countries, people are jailed orrnexecuted for voicing unacceptable scholarlrnopinions.)rnAll the abox’c is b wa’ of introductionrnto the most recent statistics I hac compiledrnon race and AIDS. (Some of thernmost ferocious attacks on me haye comernas a result of mv studies of race differencesrnin sexual behayior.) In 1989, Irnpublislied a paper in SocicjJ Science andrnMedicine examining the worldwide distributionrnof 100,410 eases of AIDS thatrnhad been reported as of July 1, 1988,rnto the World Health Organization. ByrnApril 1, 1990, tliat figure had grovyn torn2^7,110, showing an 18-month doublingrntime and a crstallization of the racialrnpattern of the pandemic. Subsecjuentrncalculations published bv me m the 1990rnissue of Social Science and Medicinernshowed that black Caribbean countriesrnhad as high an incidence of AIDS as didrnAfrican countries. When the figuresrnwere calculated on a per capita basis, thernthree most affected countries in thernworld were in the Caribbean—Bermuda,rnthe Bahamas, and French Guiana.rnThe fast rate of increase continuesrn(currently 20 percent a ear) and, as ofrnJanuary 3′, 1995, World Health Organizationrnfigures showed that over one millionrnadult cases had been reported from 192rncountries since the onset of the pandemic.rnAllowing for under-diagnosis and incompleternreporting, the true figure is estimatedrnto be oyer 4.5 million, andrnnearly 20 million people are estimated tornhaye the human immunodeficiencyrn’irus (HIV) that causes the disease.rnWhile modes of transmission are universalK’rnthe same—through sex or bloodrnor from mother to fetus—it is clearrnthat HIV has spread disproportionatelyrnamong racial groups. Because of politicalrnsensitiyities, many deny that AIDSrnoriginated in Africa, and African andrnCaribbean countries report only a fractionrnof their actual number of AIDS cases.rnBut countries with large numbers ofrnpeople of African ancestrv have a disproportionaternAIDS problem. In some urbanrnareas of Africa, well over one in fourrnadults are infected.rnIn African and Caribbean countries,rnthe AIDS irus is transmitted predominantlyrnthrough heterosexual intercourse.rnThe age and sex distributions of HIV infectionrnrates are similar to those of otherrnsexually transmitted diseases, with higherrnprevalence among younger sexuallyrnacti’e women. At the other extreme, it isrna characteristic feature of AIDS in Chinarnand Japan that most sufferers arernhemophiliacs. An intermediate amountrnof HIV infection is apparent in Europernand the Americas, where it has occurredrnpredominantly among homosexual men.rnSpecificalK-, I computed the numberrnof cases per 100,000 people to give an indicationrnof the relative seriousness of thernepidemic between countries with differentrnpopulation sizes. On this measure,rnCanada has a rate of 38 eases per 100,000rnpeople, making it the 39th most infectedrncountry in the worid. Of the other leadingrncountries, 22 are in Africa, 11 are inrnthe Caribbean, four arc in Europe, andrnthe other is the United States. None arernin Asia. The 2,000-mile swathe of infectedrnCaribbean countries from Bermudarnin the Atlantic through the Bahamasrnoff the coast of Florida to French Guianarnin South ymcrica is especialK strikingrnand has rarely (if ever) been explained.rnI have also examined the most recentrnfigures from the United States (Centersrnfor Disease Control and Prexention,rnIIIV/AIDS Surxeillance Report, Vol. 6,rnNo. 2). Data as of January I, 1995, eonfirmrnthat blacks are overrepresentcd inrneer” exposure category. The nearh 30rnmillion blacks in the United States, withrna cuinulati’e total of 146,283 eases, haverna rate of 488 cases per 100,000 populationrn(one out of excrv 205 black people).rnThis rate is equivalent to that of thernblack populations of Africa and thernCaribbean. Though only 12 percent ofrnthe population, blacks accounted for 33rnpercent of the AIDS figures. Black menrnaccounted for 34 percent of all male cases,rnincluding 20 percent of the “MenrnWho Have Sex With Men” categor-;rnblack women accounted for 55 percentrnof female cases; and black children accountedrnfor 56 percent of all pediatricrneases. Whites and Asians in the UnitedrnStates have rates of 107 and 41 perrn100,000 people, somewhat higher than,rnbut proportionately comparable to, theirrncounterparts in Europe and the Pacific.rnOne suggestion often made is thatrnblacks in the United States ha’e such arnhigh prevalence of AIDS because of intraxenousrndrug use. Among black men,rn36 to 43 percent did acquire the diseasernin this wa-, but betyvccn 50 and 57 percentrnacquired it through sexual transmission,rneight percent heterosexuallv (comparedrnto one percent of whites). Of allrn24,358 adult cases transmitted heterosexuallyrn(seven percent of the total),rn14,143 (or 58 percent) invoked blacks,rnw ith another 20 percent being I lispanic.rnHispanics, of course, are a linguisticrngroup; racially a proportion is black orrnpartl black, especially in New York andrnPuerto Rico. 0’erall, since my 1989rnpublication, the proportion of blacks inrnJANUARY 1996/39rnrnrn