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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

China has experienced an explosion in the sex ratio at birth, with 25 million more men than women younger than 20 (2005 census). This chapter examines the implications of large numbers of men failing to marry on the supply-and-demand dynamics of sex work, with a focus on how this affects the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The chapter begins with a history of prostitution in China and describes the massive increase in sex work following economic reforms in the late 1970s. It then analyzes the current dynamics of demand and supply for sex work in China, using national census data and detailed microdata on sex workers. The authors find a clear link between high-population sex ratios, the prevalence of sex work, and STI rates. The analysis concludes with projections for the future and a discussion of policy responses in light of an anticipated increase in sex work.

Keywords: STI, sex ratio, China, FSW

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