The down low theory: 'Can we just call it what it is? It's good old cheating!'

There has been much criticism over the years surrounding a theory dating back to 2001, coming out of the US, that HIV rates among black women spiked to high levels because of black men who engaged in sexual intercourse with other men.

The conspiracy used to explain the rate of AIDS among African-Americans is called "On the Down Low" - the term used to describe black men who have sex with other men but consider themselves heterosexual.

Focusing on Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America by Keith Boykins, Eusebius McKaiser explores the theory which he says assumes a kind of monopoly on cheating.

The US government basically adopted it as their scientific explanation and what Keith Boykin says is actually complete balderdash. It is not just black people who are on the down low, it is white people, it is not just gay people who are on the down low, it is also straight people, it is not just men, it is also women.

Eusebius McKaier, 702/CapeTalk radio host

Can we call it what it is? It is just good old cheating and there is no part of the human population that has a monopoly over it.

Eusebius McKaier, 702/CapeTalk radio host

To shatter the myth that it is only a certain category of human beings who live on the down low, McKaiser invited callers to share their experiences - whether they have been cheated on or have cheated.

He uses the example of pop culture and the glamorisation of cheating across every population with songs such as Gladys Knight's 'If I were your woman' and Whitney Houston's 'Saving all my love for you'.

Are you listening to what she is singing? Listen to the words So I'm saving all my love for you:

A few stolen moments is all that we shareYou've got your family and they need you thereThough I've tried to resist being last on your listBut no other man's gonna do

Eusebius McKaier, 702/CapeTalk radio host

A woman, Shez, shared how she was married for 20 years to a man and she had an affair with a woman at age 42.

I married her a month later and I have never turned back. I am so glad I had the affair, it is the best thing that has happened to me. The affair was for about a month or so, I told my husband and four months later we were married.

Shez, caller

My husband reacted terribly, most of my friends reacted terribly. My parents said: 'Well we knew you were always gay, thank goodness you did this". Eventually, my ex-husband and I became friends and he said to me deep down inside he knew and maybe the affair needed to happen.

Shez, caller

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


This article first appeared on 702 : The down low theory: 'Can we just call it what it is? It's good old cheating!'


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