Sex Ratios and Women's Marital Timing and Sexual Behavior in China
Katherine Trent, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Scott J. South, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level census data from the 2000 Chinese census to examine the relationship between mate availability, as measured by age-specific sex ratios, and women’s marital timing and the likelihood of engaging in premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse. Consistent with demographic-opportunity theories of the impact of imbalanced sex ratios, we find that high sex ratios (indicating a surplus of men relative to women) are associated with an increased likelihood that women will have married by age 24. We also find that high sex ratios are associated with an increased likelihood that women have engaged in both premarital and extramarital sexual relationships. The implications of these results for trends in Chinese family life are discussed.
Presented in Poster Session 7