Mate Availability and Women's Sexual Experiences in China


  • This article was edited by Jay Teachman.

Department of Sociology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222 (


Data from the 1999–2000 Chinese Health and Family Life Survey were merged with community-level data from the 1982, 1990, and 2000 Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between the local sex ratio (number of men per 100 women) and sexual outcomes among women (N = 1,369). Consistent with hypotheses derived from demographic-opportunity theory, multilevel logistic regression analyses showed that women are more likely to be sexually active, to have had premarital sexual intercourse, to have been forced to have sex, and to test positive for a sexually transmitted infection when there is a relative abundance of age-matched men in their local community. Education, birth cohort, and geographic location also emerged as significant predictors of women's sexual experiences.