Kirsten Stoebenau
Assistant Research Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Campus: UMD | Building: SPH | Room: 1242W
Phone: 301-314-2117 |
Office Hours: 

Please feel free to reach out via email to set up an appointment with me.

CV / Resume
PDF icon CV KStoebenau 10_2017.pdf

Dr. Stoebenau is a social and behavioral scientist with expertise in the social determinants of women’s sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa.  In her work, Dr. Stoebenau draws on social theory and mixed-method approaches to examine the gendered, economic, and socio-cultural determinants of two issues: women’s risk of HIV, and adolescent fertility. 

Dr. Stoebenau currently serves as the co-chair of a Working Group on Transactional Sex and HIV under the STRIVE research consortium (  This group aims to better understand, and mitigate, the role of transactional sex (informal sexual exchange relationships) in adolescent girls and young women’s risk of HIV across sub-Saharan Africa.  Dr. Stoebenau also holds a D.C. Center for AIDS Research Pilot Grant that will develop measures of the gender dimensions of transactional sex relationships.  Her more recent work on adolescent fertility has included a mixed-method study of the association between school dropout and pregnancy for adolescent girls in a rural setting in Uganda; and an examination of the relationship context of adolescent fertility in Ghana.  Some examples of her earlier work include an ethnographic study of the social stratification of women’s sex work in Antananarivo, Madagascar; and a mixed-method study addressing the influence of modern youth lifestyles on young people’s sexual risk behavior, including transactional sex (informal sexual exchange), across two regions of Madagascar.

Dr. Stoebenau comes to the University of Maryland from American University in Washington, D.C. where she was a Research Assistant Professor in the Center on Health, Risk and Society.  Before that, she spent five years at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), an applied research institute addressing gender inequality across the globe.

Education and Training

B.S. Anthropology, Emory University, 1995.

Ph.D., Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006.


Selected Peer Review Publications

2017       Suzanne Petroni, Mara Steinhaus, Natacha Stevanovic, Kirsten Stoebenau, Amy Gregowski: “New Findings on Child Marriage in sub-Saharan Africa.” Annals of Global Health, forthcoming.

2016       Joyce Wamoyi, Kirsten Stoebenau, Tanya Abramsky, Natalia Bobrova and Charlotte Watts: “Transactional sex and risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of the International AIDS Society (19) 20992.

2016       Kirsten Stoebenau, Lori Heise, Joyce Wamoyi and Natalia Bobrova: “Revisiting the Understanding of ‘transactional sex’ in sub-Saharan Africa:  A review and synthesis of the literature.” Social Science & Medicine (168) 186-197.

2016       Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer, and Kirsten Stoebenau. "The Relationship Context of Adolescent Fertility in Southeastern Ghana." International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42(1) 1-12.

2013       Kirsten Stoebenau, Rama Nair, Valérie Rambeloson, Ghislain Rakotoarison, Violette Razafintsalama and Ronald Labonté: “Consuming Sex: The association between modern goods, lifestyles and sexual behaviour among youth in Madagascar,” Globalization and Health, 9:13 (11 May 2013).

2011       Kirsten Stoebenau, Stephanie A Nixon, Clara Rubincam, Samantha Willan, Yanga ZN Zembe, Tumelo Tsikoane, Pius T Tanga, Haruna M Bello, Carlos F Caceres, Loraine Townsend, Paul G Rakotoarison and Violette Razafintsalama, “More than just talk:  The framing of transactional sex and its implications for vulnerability to HIV in Lesotho, Madagascar and South Africa.”  Globalization and Health, 7:34 (30 September 2011).

2009       Kirsten Stoebenau, “Symbolic Capital and Health: The Case of Women’s Sex Work in Antananarivo, Madagascar,” Social Science & Medicine, 68 (11) 2045-2052.

2009       Kirsten Stoebenau, Michelle J. Hindin, Constance A. Nathanson, Paul Ghislain Rakotoarison and Violette Razafintsalama. “The Implications of Relationship Fluidity for Condom Use among Sex Workers in Antananarivo, Madagascar,” American Journal of Public Health, 99 (5) 811-819.


Selected Technical Reports

2017       Neetu A. John, Kirsten Stoebenau, Samantha Ritter, Jeffrey Edmeades.  Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low and Middle Income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes. Innocenti Discussion Paper 2017-01, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence.

2015      Kirsten Stoebenau, Ann Warner, Jeffrey D. Edmeades, Magnolia Sexton: “Girls are like leaves on the wind:” How gender expectations impact girls’ education – A closer look from West Nile, Uganda.  ICRW, March, 2015. Washington, D.C. 

2014       Ann Warner, Kirsten Stoebenau and Allie McGonagle Glinski: More Power to Her: How Empowering Girls can end Child Marriage.  ICRW, Washington, D.C. 

2013      Kirsten Stoebenau, Rohini Pande and Anju Malhotra. Has fertility decline contributed to improvements in women’s lives? International Center for Research on Women Fertility & Empowerment Working Paper Series. 012-2013-ICRW-FE. Pages 1-41.