Social contact patterns reveal with whom individuals tend to socialize, and therefore to whom they transmit respiratory infections. We infer highly detailed age-specific contact rates between the sexes using a hierarchical Bayesian model that smooths while simultaneously guaranteeing the inherent reciprocity of contact rates. Application of this approach to social contact data from a large prospective survey confirms a tendency that people, especially children and adolescents, mostly contact other people of their own age and sex, and reveals that women have more contact with children than men. These findings imply different exposure patterns between the two sexes for specific age groups, which agrees with available observations.
"Efficient estimation of age-specific social contact rates between men and women." Ann. Appl. Stat. 11 (1) 320 - 339, March 2017. https://doi.org/10.1214/16-AOAS1006